san salvador bahamas - trip report

Nov 16th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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san salvador bahamas - trip report

Trip report – San Salvador Bahamas

It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips.
We got up at 4am & attempted to leave Portland, Me at 7:15am to arrive Nassau 3pm. Had reservations at the poop deck for dinner. We boarded delta flt & were immediately told to get back off. As a non-savvy traveler with no laptop I was at a loss. Gate agent said she would call us up & arrange alternate flt. Several men bullied! their way to the front of the line. When we were finally called she said she could be of NO help & that we were SOL. At this point it finally occurred to me to phone my travel agent. She had us rebooked in about 10 mins. We finally arrived Nassau around midnight. The next am we headed to the airport for 11am flt on bahamasair. We finally flew at 3 on an unknown airline – 9 seater plane. My cooler was left in Nassau, but was brought over the next day. This was not a good travel experience.
Garnell, the wonderful manager of our rental house, greeted us graciously. She had our rental car & gave us a brief tour of the “town”, then took us to the grocery. She also made a call resulting in Carol from da back yard (bar/restaurant) DELIVERING bottles of Baileys & vodka for us. We settled in, unpacked, had a quick swim, some drinks & chips & salsa (due to no cooler) & went to bed.

San Sal (to the locals) has food delivered every 10 days by boat from Nassau. (club med has their own boat for same) Boat day was the morning after we flew in so we went to stock up. The 2 stores are tiny. Plenty of canned vegeys, condiments, chips, cartons of juices. Fresh fruit was limes, bananas & a few melons. Vegeys were onions, potatoes, cabbage & a few tomatoes. Milk is $5.50 per ½ gallon. Thankfully we have done numerous cooler trips so had planned meals very carefully & didn’t need much. Due to the storm – Sean – the boat did not return while we were on island – 16 nights!!

After shopping we snorkeled in front of the house. Crystal clear water with good coral & plenty of fish including a southern ray trying to hide in the sand. More snorkeling the next am.
Then the wind started. Waves got bigger & bigger over the next few days & did not stop except one am 2 days before we headed home. Warnings were issued for boats & for rip currents. We never got back in the water. As the focus of the trip was snorkeling & diving for my friend this was a total disappointment.
From the porch on our house you can see almost 180’ so watching the breaking waves in the turquoise water was pretty. Over the 2 weeks we saw an enormous amount of sand shifted around on our beach.

So, we drove around a Lot. Found all 4 of the places Columbus is supposed to have landed. Saw some cool birds & lots of gorgeous tiny flowers. We went to the lighthouse – excellent view. Found lots of really pretty beaches & a resort I did not know about called Guanahani, which I think is mainly for kiteboarders but in a gorgeous spot. The island is still suffering from Irene damage. Roads are in terrible shape with tons of potholes, muddy & flooded areas. One day an amazing amount of sands & rocks washed up on a section of the road. The one main road surprisingly (lol) named ‘the Queen’s Hwy’ goes all the way around the island. We were unable to complete the drive due to large flooded areas on the north & southeast sides.

This is a challenging island. Simple & beautiful. If you don’t stay at club med or the 16 room dive resort Riding Rock you have to rent a house –there are fewer than 10 available. We had ‘the blue house’ & liked it very much. If you rent you must be willing to take most of what you will eat. There is no shopping or movie. You may buy day, night or meal passes at club med and there are a few small locals bars. We planned to eat out at club med and a place called paradis but never did. The locals are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. So friendly, welcoming, polite & helpful. Bahamian children are very, very well behaved. And cute as buttons! Lots of churches, all of which seem to have suffered Irene damage & are currently under repair. You really have to be willing to entertain yourself – and bring a kindle. Lots of bugs. Nice sunsets – watched for the elusive green flash every evening to no avail.
I liked the island but would probably not go back.
Oh I almost forgot – my camera broke immediately so there are no pics. My friends camera did work so I may be able to add those eventually.

All flts home on time & on expected airlines!
virginia is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,701
No pictures, yikes!
Shame about the weather, the snorkel and scuba is truly first class there, with not much else to do.
Did you make it out to Higgs Cay (boat). Amazing

I find the beach at Club Med to be one of the best in the world, stunning. The food at cm is also excellent, sad you didn't try it.

I do agree, it's hard to get to, and hard to want to go back. It's stunning and gorgeous, but definitely off the beaten path and not much infrastructure or anything to do, especially if the weather doesn't cooperate. (which there was a tropical storm above it when you where there)

Have you ever been to Salt Cay? I really think that was made for you!
blamona is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 04:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
great report many out islands are boring to me after 1-2 das

flew my own plane out there years ago stayed at

Riding Rock... flat as a pancake beaches pretty otherwise not

Better than Pittstown Point Crooked island though

where mossies and sand fleas are a giant problem. my fav

Harbor Island is beautiful and very touristic
qwovadis is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Oh, Virginia, I'm sorry to hear you had such an uneven trip--and believe me, I understand the loss of your camera! But I'm glad you were able to make the best of it. Thanks for taking the time to report.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
sounds disappointing, sorry to hear the weather tanked the snorkeling -- the weather was bad for 2 straight weeks? I heard weather in Belize for much of December was also rainy and terrible.

Was biking around not possible because the roads were so messed up?
fishee is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
No photos .... maybe i can help, just uploaded 150 something photos of San Salvador. Check it out, paste and copy !
SanSal is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Sorry about the weather and other mishaps but sounds like you made the best of it. Enjoyed reading your report. Thanks for posting.
mnag is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2014, 05:55 PM
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sansal, it was fun to look at your photos. loved the ones with the cool pool and giant waves.
virginia is offline  

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