Our last full day arrived all too quickly. The last day is never one to look forward to when vacationing. Well, ideally. This is where I start to cram as much as possible so as to not miss any opportunities for fun. I have a serious case of both FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOBO (fear of better options). It was another full-on day of exploration, experiments, and one hilarious blunder. Rather than spending hours driving to the south end, we decided against visiting Lighthouse Beach. Many would consider this a sin since it is the pride and joy of Eleuthera and one of the most photographed beaches in the Out Islands, but the reward just didn’t outweigh the risk or the time it would take to make the drive down. Further, I had already added plenty of new scratches down both sides of Kean’s SUV, so I didn’t want to risk popping a tire on the 3 miles of 4-wheeling we would have to do to get to the beach after the 1.5 hour paved drive. It just wasn’t something I was ready for. Soooooo, we skipped out and spent the day running around central Eleuthera again.
Da Perk: This was an adorable café/coffeeshop located right down the hill from our hotel. It’s a popular spot for breakfast and has a great view of Governor’s Harbour. Definitely eat breakfast here.
Cupids Cay: A small peninsula protrudes from Governors Harbour and was the location of the first U.S. Consulate in the Bahamas in 1789. It is a teeny little settlement full of chickens and old island homes (shacks rather). There were some seriously amazing photo opps here. Tons of decrepit structures and vehicles that just have the coolest vibe.
Leon Levy Nature Reserve: I’m not into plants but it looked neat and was built by the widow of an uber rich American dude. They had a home in Eleuthera for years so she bought this property and turned it into a plant park. Forget the fancy terms “nature reserve”, it’s a plant park. But a pretty bad ass plant park I might add. If you’re into botany, it’s a dream. If you’re not, its still cool and worth a quick jaunt around. A nice young lady gives you an orientation about the park along with a map of the trails. They certainly put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and love into this place so I’d recommend it if you have some free time. The park’s office is nicer than most of the homes on the island. A little out of place but still a very neat experience.
Stubbs BBQ: I was surprised to learn that Kean needed to swipe my credit card for the SUV. He couldn’t just take my details down and charge it. So we had to meet up with him at some point during the day. He lives in James Cistern, just 20 minutes north of Governor’s Harbour and asked if we could meet him there. When I called, he was busy helping his dad bbq and asked if we could stop by there. It couldn’t have worked out better. You see, Kean’s family, owns Stubbs BBQ. I say “owns” lightly. They own a grill, so that qualifies as a business in my book. Every Friday and Saturday, the family lights the grill in their front yard, sets up some tables and chairs, and serves lunch. I read about this online but thought I was looking for a legit restaurant. Instead it’s like a garage sale but for bbq. Winning! Here were his directions to get there: “When you get to James Cistern, you’ll hit a few speed bumps, then turn when you see a sign on the left that says Tamarind Tree Grill. We are across the street with some red umbrellas outside.” Directions in the islands are provided based on features and landmarks. Addresses are few and far between and guess what else? You got it. No signs. LOL. I met Kean, he swiped my card, and we had a spectacular bbq lunch in his front yard. The cars really started lining up when we were leaving so we stopped just in time.
Leo Rose Bar and Grill: This might be my new favorite bar. It was a little depressing to be the only ones there but I can imagine a night with large group of friends here would end in one too many drinks consumed but nevertheless a VERY good time. Set right on the beach, with two bars, picnic tables, a putt putt hole covered in pine needles, a table and umbrella in the water, an elevated viewing deck, and so much more. This is like a bar playground. And we had it all to ourselves. But the best, and I mean the BEST, part about his place was a man-made rock pool in the water. Mind blown. I thought it looked a bit strange as it had a roof over it that was so low that you had to duck under it to get in the pool. So that was weird. I didn’t care, I was so excited that I just threw off my coverup and hopped in. I was taking selfies and just a grinnin’ from ear to ear. Even the rock seat was kind of soft from the sandy algae layer and the small waves were just barely splashing over the edge. I called for my mom to show her how amazing this was and encouraged her to join me. And she did. I laughed and said “This is the only hot tub you can actually pee in!” as I relieved myself. Since the ocean water was splashing in and out, it was just like peeing in the ocean. Drinking in a pool… in the ocean…and I don’t even have to leave to pee? High fives!
