NASSAU

I know i get to see some of the most amazing places in the world but i for one was the first that never thought id get to visit the Bahamas and enjoy a few days relaxing on pristine sands and swimming in the bluest water i may have ever seen!

Getting to experience all of this was even better as my bestie was with me, soaking up paradise and helping me snap every moment for you to experience it too.

This would be the first time actually visiting the caribbean apart from Cuba (and as well as being half Jamaican myself and sadly never visiting yet) i wasn’t sure what to expect other than what others had told me. All I can say is every good comment I had heard was completely true!

When flying into Nassau, the beauty starts there! The clear blue water with the untouched golden beaches had us all so excited before we had even stepped off the plane to then be driven to our hotel surrounded by palm trees and reggae music blasting from shops as we got closer to the town.

The island is split up into little islands, the main district in Nassau which is the harbour where the cruise ships dock is where we stayed. The British Cononial is the oldest hotel on the island and plays up to the islands heritage of being the first country that inhabited pirates.

Sitting at the back of the hotel lies the pool and beach area where you can enjoy watching the cruise ships come in and out as well as the many luxurious yachts and party boats.

The first evening we got there we took a stroll around the area to scope out what was there. We soon realised that due to the cruise ships docking in in the early afternoon means that most bars, shops and clubs are open in throughout the day to enjoy shopping, drinking, dancing and embracing the sunshine on the beaches, while closing up early evening to start again the next day. A two minute walk from the hotel stood a well known bar called Senôr Frogs, a fun, lively bar that plays up to the tourists that want to enjoy a good singalong and dance while having a full lunch and strong cocktails.

We had planned on a chilled evening with a couple of drinks with dinner. That definitely did NOT happen as we ended up being pulled into the dance floor to play drinking games and conga through the bar while having rum poured down our throats to carnival music!

The bar wasn’t packed and this is what we got up too so could you imagine a night full that was busy! It’s definitely a spot you have to step into if you want to get the party started while laughing and dancing all night until your feet hurt.

A lot of people travelling to Caribbean islands will choose to stay in the most expensive resorts as they feel there isn’t anywhere as safe and that can sometimes cut them off from the real life. Whatever your choice of holiday is try and make sure you go out and visit the local markets and stores and chat to the locals as they love to welcome us and tell us about their home and recommend the best places. The beaches that are set out for tourists aren’t always the best around so it’s always good to ask the people that live there.

While curing a hangover the next morning we were up and ready for a full day of absolute fun and adventure. I had taken a contact from a colleague that had been to the Bahamas and recommended a day boat trip with a gentleman called Angelo, I heard nothing but good things so had booked him to take us out as a group. With the port being so close to the hotel we took a five minute walk to meet Angelo and start our day.

With a smile on his face and a warm welcome, Angelo helped us onto his boat while then collecting ice, punch and rum for us to enjoy for the day. I think we all knew it was going to be an even better than we expected after that HAHA!

We set off with music playing and is all watching the surface of the water through his glass bottom boat. Angelo told us some great history of the island such as the Bahamas using a water mail ship to transport the locals parcels and mail to them as it was so much easier than by car due to the many streets that can’t be driven down. The luxurious houses that have been owned and still owned by some fabulous famous faces, and the history of their forte and lighthouses on the islands.

Our first point that we stopped off at was in the middle of the ocean, near a small lighthouse. I’d never seen such blue water! So clear, so clean! It was absolutely beautiful.

We got our snorkelling goggles on and jumped in! Angelo gave us crackers as bate which we were all pretty surprised about and as we stuck our hand out and bobbed our heads in to see, a swarm of little yellow fish began to nibble at our crackers. It was almost something out of a movie about Puranas with the way they gobbled from our hand but instead they were adorable and harmless.

Further below you could see all types of fish, it was so clear you could stay down there all day just exploring what you could find. Having hoaxed us out with some more rum punch we jumped back on board and sped off to our next destination.

We sat at the front edge of the boat, wind in our wet salted hair admiring the emptiness that surrounded us. The skyline touching the sea line with just a slight shade of blue between them. We were in utter paradise and as much as we all knew it none of us needed to mention a word. We just sat, enjoying the ride with the music and rum slowly filling us with more joy.

After the short ride Angelo informed us that we were heading to Rose Island but first…. we were going to swim with turtles! It was until we were in the water, Angelo directing us, goggles on and swimming on top of a giant turtle did it really sink in! All the films we’ve watched and animal documentaries that David Attenborough has so delicately made for us gives us an insight into nature we don’t always get to see but nothing compares to being able to see them in person, with your own eyes, being in the moment and not being able to hear anything underwater while this beauty just swims so calmly along side you, in its natural home. No photo can really show what we truly saw which is why I urge any animal lover to do it but here are a few I managed to snap to give you a small glimpse.

We jumped back on the boat to hop over to the next island across. It was like a desert island. Like being Tom Hanks with Wilson or a contestant on Bear Grills extreme island, just without the bad parts HAHA.

Palm trees and a roped swing, we all took in our surroundings. Jumping out into the warm water we swam up to enjoy it. Angelo took us for a walk to explore the island through the heat but it was well worth it when we saw the view! For a moment everyone went silent and took it all in. still calm waters, not a boat or person in sight it was stunning.

