A trip abroad for M&P is never complete without setting a footstep on the beach. Imagine our excitement when we found out that as Kenyan passport holders, we did not need a visa to visit The Bahamas!!! Now this is a dream come true!!
We flew from Las Vegas to The Bahamas, via Miami. We landed in paradise, on Grand Bahama Island in humid, hot weather and were welcomed at arrivals by a Bahamian man, pounding out tropical tunes on a keyboard as we waited to get our passports stamped. Grand Bahama is the largest island in the Bahamas, but also the most undeveloped. We deliberately chose to stay away from Atlantis and the cruise ship crowds in Nassau and I am glad we did, because we experienced a true slice of heaven.
The waters of the Caribbean are the most gorgeous green I have ever seen, and the white sandy beach is like powdered sugar. We could almost jump into the ocean from our suite balcony at our hotel! The Caribbean sun is incredibly hot and despite slathering ourselves with factor 50 sunblock, we were as brown as nuts within an hour of being on the beach. The heat meant spending a lot of time at the swim up bar indulging in mojitos, and winding up the day in the hot tub on the beach. Decadence at its finest.
Despite Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort being the biggest hotel on Grand Bahama Island, there were not many restaurants to eat at.
However, we discovered Port Lucaya Market Place right outside the hotel. Such a quaint picturesque place. There were a tonne of little shops and restaurants and straw booths painted in pastel colours – yellow, green, pink – with the Port Lucaya Marina right behind the marketplace. A great place to buy some souvenirs, or a cute Bahamian hat.
We ate pretty much all our meals at the marketplace and had a great time here at all the bars and restaurants, the food was great and so were the prices.
Count Basie Square came alive at night, with island style and rhythm. One night there was a live band and another night there was a dj – it was fantastic to be sitting in the square in the warm evenings, sipping on a refreshing margarita or a bahama mama and watching people dance! People on the island are so friendly and so many were amazed when we told them we were all the way from Kenya. I guess it is pretty unusual for Kenyans to end up on Grand Bahama Island, so I am incredibly grateful to have set a footstep on this part of the world.
One of the most memorable meals we ate in Grand Bahama was freshly caught and fried grouper, from Billy Joes Beach Bar on the west end of the resort. This humble shack is more than 40 years old, and still surviving. The clean, moist taste of the grouper fried to perfection eaten with chunky, fresh fries is still vivid in my mind. I also tried conch, a local delicacy that tasted a lot like calamari, but not being a huge fan of calamari I didn’t enjoy the taste very much.
And the highlight of our trip to the Bahamas was swimming with a dolphin. We went out to a lagoon and got to swim and play with a dolphin called Andros. Dolphins are such gentle and loving creatures, and incredibly playful. The great thing about this lagoon is that it is interconnected with the ocean so the dolphins can swim out to sea whenever they want and are not confined to tiny areas.
I did not want to get out of the water! Andros was satin smooth and soft, a lovely grey colour and he had a pink belly! We got kissed by him too! Awesome! I have never been this close to a dolphin so this was a real treat and definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
We should have guessed that the intense heat of the days were a sign that a hurricane was nigh. Sadly our last day in the Bahamas was spent rushing in the rain to Port Lucaya Market place to make sure we got our souvenir shot glass and magnet, and a rushed breakfast before holing up in our room for the rest of the day, watching the rain sleet its way over the sea and beach. What a bummer having to sit on a tropical island in the rain! Having had five glorious days though, we couldn’t complain. We had indeed experienced paradise for a while.