Blissful Beach Road Trip

Sometimes you just gotta hop in the car and go for a drive to see all the sights the Exumas has to offer.  And we did just that.  We were already salty and crispy from the last few days spent in the water so we thought we’d just take it easy and drive around the island to soak up all the picturesque sights.    We started at the south end of the island and worked our way up the following (not in order):

Forbes Hill Beach – This beach is in the south part of the island just as you cross the bridge into Little Exuma.  As are most beaches in Exuma, it is breathtaking.  There is a bay side and an ocean side.  And the obligatory tire swing.  There were a few couples when we arrived but they packed up right when we got there.

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Salt Beacon – The salt beacon is an Italian inspired column built for sailors in the 18th century to mark an abundance of salt.  They would use the salt to preserve their meat and other perishable items.  The view from the beacon is just glorious and I didn’t want to leave.

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Tropic of Cancer Beach – One of the most popular beaches and attractions on the island.  This is literally where the Tropic of Cancer crosses the Earth.  According to Wikipedia (because I believe everything on the inter web), the Tropic of Cancer is the northern most latitude where the sun appears directly overhead at its culmination.  The turn for the beach was never marked with a sign but instead you had to find the two blue garbage cans on the side of the road.  Now, someone has posted a cute painted sign.  The road to get there is awful but I’ve learned to take Percy road, the road just before the Tropic of Cancer, to get there.  It’s certainly not a smooth one either but it’s better than the main road. I would caution anyone with a rental car to take this route as many a tire have popped here.  There is a little shack on the beach where you access the beach but again never used to have a sign.  Someone has now posted a lovely little sign for the tourists so they know where to go.  The curved beach is long and wide and overlooks two large rock formations (you could call them islands I suppose).  It’s really a great place to stop but I prefer to go to a more remote beach as their are plenty of them for everyone.

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Hooper’s Bay – Another great beach with a beach access right off the main road just north (east to the locals) of Georgetown.  THIS is where the turtles are!!!  I heard that you can feed the turtles at Hoopers Bay but I didn’t know where.  We walked the entire beach and saw two groups of people snorkeling near a dock and within seconds we realized they were feeding the turtles.  OMG!!!!  I HAVE to get there.  It’s definitely on the to do list for Saturday.  Like, I will NOT leave here until I get to see them up close and hold their little fins.  Eeeeeeee! The sun was going down when we finally arrived at Hoopers Bay so I didn’t get any pics.  Lots to come though with the turtles!!!

Man O War Cay overlook – Seriously, one of the single most scenic views I have ever laid eyes on.  This is not a marked spot but Rosemary drove me to this hill that overlooks Man O War Cay and I’ve never seen such beautiful sandbars and water in my life.  I wish, I REALLY wish, I could show you how amazing this view is.  I’ve tried to capture it below but it’s just so small on camera that it’s hard to see.

Santana’s/Santana’s Beach – This is one of my favorite restaurants and now one of my favorite beaches.  It’s an outdoor bar/restaurant that has a simple menu.  You order either lobster, grouper, snapper, shrimp, conch, or chicken.  That’s it.  All are cooked the same way and served with the same sides.  Just delectable and I crushed the lobster.  Buddy, the cutest laziest dog I know, used to live here but we were informed he passed away.  The story is much more gruesome but I won’t share it here.  However, Buddy had a son that looks EXACTLY like him and he is a sweet goofy puppy that will surely continue Buddy’s reign of Santana’s.  They call him “new” Buddy.  Heehee.  The beach at Santana’s is much more pristine than I remember.  Although it is fully exposed to the Atlantic, there are few waves and the water is crystal, and I mean crystal clear.  They have a few small sharks and large rays that cruise by every 10 minutes or so.  I tried, and subsequently failed, to get some underwater footage of them but they wouldn’t come close enough to shore and I certainly wasn’t rushing out to get closer to them as I was already waist deep.  With the lack of medical services on the island, I didn’t want to take the chance of losing a limb.  Ok maybe a finger.

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Grand Isle – We wanted to watch the sunset somewhere new so we headed north with no destination in mind.  And then it occurred to me that the Canadians we met the other day told us that Grand Isle has a nice restaurant and bar that is open to the public.  So we decided to stop in.  The lady at the gate was super sweet and let us right in.  The property (located directly next to Sandals) is absolutely gorgeous but I didn’t feel like I was on the island.  Similar to Sandals, once you’re inside the gate, you’re in another world.  And I don’t care for that so much on a vacation.  I enjoy the locals, the restaurants, the culture, etc.  But it was still nice to see such a beautiful place.  They even let us use their pool, their beach, etc.  So we ate some fish tacos, partook (is that even a word) in some beverages, and swam around in the infinity pool until dark.

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The bugs were getting bad and we needed to get home to change and get to Club Peace and Plenty.  That’s where the party is on Thursday nights.  It was hustling and bustling with more people than I have ever seen in one spot on the island.  They had a live Rake and Scrape band and people were having a ball.  I saw several familiar faces, including Shepard, Reynaldo’s brother Deon, the owner of the deli, Bahama Obama, and on and on.  I told you it was a small island.  Friday brings a full day of kayaking Man O War Cay and THAT my friends is going to be unbelievable.  Can’t wait to share it.

“There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of f*ck-yeah.”  Jen Sincero, You are a Bad Ass.

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