As we’re chillin’ in the pool, sipping our beers in la la land, my mom accidentally steps on one of the shells in the bottom. We agree that it was odd that there were conch shells in the rock pool but didn’t think much about it. You know those moments where your mind begins to connect some dots faster than you can actually process or communicate them? And then you realize in a split second that you’ve made a terrible mistake? <currently giggling out loud to myself as I write this> Well, we had one of those moments. I said “Hm I wonder if those are live conch.” Yyyyyyyep sure enough they were. And in that moment, that’s when I realize…..I’m in the god damn conch tank.
My mom and I looked at each other and lost it. I softly inquired “Are we in the friggin conch tank???!!!”. We couldn’t even control ourselves. “Did I just pee on someone’s lunch?” Sure enough. Count on me to swim, and pee, in the conch tank. Awesome. So my mom panics and hurriedly exits as I remain calmly frolicking with my fellow snail buddies. She walks up to the bartender and apologizes for our big mistake and he assures her its ok. He explains that it was built to be a pool but they use it for the conch (so they can survive in their own environment without crawling away). Thank goodness! But I sure hope no one had conch salad for lunch! I enjoyed another few minutes in the tank after the reassurance that we were allowed to share the tank with the future lunch meat.
Airport Beach: We pulled into an unmarked area right off the highway right near the airport that appeared to have a gorgeous beach on the Caribbean side. It has no name but was a fabulous place to take a dip for a while. There aren’t many beaches on the Caribbean side so it’s a great place to swim.
Kel-Ds: Another bar and restaurant in James Cistern that we hadn’t tried. It was about 99 degrees inside so we grabbed a drink, took a selfie with a local (he asked), and took our drinks across the street to a picnic table and watched some kids handline fish on the dock. Another guy had a conch salad stand at the start of the dock and there was an influx of locals stopping by for dinner. We enjoyed our drink while getting a first hand experience of authentic “island life”. Two potcakes joined us as we watched the sun start to set.
Tippy’s Snorkeling: I wanted to get one more snorkeling session in so we headed back to Tippy’s where I was told there was some decent snorkeling. So far, I haven’t really been impressed by the reefs here but I say that knowing that the best reefs are likely just a couple hundred yards offshore where the waves are breaking. After a long walk down the beach, I dove in with my gear. There are a ton of coral heads behind Tippy’s and I barely covered one small section in just under an hour. But it still wasn’t great. I did have a brief encounter with what I am now convinced was a species of box jellyfish. I knew when it was 6 inches from my face exactly what it was but I had never seen one in person. For the record, they are one of the most poisonous jellyfish in the world. Thankfully, I dodged it using my go pro but I was pissed I didn’t stop and take some footage of it. It was really beautiful and I could be showing you pictures of it right now if I had any brain. But anyhow, look at this beach!
Pascals at Sky Beach Club: Dinner time came quickly and we wanted to give Pascals a shot. Remember, this is the restaurant side of Sammy’s, the swim-up bar at Sky Beach Club. It was packed the night we tried to eat but tonight we were the only ones here. Let me tell you, this food was REALLY incredible. After a few days in the islands, it’s nice to have something other than conch, coleslaw, peas n rice, and mac n cheese. Everything about this place was just fabulous.
Tippy’s Bar: A night cap was required so we spent the rest of the evening enjoying adult beverages on the deck at Tippy’s. It was the happenin’ spot with live music and a full house of tourons. Restaurants and bars don’t stay open very late in Eleuthera (at least the ones we went to) so we closed the bar at 11 or so. Oops.
Our flight home was at 10am the next morning and we had an hour drive ahead of us so we called it a night. Hmph.