Friday, September 22, 2023

April 19, 2023 Island tour by rental car

John and Tami picked us up with their golf cart at 7:30.  We went to the Government dock to catch a ferry to the mainland.  We lined up a rental car for the day.  A driver, John, met us at the dock with the car.  We just had to fill out a form with our name and address, but no payment until the end of the day.  They didn’t even ask for proof of a driver’s license.  


We took off in a Nissan van.  First stop was the Glass Window.  Such a beautiful view of the calm Exuma Sound to the west and the crashing Atlantic Ocean on the east.

We then drove all the way to Governor’s Harbour.  We have been dreaming about the bakery ever since we rediscovered it last year.  I had been there years ago with friends, but we hadn’t found it again until last year.  Finally asked directions. It’s on a side street that isn’t a through street.  John was amazed that we cold find it.  We each ordered a big treat.  Dave and Tami had a coconut Danish and John and I had cream cheese Danish.  We drove to the beach to sit on a picnic table and enjoy the view while we ate.


We drove across the island to the east coast.  We enjoyed the view and walked the beach before heading north again.  


Our next stop was Alabaster Bay.  We had anchored here last year and loved this beach.  We had to put our toes in the water here and gather some shells.  


Next we stopped for lunch in James Cistern.  We had a great meal last year at Delish and looked forward to returning.  They were just opening, so we enjoyed a pineapple drink while waiting and enjoyed the view of the water.  Pineapple is grown on this island.  An employee was going in the water to get fresh conch for our conch salad.  They make a hole in the shell and run a rope through them to keep them from crawling away.  That way they can keep them in the water until they are needed.  We noticed the young man was going under water to look at them, or for others that might be in the area, without a mask or goggles.  Later we asked him if the salt water burned his eyes.  He said “not anymore, I’m used to it.”  We had placed 2 orders for conch salad, so we watched him clean 2 conch for us.  His name was Valley, I asked if it was short for Valentine, my grandfather’s name.  He said “some people call me that.”  He was a little shy, but Dave was able to get him to lighten up and laugh with us.  Our waitress, Deeandra came by and explained all the body parts.  The area with 2 eyes had a mouth between them.  Vally cut off a lump that she said was the “bobby”.  Of course we had to ask and she said “like these” and motioned to her boobs.  The conch salad was freshly made and so good.  We also had conch and grouper dinners.  Their food is fantastic, but you pay for it.  Our 2 conch salads, 4 dinners with one side each, 3 fruity drinks, 1 beer and 2 diet cokes came to $213 before tip.  You pay for quality and atmosphere.  


This is the third  time in 6 years that I have driven this part of the island.  I always stop at a garden stand along the road.  There are a few larger places off the road, but what I like about this place is that he picks the greens you want at the time that you order them.  We picked up arugula and beets for a salad, some rosemary and thyme for our fish tomorrow, an avocado and a loaf of raisin cinnamon coconut bread.   


Next stop was the Queen’s Bathtub.  Near the glass window, there is an area washed away on the shoreline that had pools of water.  This year we came prepared to get into the bathtubs.  Dave happened to notice very small sea urchins along the walls.  They can be very painful if you step on one.  So there was only one pool we actually entered.  Beautiful scenery!



We continued to travel north to the Preacher’s Cave.  This is where the first settlers in this area took refuge after their ship was wrecked on the reef in the mid 1600’s.  They held church services in this cave for about 100 years.  We checked out the beautiful beach nearby before moving on to the Sapphire Blue Hole.  There were several young people there that had been taking turns jumping in and climbing out.  They had a nice rope ladder this year, which would have made it much easier to get out than when I jumped in 2019.  But it was getting late and we needed to catch our ferry back to the mainland.  So no one jumped this year.


We made it back to the ferry dock by 5:00, parked, unpacked the car and caught the 5:00 ferry to Spanish Wells.  I texted Spring so she could meet us at the dock to pay her.  No inspection of the car, just hand her the $80 cash for the day.  Pretty laid back.
We dropped Dave off at the boat.  I went to John and Tami’s cottage.  We made guacamole with the avocado we purchased and looked through our photos from the day.  Then they took me back to the boat later that night.

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