This Adventurous Life

A young couple exploring the world…and their 30's

Posts tagged ‘Caribbean’

Unable to spend an entire vacation just relaxing with our books/drinks by the ocean, Tracy and I rented motor scooters and picked a spot on a map. We set off on a mission to explore a little of a less visited corner of western Jamaica. So much fun and so memorable, motor scooters might just find a place in some of our future vacation plans.
Feeling awesome and looking ridiculous.
I am not sure our vehicles were quite built for the terrain we took them on, but they performed admirably. We survived dirt roads, sand, potholes, some brief off-roading and the dodging trucks into bushes all in one day trip.
Just as I had hoped for, we easily found our own little private beaches as picturesque as you could imagine.
Time for a snack out of the sun in a perfect little beach spot.
Happy to be off adventuring again. Jamaica, we like you.
We’ve arrived at the destination that we picked off of a random map…Little Bay Jamaica.  First order of business was to stop at this little fisherman’s bar on the beach and secure lunch and a drink. These gentleman were already through a couple bottles of liquor by lunchtime, however I think we caught them during a very friendly stage of inebriation.
We found a couple of fisherman who were more than willing to sell us a fish caught that morning and even prepare it as a little lunch for a few dollars. The “kitchen” may have been primitive but the food was delicious.
Tracy befriended this little local puppy which she named “Chef”. He was so amazingly cute and friendly that we temporarily suspended our no touching stray animals rule for travel. He was worth the risks.
This man is building fish traps by hand just like he’s been doing on this same beach for over 50 years. Nice guy and amazing to think he was here doing the same work back when my parents were driving around Jamaica on their honeymoon.
We kept thinking that Jamaica seemed quite like Africa. Both are lands of simple beauty, friendly people, infectious culture and heart-breaking poverty.
Little Bay, Jamaica is still known primarily for being a beach that Bob Marley used to visit to get away from the pressures of Kingston.  We could understand why he came, it was quiet and pretty and seemingly stuck in time.

This day trip was another reminder that is can be both easy and safe to get away from the well traveled tourist areas of any country and experience a little of the true culture and beauty so often missed in a world dominated by all-inclusive resort compounds.

1 Comment
I first ventured to the Bahamas when I was thirteen years old.  When I returned at twenty-two, pleasantly, nothing much had changed.  Grand Bahama Island has been my island of exploration thus far and, might I add, it seems to be a bit sleepier and more rustic than the popular Nassau.  First things first, the islands performed a marketing face lift in the last few years, and they were completely out to impress.  Artists, enjoy this candy…
Isn’t this one of the best territory logos you have ever feasted your eyes on??!!
Now on to our first “Flashback Friday.”  Grand Bahama is quiet with a splash of something for everyone.  Luxury resort, beach cabanas, land and reef protection, hidden beaches, underground caves or a casino.  We have enjoyed smaller resorts with snorkeling excursions, garden walks, deserted beaches, and fantastic cuisine.  Here I am with my then boyfriend (now husband) enjoying a massive beach all to ourselves.
You will be hard pressed to find more pleasant beaches with powdery, pinkish white sand and sand bars that extend as far as the eye can see.  Our stroll above was at a deserted beach we hiked to from Garden of the Groves.
A place you must eat at on Grand Bahama is Pier One.  Pier One is a restaurant an old friend tells you about, which looks just rough enough to keep the piles of obnoxious tourists at bay.  Jump in a taxi and say “the shark restaurant” to the driver, and he or she will know right where to take you.  Pier One is perched on a cliff (fantastic real estate but I think storms have forced a remodel recently).  It is recommended to have a reservation because they are that busy, all of the time.  Locals and travelers alike mingle along the decks and gawk at the size of sharks swimming around just below waiting for the feeding bell.  You make a mental note of how far away from the restaurant the reef you were just snorkeling along is – maybe 2 Km …but wait these sharks are spanning at least seven feet in length.  Note the strategic order of events: snorkel at Paradise Cove and THEN eat at Pier One.  Most importantly, the food is amazing.  Fresh. Local. Simple. Yet you wonder how they might get the flavors to combine in such a unique way.  One of the best Thanksgivings ever.
This picture was taken in 2002.  The 2004 hurricane season forced a remodel, which gives the restaurant a modern updated look and construction.
The next time I return to the Bahamas archipelago will be on a boat, hopping around to all of the other gems and finding more places like Pier One to grab a great meal and a few refreshing drinks.
Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this: