Island time is rubbing off on us. We took this trip back in September, and here we are barely posting it within 2014.
On incredibly short notice, our friends organized what turned out to be a ridiculously fun to trip to Long Island. Long Island is larger than Exuma, but has half the population. This leaves room for literally miles of empty beaches. John’s secret talent #7,805 is the ability to draw maps. Enjoy.
The practical/economic way to get from Exuma to Long Island is to take a boat. Either your friend’s boat, or the twice-weekly ferry on its route to Nassau and back. If you want to take an airline, you must fly to Nassau first and take a second flight to Long Island. Both of those flights are likely to be significantly delayed. Our journey was less typical; there was an increase of traffic to Long Island from Exuma due to a funeral, and we were grateful to tag along in the mayhem. John, Shots, and I shared an 18-minute chartered flight with some nonplussed Bahamians (because remember that dogs are treated differently here).
Saying you took a chartered flight can sound glamorous, but the rest of the journey involved a 40 minute, horrifically cramped car ride. Our mistake! We’re still in the Bahamas, and we’re still on an adventure, and leave it to us to expect that you’d be able to rent a car or get a taxi at the airport. We puddled in to the trunk of a Jeep Liberty with a cooler and a dog.
Like Exuma, Long Island has one major highway, going from end of the island to the other. Long Island is 80 miles long, and we drove up and down the whole thing. By the time we were headed back home, our Bahamian friends took over the wheel because John was too slow. John – by California standards – is not slow.
A notable stop is what is called the Columbus Monument, but which is actually dedicated to the native Bahamians who were the Lucayan Indians. Turns out we’ve all been a little misinformed about Columbus, and the Lucayans were totally wiped out by the explorer and his crew. I’m so bummed we didn’t get to go inside, but I believe Long Island Museum has Lucayan artifacts.
Over our time there, we had many pit-stops up and down the island for food, beer, and air plants! We found a literal forest of wild air plants, with the biggest I’ve ever seen.
One stop I will mention was the local Tourism office. They had a ton of info on Long Island’s history and current points of interest, and sell locally made art (yay!) and jams. Why jams? Like guava jam and sapodilla jam? Long Island is the source of some incredible produce, and also raises mutton for much of the Bahamas. Side note: the island also has a sponging industry that’s hanging on, as well as fishing and boat-building.
The most famous spot on the island has got to be Dean’s Blue Hole. For as big as these types of events can actually get, there is a huge international free-diving competition held here every year. We stopped and had a swim. I did not go in, swim over, or really try hard to acknowledge it because it is impressively scary. You really just need to Google this.
There was a lot that we didn’t get to cover on this trip. It is seriously the most beautiful place and there’s more heritage to learn about there. We’ll be back!