December 7, 2019

Andros Island (day 1)

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tiny plane we took from to Andros

The flight from Nassau to Andros was one of the shortest plane ride of my life. It actually took longer to board the flight than the actual flight itself, which was 12 mins from take off to landing. Andros is the largest of the 26 inhabited Bahamas Island. It is 104 miles long and 40 miles at its widest part with population totaling just under 8,000. Since there aren’t many people living on the island, everyone knows IMG_20170108_150831964everyone else. We took a taxi from the airport to our Airbnb in Calabash Bay. As soon as we told the driver our destination, he knew exactly who we were and where to take us. The driver told us, there is some construction work being done at the house we were originally scheduled to stay at and he was supposed to take us to another location where our Airbnb

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Our private little beach

host is expecting us. The driver took us to Dream Villas in Davis Creek. We could not be happier with our “alternate” accommodation. We got a beach front villa with our very own private beach. Sadly, during our stay in Andros, a winter storm system was passing by and we were unable to take advantage of our private beach. The temperatures were around 65 deg F with wind gusts between 15 to 25 mph. But, I was still impressed by the location. Parts of Dream Villas were still under construction when we

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great place to have a drink with some friends

visited. Across the street was a beautiful area with mangrove swamp on one side and a stream on the other side. When I looked more closely at the stream, I noticed there was actually a small reef there. Sure enough, I saw a few fish swimming around and soon, it turned into a school of fish. There were picnic areas where people can sit with friends, eat, drink, and hang out. I would highly recommend dream villas to anyone looking for a quiet beach front location in north Andros.

Since our Airbnb included two bicycles we wanted to explore the island. The only thing we didn’t count on were stray dogs. If you plan on biking around in Andros, beware of stray dogs coming out of nowhere, running after you, barking, and trying to bite your legs. The first time it happened I was terrified because I’m not used to stray dogs. There aren’t many of them in NYC. These dogs can run FAST and I couldn’t pedal fast enough to get

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If only the weather were nicer

away from them. One of the dogs actually scratched my foot and I screamed bloody murder which, apparently did the trick because all the dogs backed off. The next time we came across a pack of stray dogs I screamed again, and they again backed off. So, if you plan on biking in Andros, be ready to scream at the top of your lungs at stray dogs every few miles. The odd thing was they did not try to attack us when we were walking around. It’s only when we rode on bicycles that they tried to bite us. If I walked my bicycle past these dogs, they didn’t move.

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little bit north of MJ’s

As we continued biking, I got hungry and decided to find a place to eat. Finding an open restaurant was more challenging than imagined. There weren’t a lot of restaurants on an island with population of less than 8,000 to begin with. We did come across a restaurant called Get Away but it was closed until 2 pm. After a few more miles of biking, we came across a small store that sold chips so at least we got some snacks. While we continued biking north on Queen’s Highway searching for food, we stumbled upon a beautiful, secluded beach in Staniard Creek (check out my instagram page for pics/videos). The water was pretty turquoise color and we were the only people on the beach. It would have been perfect if it weren’t so windy (and I wasn’t so hungry). I took a break from bicycling to enjoy the peaceful beach.

1488856699051After riding our bicycles a little bit further, we saw Great House Restaurant and Bar, but that too was closed. While we continued searching for food, we met some people from Forfar Field station. They told us we’ll probably get food at a place called MJ’s. Just our luck, the kitchen at MJ’s was closed. But, when we told them we bicycled from Davis Creek, they were extremely helpful. A wonderful woman behind the counter called some other restaurant and asked them to send us baked and fried fish with rice and beans. In about 10 mins a car pulled up with our food. We got a few drinks, ate the fresh fish while enjoying the view. Everyone at MJ’s told us we should stop by Rainbow blue hole on our way back to Davis Creek. After lunch we biked a little bit more north before turning around.

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easy to miss this sign, especially when driving

On our way back, we stopped by Rainbow blue hole based on the advice given to us by wonderful people at MJ’s. The sign for Rainbow blue hole is small and easy to miss, especially if you are in a car. There is also no place to park nearby. The blue hole is actually about a 1.5 mile hike off Queen’s Highway. The hike is very rocky and narrow which made it very difficult with a bicycle. Eventually, about a mile into the hike, I decided to leave the bike on the side hoping it won’t be stolen. Along the hike there are different kinds of trees and if you are into botany, this is a great experience. Once again, we were the only people at Rainbow blue hole. We took off our shoes, soaked our feet in the water, took some pictures, saw some guppies

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at Rainbow blue hole

swimming around near the edge, and relaxed. Blue hole is underwater caves formed by slow chemical erosion of limestone bedrock. If I were a strong swimmer, I would definitely have gone in for a short swim. I also wish I had gotten my scuba license so I could explore the underwater cave system.

On our way back, I picked up my bike and we headed back to Davis Creek. After biking all day I was drained but I knew 2-3 different packs of stray dogs lay ahead on our way back. Thankfully, we only came across one pack of stray dogs and I started screaming early. Once we got back, all I wanted to do was have a few drinks, eat conch fritters, and call it a night. Biking 20 miles in one day was exhausting.

For more photos/videos, please visit my instagram page: Rupal’s Travel Diaries

 

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