Friday, April 18, 2014

Eleuthera Trip, day 3


One of my favorite things on the island is the time spent very early morning waiting for the sun to rise and lounging on the porch in the warm breezes while the Atlantic roars against the rocks below.  Sunday was the day for LM and David to go bonefishing all day with a Bahamian guide - one of the highlights of LM's stay on Eleuthera.  I understand there was a lot of laughter and he saw areas of the island that few would ever see. There was a lot of bouncing down hidden dirt roads to deserted beaches.
That morning I took a nice walk around A & D's house to phtograph the beauty and all of the hard work that has gone in to carving out the coral hillside and make a garden.
Looking up the hill in back of the house toward a secluded seating area which used to hold a pretty gazebo, removed by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Sea lettuce loves the rugged terrain.
While walking toward the back of the house I met this furry fellow.
The door on the far left was to our room.
Flowers thrive and add color and softness.

The bark on these trees is so interesting!
Set to go on their bonefish expedition
Looking down the road...the stone wall on the right was built from scratch by David.
Stone wall close-up.
Looking from their porch toward the Atlantic.
Knowing the guys would be gone all day, Anne and I spent many hours just talking at the kitchen table. We could talk forever.  Finally by mid afternoon we decided we should get dressed and go out. I had a return visit to a gift shop in mind in order to acquire a few little gifts for family before going home. Everytime we'd go out, we'd have to drive by the herd of white cows which roams the mid-island area.  They are enormous and visions of hitting one are enough to make anyone slow down.  There were also flocks of chickens and herds of goats roaming the island.


On our return this pretty flower greeted us near the driveway.
Fishing stories were told excitedly, time after time. Notice there are no fish photos...they all managed to wiggle off the line just at the point of being caught.

This is Gersh, the amazing Bahamian bone fishing guide, who led the expedition and was a wealth of information and tips, and a lot of laughs, too. The guys really had the day of a lifetime.
Gersh took them to fish at this beach which looks across to the posh N. Eleuthera island called Harbour Island.  This scene broke LM's heart....this beautiful, once pristine beach, littered with ocean trash. So sad. They also got to many other beaches and fished til they dropped, at the cost of LM's feet. Big blisters from the sand in his shoes. Ouch. We worked on them with tea tree oil, lavender and vitamin E and they healed up nicely.
Another of the beautiful fishing spots.
 
The evening ahead would take place at the Front Porch in Hatchet Bay. This very sweet place, run by a husband and wife team, serves very fine food, and we'd reserved a lovely table on the porch, overlooking the harbor. The Front Porch only has 4 or 5 tables and the food is all from the island. All the fish is caught daily by the owner.  It was as though there was magic in the air. We arrived in time for a glorious sunset, and had some delicious drinks before dinner - perfectly and generously made by the bartender and story teller, Stephan. LM and I had one of his inventions aptly named the Apricot Smash.   I rarely drink so this delicious and strong drink was a heady treat.


There is a sweet little gift shop just inside the front door.  They have quite a bit of island memorabilia and, of course, my eyes went right to a photo of a mule working a garden, alas, not for sale but so interesting to learn a bit more about their history.  In times past Eleuthera had many, many farms and was very famous for raising some of the finest pineapple in the world. There are very few left.
The sunset was so much fun as we kept seeing all kinds of things in the cloud formations. This one seemed to be a mythical citadel of some sort.  The view is looking out over Hatchet Bay from The Front Porch.

Another beautiful shot
Just after the sunset I managed a shot that captured A & D's sailboat, The Nauti Knot.  It is the one to the left, above the palm fronds.
Love this!!
Many pieces of beautiful driftwood adorn the restaurant.
This was such a fun evening....

Beauty all around
Our table awaiting us.



Saying good night to this beautiful and delicious evening.
The next morning, first thing, my favorite fisherman, was back working on his gear and ready to hit the shores again!

HAPPY EASTER to everyone!!
We will be with Son, Jason and family and I will be so happy to have all 3 of my children together for the first time in years.
Anne is here from FL as tomorrow will find us all at a Celebration of Life for my first husband, Allan, father to Anne and Sara. He died very suddenly in early February.
LOVE and PEACE to all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sunny Warm Days

While a fast and furious blizzard raged at home, we began our first full day on the island to the sound of the palms rustling in a warm breeze, and the beginnings of sunrise, visible from our bed through the lovely door to our room. LM was lured out of bed by the smell and sounds of coffee and we sat with Anne and David on the deck and began to plan our day. We needed to shop for groceries so decided to drive a few miles south to Governor's Harbor, sightseeing along the way. Our first stop along the Queen's Highway (the only main road running N to S on this very narrow island) was to show us the view and the beach at Sky Beach resort.  Here we would have our first opportunity to put our feet in to the Atlantic.
While I made me way gingerly (gimpy knee, needing replacement) down the path to the water, Anne wandered off to one side through the dense sea grape bushes (close-up sea grape photo, below).  This vegetation has to be very tough to survive the beating it takes from the ocean and heat. The leaves are very thick and waxy and it grows everywhere on the island.

