Cruising, Part 2: The Bahamas

This was our first stop. We only had from 7am to 1:30pm to explore. We had no excursions planned, we simply walked off, and starting looking around town. There are many shops right by the pier, from the straw market and tourist souvenirs to high-end luxury brands, screaming out their “Duty-free” status.

One of the main streets. They were setting up for the Junkanoo Carnival.
One of the main streets. They were setting up for the Junkanoo Carnival. 

There’s a public beach about a 10-minute walk from there, and as we weren’t sure where else to go, we headed there.

beach
The beach, featuring the type of boat I’d much rather sail around the Caribbean.

Junkanoo Beach is a small strip of beach with a few bars and vendors, and people willing to put out seats for us. We declined. It was early, and there was only another couple on the beach, setting up for their day of lounging. We weren’t looking to swim, and were not dressed for it, so we shortly moved on.

 

Exotic attractions, like stairs with no railings!
Exotic attractions by the beach, like stairs with string for a railing!

We really had no plan, so I decided we were going to to go the zoo. The men, having no better ideas, followed.

I felt like a very experienced traveler, as we walked down the street, frantically looking for a taxi. We all turned and stared at every car that drove by. Eventually, my step-brother-in-law managed to flag down a bus. As he was in a parking lot, and the bus was at least 30 yards away, driving down the street, it was impressive he managed to flag it. For $1.50 each, we took a ride over to Ardastra Zoo.

Since it was still early, we got there before the zoo opened. Luckily, they had a convient bench outside for us to wait on.

 

benchseat
This is the infamous bench. Sorry I’m blocking the view. 

Eventually, the zoo opened. Inside, we were greeted by lots of exotic birds on perches.

The evilest bird that kept trying to attack me when I was trying to get a picture.
The evilest bird that kept trying to attack me when I was trying to get a picture. He’s not a fan of tourists.

With the exception of evil parrot, the animals here pose for photos. Every cage we went up to, the animals came over to strike up some poses for us. Are they somehow trained to do this? Why else would they all want their photos taken?

animal
It looks just like my dog!
The most beautiful and noble bird.
The most beautiful and noble bird. 

We made our way around the zoo, but once we saw the food vendor, we had to stop. They had the most delicious homemade popsicles. They had bits of fruit on them, and they were amazing. A bit pricey at $4.50 each, but I would buy one again. As we were standing there, a white peacock came strolling by, out for its morning walk.

whitepeacock
“Top of the morning to you!”

Despite the loose parrots, this was when we actually realized that there are loose animals at this zoo. There were two other green peacocks, and a big flock of flamingos just casually hanging out.

standing with flamingos

We mingled with all the birds, and ooohed and ahhed over the other animals.

capybara
This is a Capybara, the world’s largest rodent. I don’t think the picture can show the full scale of the size of this thing. It was huge! 

After viewing all the animals, we decided to head back to town to get some conch. But first, we stopped back at the vendor and bought rum punch, because buying mixed drinks at the zoo is a thing in the Bahamas.

path
Dramatic foliage filled walkway.

We had to walk from the zoo back to a main street because taxis do not come by the zoo regularly. We caught another bus, and although we discussed getting the van driver to give us a tour of the Bahamas, we decided against it. But know if you do go there, you don’t need to book the tour excursion from the ship, all taxi drivers are required to go through some kind of tourism class to learn enough about the island to give tours.

Back in town, we decided to seek out the Bahamian special, Conch. This is basically the animal that lives in those big conch shells. There are many resturants that offer it, we decided to go with The Bearded Clam, because I was with 3 males, and it made them giggle.

bahamas alley

conch
Fried conch

They ordered both fried conch, and conch balls (cue more giggles). Everyone was very happy with the conch, and they were having 2 for 1 Bahama Mamas, so we were doubly happy.

We made our way back to the ship slowly, stopping at other bars who were also doing 2 for 1 Bahama Mamas. We finally stopped when our stomachs were hurting from the excessive sugar. Ah well, we don’t get very long in the Bahamas anyway…

I was going to make this one post, but it got too long, as I had too many pictures I wanted to share. Next up, more beautiful paradise islands!

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