Let’s get to the most important part right away: Sky Juice.
Seriously. So good.
So after I’d walked up the Queen’s Staircase, I headed over to Fort Fincastle. It overlooks the eastern approach to New Providence, Nassau, and Paradise Island (not to mention the infamous Atlantis).
After that, I had a few places in mind but no specific plan, so I unfolded my trusty map and decided to walk in the direction of the fish fry. (Fish fry, FYI, is Nassau’s famous strip of seafood restaurants. Right on the ocean, with more options than you could ever attempt to choose from. When you head there ask a local to direct you to their favourite haunt.)
As I was wandering down through the mostly empty downtown Nassau suburbs, I bumped into a group of twenty-somethings. I’d seen them earlier (near the pirate museum, I believe), so I waved and they called me over. Turns out we were a few short blocks from a rum distillery. They invited me to join them for a tour and, naturally, I said yes.
The tour was a bit lacklustre, but the grounds were beautiful and the rum, tasty. My new friends were a group of cousins from New York and Toronto taking a family vacay together. I surreptitiously told them I was here with friends who didn’t feel like sightseeing today; (mostly true.) After siphoning as much free rum as we could, it was time to head to the fish fry. We walked straight down to the water and, in the stifling heat, decided to take a pause before turning left. Thankfully we did, because that’s when Sky Juice was discovered. (See above.)
Something I hadn’t done enough of in my previous travels was ask the locals for tips. That, and take pictures of food; (yes, I’m part of that 50% percent.) Often times what the guide books recommend and what the locals suggest overlap, but it’s always worth it to ask. (Sky Juice was recommended by several different people.)
Speaking of suggestions, I knew I had to try conch while I was in the Bahamas. The book I mentioned in the previous post, An Embarrassment of Mangoes, told, in great detail, the joys and pains of eating conch. Thankfully I didn’t have to eat it myself — it requires a great deal of pulling to get it out of the shell and a great deal of beating (to tenderize) once it’s set free.
I selected the cracked conch and it was flippin’ delicious. It’s very similar to calamari, but even better — more tender, more flavourful. If you ever get the chance, you must try it.
(Disclaimer: you probably won’t have much luck at the resort. I had the same problem finding Mexican food in Cabo. They have a sushi restaurant, a steakhouse, fine French dining, but only one tiny hole in the wall for Mexican food! What up? As such, I couldn’t find any conch dishes at any of our resort’s food establishments… They did, however, have fantastic thin crust pizza.)
Then, half-cut on Sky Juice and full of conch, it was time to bid adieu to the cousins and head back to the resort. I hopped on another bus (they’re always whizzing by) and was back with plenty of time to lounge around in the pool and get ready for a big dinner out.
Bahamas, you were swell.
I don’t know how feasible it would be to travel around the Caribbean on a budget* but I do hope to make it back before I’m 50. It would be incredible to spend some time island hopping — or sailing, (after I get over my fear). Grenada in particular is calling to me.
It’s a beautiful place; and, though, despite it’s proximity to the States, it didn’t feel overrun by tourists or bereft of culture. Sure there were a lot of pander-y shops — I didn’t even mention the work day spent wandering around the hella touristy area; but if you look a little further, there’s a lot of authenticity and stunningly beautiful sights to be found.
*Budget: A personal travel guideline for the foreseeable future.