We found a secret passage down to a small wooden dock that looked out onto the sun and water at the edge of the horizon. The water was a cool green colour this side but it was completely still i couldn’t resist taking a did and just laying with my ears underwater looking up at the sky. It was real moment for me.

They say that silence clears the soul and for that split few minutes on my own, i had no worry, no thoughts, no lists running through my mind and that is something everyone needs once in a while.

After heading back towards the boat, we enjoyed a few more cups of rum punch and sang and danced on the white sand. Women being women we had to take a few moments to capture the day with my camera. One at a time each of us would pose in the water, hair wet, sun kissing our skin and acting as if we were supermodels on a photoshoot to get that perfect Instagram shot HAHA! How do you think i did?…

By this point in the day, some were showing a few signs of the rum punch creeping up on them and were being thrown about in the water by some large waves while taking photos so Angelo suggested we head over to the fish market close to home to soak up some of that rum. Drink responsibly kids HAHA.

We sped off again into the open waters, this time everyone looking forward to getting some food down them until we finally got to the fish market. Knowing that everything was probably going to be pretty fresh, we all went for Lobster. Angelo had the women bring our food to the boat so we didn’t have to move a muscle and we could enjoy sitting on the edge with a view enjoying our lobster, rice and avocado.

Every piece of my meal was absolutely gorgeous! With all of it being so fresh, the flavours were amazing and the lobster was beautifully cooked. It’s a little frustrating now that i’m home because nothing tastes as good. I am officially a snob and have to have everything fresh from the sea and onto the grill HAHA.

Once we had filled our bellies we headed home to shore. I have to be honest, i never have been a lover of boats as when i was a child i was always sick on any form of transport i went on. You name it, bus, car, train, and boat was the worst! I remember my nan taking me on one in Kent and her watching my face go completely green. HAHA. So i was a little apprehensive with the alcohol, heat and the swaying of the boat but you’ll be pleased to know that i made it through the whole day without feeling unwell once! Can you tell i’m pretty proud of myself HAHA.

We didn’t want the day to end! but we were all pretty worn out and a little sunburnt from enjoying it all in fairness. Anyone visiting the Bahamas has to go on a boat tour, it’s the best way that you’re going to get a real glimpse of the beauty off shore and done with people that have lived and breathed these waters all their lives. If you want to experience the exact day that i had then visit BAHAMAS WATERTOURS NASSAU on Facebook and book with Captain Angelo. I can’t recommend him enough!

Our last day in Nassau and we wanted to make the most of it. That morning we all went down to the hotel beach and enjoyed the perks of our own kayak and paddle board.

Yep, someone managed to film me perfectly falling off the paddle board from afar HAHA.

After enjoying that we decided to head over to the other side of the island where Atlantis palm Nassau sits. Where most tourists will stay at for their luxury experience, or spend the day there packed full of fun water slides, pretty aquariums and the fancy casino. May i mention again that it is extremely expensive over there so if you’re going for the day then bring plenty of bottles of water and snacks with you as it can become an extortionate day if not.

Another way for you to enjoy a little slice of this side of the island is to take the $8 return boat over and take a walk along Cabbage beach. The waves are little larger and the there are a lot more tourists enjoying it but it gives you a little insight and view into the Atlantis if you walk down far enough along the beach and can get some great pictures in-front of it.

I’m not the biggest beach person (i prefer a pool day) but it was nice to have a morning somewhere different having a stroll around to see whats about before heading back over to Bay Street port.

We still had the rest of the day so decided to have a stroll around the streets and get some lunch. We popped into the Straw Market which sits right on Bay street overlooking the port where you can buy your cheeky souvenirs and some hand-made or carved gifts for everyone back home. Again everyones so welcoming and sweet and are happy to have a little chat with you, you could end spending the whole day in there.

Along the street you have open bars and stores where you can have a little taster or their spirits and rum cakes. You can believe i bought a load of them back HAHA. and the choices of cocktails are endless!

Like i had said before, most chain restaurants are quite expensive in the Bahamas so we weren’t sure what to eat until we came across a long line of locals queueing up by a small whole in the wall.  No sign, no name just a lady taking cash and bringing out food. Now where the locals eat, we should be eating because that means it’s GOOD! On the wall read, curry goat, jerk chicken, curry mutton, all with rice and peas, coleslaw and a vegetable patti on the side for just $7! We couldn’t believe our eyes. So we queued, and it was well worth it!

Beautiful fresh caribbean food is just what we needed to end our day, we just wish we had found it sooner! but like i said, always speak to the locals and ask around for good places to eat and drink because you’ll find some of the best in the most unexpected places.

We took our food back to our hotel and enjoyed it on a sun lounger overlooking the ocean. What a way to enjoy your food right, and reminisced about our trip and how lucky we were to have been able to visit such a beautiful place and talk to such lovely people who made us feel so welcome.

A smile and hello can go a long way and i think a lot of people in many places have forgotten that but the Bahamas i can happily say definitely has not so make sure you put it on your bucket list.

Until next time you wonderful island. x

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