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Eleuthera Trip Report 10-2007

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Hello all:

Just want to post a quick trip report on our trip to Eleuthera this past week.

Flights in and out of Nassau were fine. We took a connection to Governor's Harbor via Bahamasair and the short 20 minute flight was fine as well. I was very happy that the agent at Bahamasair would let us check in early (at 10am) for our 3pm flight to Eleuthera - by doing so we were able to take advantage of the 3 hour layover by taking a cab out to Paradise Island and had lunch at Dune, which is a Jean Georges concept. The lunch was fine and the first two Kaliks were even better.

My impression of Paradise Island was that it is a very commercial place, and a little over developed for our tastes. Especialy Atlantis, which sticks out like an eyesore. I guess large resorts are just not our cup of tea!

Naaman our car rental guy met us at the airport, alongside with the keys to our apartment, Oceansong. It is located at Rainbow Bay, and believe me, it is one of the most well-maintained houses that we've stayed at (we've rented houses in USVI, BVI, and Culebra). Very homey and everything is intact and in working order.

As with most islands, supplies are limited. We brought a lot of frozen steaks/chicken etc. prior to departing and was glad that we over packed in this department, as we found out that most dining establishments were closed for the hurricane season. We cooked all our meals in the house this time (for the chef in me that was great!).

We came to Eleuthera for her beaches and they were nice! We definitely prefer the ones on the Caribbean side for their calm, turquoise waters. Ten Bay Beach is our favorite. Saw numerous star fish there, and a sting ray too! We also picked up our first sand dollar there. Very cool, and not to mention a lot of conch shells to pick up. After this, we also liked Gaulding Cay and Alabaster Bay.

We also visited Tay Bay, Tarpum, Twin Cove, Club Med (French Leave), as well as Harbor Island. Not too impressive, but I think it has something to do with the hurricane season. The surf was strong and there was a lot of sea weed on the beach. Harbor Island was worth the side trip, as I really liked the architecture on the island. You can tell that there's a lot of money there. By the way, the book "Elusive Beaches of Eleuthera" is a must! But do be careful when reading the instructions/directions to the beaches. I went by the odometer of my jeep to the dot, but still found entry and turn off points to be less than exact. Be very careful on the dirt roads as we missed a turn en route to Ben Bay Beach and ended up stuck in the mud - we had to hitch a ride back to the gas station to get a tow truck.

The biggest highlight happened on our way back from Ten Bay one day. As we passed through the dock at Governor's Harbor, a diver just came in with his fresh catch. We picked up a whole red snapper (2 pounds) for $5!!! It truly was ocean fresh and we threw it on the grill seasoned with some Old Bay, Orange Juice, and Salt and Pepper. Delicious! There was a guy with lobsters as well when we passed James Cistern, but they were already spoken for. At $10 per piece, what a bargain.

Supplies are expensive there. The store at Governors Harbor had the most selections but we still found fresh produce in very short supply. Better off getting frozen veggies. Beer (Kalik) is about $40 a case. Rum is dirt cheap. Due to the "no liquids" restriction on planes now we only packed two bottles of wine on our trip. But let me tell ya, that bottle of 1995 Heitz Bella Oaks was tasty!

People say Eleuthera is not for everyone. I agree. If you want solitude this is the place to be. My wife and I got just that.

Ed & Peg

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