Destination weddings, coordinated by Anne's friend, Mish, of the island's wonderful Rainbow Inn, are often held on this site overlooking the Atlantic. It is breathtaking. 
Just picture LM saying, "are you sure you can make this walk"...LOL. My answer was, I WILL DO IT!!  and, I did! 

The Atlantic was beginning to be wild with huge rollers, as it was during our entire stay. All caused by the huge Atlantic storm that brought the blizzard to Cape Cod in our absence.

"OK, Mama, are you going to make it??"


They were on the beach way before me, but I loved every second of my slow walk in the warm sand.

LM and Anne.


I made it.....oh, that water felt so good as the sun was warming my skin.

David was such a great tour guide and he helped me every step of the way.

The skies were magnificent everyday - very dramatic.

 Sweethearts

After leaving Sky Beach, we were on our way to shop, do some banking and return home in time to prepare for the afternoon at Cocodimama Beach on the Caribbean side. Meanwhile, of course, each day started with a discussion of where we would have dinner.....being the foodies we all are, we wanted to experience true Bahamian food and ambience. More about that evening's choice as we go along. While shopping we stopped at a small Bahamian bakery and got some great local bread and sampled one of their chicken turnovers.  They had a most mysterious filling of ground chicken with an amazingly delicious combination of spices we could not identify. The pastry was passed around in the car with many oohs and ahhhs pursuing.  Anne pointed out that she has observed through her years visiting the island, that their baked goods seem to have a yellow coloring and we couldn't quite determine if it was the flour or shortening that gave it that color.  So delicious! 
__________________________________________________________________
Cocodimama is my favorite beach on the island, and also the beach most visited by Anne and David in their frequent visits to their island home. It is virtually deserted. It was once the site of a Navy facility during WWII and within distant sight is the runway built by the US Navy and now used as Governor's Harbor Airport.

While everyone else was setting up the umbrella and getting settled on the beach, I was immediately off to walk in this beautiful warm water and soft sand.

There seem to not be words for how healing it felt to be virtually alone on this piece of heaven, sun warming my body and soul.

Jewels sparkled along the way

I think this was my favorite moment of the trip - LM's first steps into the Caribbean, fly rod in hand. 

Well-protected by sunblock, my love spent a good portion of the afternoon casting and walking.  He was so happy, me, too.

At the right hand end of this beautiful beach is an abandoned resort....really beautiful buildings.  It seems so many people come to the island with grand ideas to run a tourist based business, but few last.  Friends of my daughter's do have destination weddings here once in awhile but basically Cocodimama Resort is no more.

David loves to climb on these giant pieces of driftwood.
We said good-bye to Cocodimama for a day or so as we wanted to go home and clean up before our Bahamian Dinner at Kel-D's in James Cistern. We did have to stop at Hidden Beach (very near Anne and David's house on the Atlantic side of the island) so we could get some photos of the rollers coming in from the huge Atlantic storm.  There is a long series of shots as the sky and the water were so fascinating.










Soon we'd had a little rest, showers, and we were off to have dinner. As you can see, this was a rustic little place. We were warmly welcomed and were soon enjoying some delicious food and drinks. We were the only non-locals, although I must say A & D have visited the island for so many years that they know everyone.
David

Anne


Looking out to the Caribbean from our table (there was a set of dominos on the table!)

Pure happiness, and  Bahama Mama drink, too!

Waiting for dinner....

I kept running outside to look, as sunset was imminent. The locals have lots of little spots along the waterline where they gather and have barbeques.  The social life in these little communities is so active.


The third car from the left used to belong to A & D....it was sold to a local. Amazing it is still running. Last time I visited, we toured the island in the Chrysler's luxury.



A Bahamian sunset!!

Looking out the door of our room toward the sunrise
Sunrise from the porch....

A little tour of the house. David often sits in the chair on the roof to watch out over the Atlantic.


Beautiful palms of several different types. I believe they are coconut and date palms.


David has done a tremendous amount of landscaping by cutting into the coral and opening up the property. Note his coral Christmas tree!
.
In a walk around the yard you can see plants sprouting up everywhere, even through the coral

Another sunrise.....Beauty all around.
Be back with the next few days.....I'm having a lingering health issues and am so tired at night.
Wishing everyone sunshine and Spring beauty. I saw a heartening display of crocuses in the village today at lunch.