#NoFilter. Needed Ever.Our Trip to Exuma Islands.
If you don't like 50 shades of turquoise blue waters meeting 50 shades of white sands, then destination Exuma should be nixed from your bucket list. There are no shopping malls here, no bus-loads of tourists crowding around to take a picture of any famous leaning towers and there is no fancy nightclub or restaurant where everyone is coveting tables. So, for those of us who can find their inner peace by simply sipping a Kalik, while their feet become one with powdery sand grains and there eyes are overwhelmed by striking blue waters, then Great Exuma Islands in the Bahamas are your destination. Just a hop skip and jump (40 minute flight) away from Miami, Exuma is heaven on earth.
Our first interaction with a local was Luther; our jovial taxi driver. It's a safe to say his affable personality was a true reflection of the Bahamians' essence, generally happy souls who love to greet anyone they pass.
The Grand Isle Resort; just off those cliffs below the surface of the water is a prime snorkeling spot.
Besides driving up and down Queen’s road, the only paved road on this heavenly island, the activities of our group included the usual beach explorations, snorkeling, drinking and fishing. What makes this location so unique is not the strikingly beautiful fluorescent blue colored water that must have been tinted by artificial food coloring, but the endless cays and sandbars that one can simply swim or walk to. At waist deep water, one can peacefully walk or snorkel along until you hit another piece of land, passing over coral reefs that are thousands of years old. There's no need to rent a boat to island hop, or to bring umbrellas or beach chairs. Just like the beer-commercial the palm tree leans gracefully over the sand and barely touches the water all while casting a cool shade, truly do exist. Once you lay your head on its trunk and let your sun-tired body sink 6 inches into the sand, it's not hard to see why life is so peaceful here.
Untouched, #NoFilter needed ever
No one in sight
Sand below water is never invesible
... and sand above water sinks so deep
What will disturb your sun & alcohol induced coma is not the sound of loud speakers from a nearby beach party, ‘cause there aren't any, but just the sound "whack… whack… whack… docked fisherman boats hammering open their daily catch of fresh conch for the local eateries. If you’ve never had one of those fresh creatures straight from the water, such as a macerated conch salad or cracked conch, head over to Emerald Bay Pub & Grill. There, you will meet the happiest young man named Latrell and his dad Stephen the proprietor. We first encountered them inside the island’s corner store where they told us that by the time we dropped off our groceries at home & picked up the rest of the guys, they’d have a fresh delivery of conch and Bahamian lobster on the menu.The son was also our happy waiter who kept us entertained as we waited for our food and may have even given away the secrets of his dad’s cooking.
A legit Bahamian conch salad
... that were alive just few minutes ago
The next day we took a fishing trip with a local fisherman named Garth. Apologetically, he said we must first pick up bait before we could be on our way. This stop, we thought, would be swinging by a typical "rod and reel" bait shop until we discovered he was taking us to an uninhabited sandy white island to dig for live crabs! Using his bare hands and a fast-swift digging action, we were given a crash course on how to find, catch, and declaw small crabs before they even think to bite you.
Captain Garth looking for sharks
Freshly caught bait crabs
After collecting enough bait on one of the 362 islands Exuma consists of, Garth took us on a very slow tour to bone-fish, track a couple of sharks we encountered, and collect giant starfish (catch & release, of course!) until we hit yet another most serene sandy white island. The ocean was just on the opposite end from where we docked, which was about a dozen footsteps away. We fished from the shore, drank beer, and swam while others simply passed out until they were surrounded by 32 pre-historic looking but very friendly creatures came around that just wanted to eat our food, not nibble our toes.
This was real, not a resort poster
Friendly, but will make you jump when you open your eyelids from deep sleep
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