Friday, March 24th
Weather: Partly cloudy, very windy and warm, with a few sprinkles of rain
Route: walk to the Fish Fry, take the #10 Bus to The Caves and back to Rhonda's
- a brief hard rain last night
- strong wind and rough water surface all day
- delicious fish lunches at Oh Andros Restaurant in the Arawak Cay Fish Fry
- catching the #10 Bus for a ride and an impromptu tour along West Bay Street to The Caves
- exploring the two small limestone caves then walking to the nearby shopping mall to use the ATM
- catching the #12b Bus back to our stop at Saunders Beach
- chilling for the afternoon, writing postcards and email, reading news, organizing our belongings and washing out a few clothes before leaving Rhonda's tomorrow
- watching a movie on TV while eating a small dinner and stretching
Hubby told me it rained briefly, but hard, some time during the night. I didn't hear it. Rhonda's sturdy little house stood solidly against the wind and was quiet in the rain. Given today's strong winds we decided to not swim at Saunders Beach, snorkel through the underwater sculpture garden at the Clifton Heritage National Park or ride two busses to the Harold and Wilson Ponds to see birds. Instead we enjoyed a relaxing morning of reading until our bellies were telling us that the cold cereal and yoghurt breakfast was gone. It was a short walk to the Arawak Cay Fish Fry.
The Fish Fry is more of a cultural icon than it is a place. The semi-circular driveway is lined with food kiosks, each trying to distinguish itself from the others in some way. Local working people were driving in to pick up their take-out lunches or enjoying a longer Friday lunch with co-workers. Rhonda had recommended Oh Andros, which was more of a sit-down restaurant than many of the other walk-up kiosks. There was some outdoor seating but we chose to be inside -- a cool (but not necessarily peaceful) respite from the wind and dust. After some discussion with our server, Linda, I ordered the spicy grilled Grouper fillets and Hubby ordered the fried Snapper, both with lettuce, tomatoes and fried plantains on the side. Both dishes eventually arrived on a pile of Bahamian rice and peas. Rhonda had warned us about the portion sizes -- they were huge platefuls of food. If we go again we would note the programs on each of the TVs and ask for a table in the area of one that was least annoying. The program in our area today was a reality show with people yelling a lot of obscenities at each other. This would be a good place to get out of the sun, drink a local Kalik beer (cold and wet but not that special) and watch people while waiting for your meal, which might take quite some time.
One clean public bathroom -- in a cute little pink and white house -- served all the establishments in the Fish Fry. We stopped there after lunch. The produce stand across the street was a good way to avoid walking to a supermarket for dinner items. We bought 2 small tomatoes ($1.00), a large avocado ($3.00) and a green pepper ($2.00), then caught the #10 Bus going west towards Cable Beach. When only tourists were left on the bus the driver's sidekick picked up the microphone and began providing interesting factoids about places we were passing. We left the tour at The Caves -- two small limestone caves along the side of the road. Local folklore claims that these caves were used by the native Lucayan people and as a cache by pirates although no archaeological evidence of either use has been found. We only went a short distance into the caves so did not see any Fruit Bats, but we smelled them. We did see a little flowstone formation as well as a formation that looked like crocodile skin.
The ATM near The Caves dispensed Bahamian money so we only asked for $50.00, enough for lunch and a taxi tomorrow. Walking east into the wind was not pleasant. We already felt battered after only a few minutes, so we flagged down the first bus to come along, the #12b, for a fast ride back to Saunders Beach and a short walk to Rhonda's for afternoon tea and chocolate.
Dinner was a bowl of popcorn followed by the veggies we bought earlier. Hubby added some cheese and crackers while we watched a movie. We could faintly hear the Friday night entertainment starting at the Fish Fry.
The wind diminished somewhat by midnight.