Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Freeport, Grand Bahama Islands: Day 4

Upon arrival in Freeport, we were told that there isn't much to do at the port, so Carnival strongly advised booking some type of excursion. Good thing we picked one a few weeks before.

We chose the Jeep Adventure. Let me tell you, it was an adventure.

We took a couple of quick pictures in the port, which was being renovated, and our group loaded into an air conditioned bus.

It was actually quite nice. We got a really cool tour on the way to the place where they store the jeeps. The thing that threw us off a little bit was the fact that in the Bahamas, they drive on the left side of the road. We had to be prepared.

We arrived, and all the jeeps were lined up. Tony, our tour guide, told us to pick a jeep and buckle up. It was so hot and all the jeeps were topless, so we quickly busted out the sunscreen for us totally pale Americans. A woman came by each jeep to take our lunch order and assured us that in a couple of hours, we would be stopping in the Garden of the Groves to eat.

Can you guess which jeep was ours? Hint: it's the purple one.

Each jeep had a CB radio in it that our tour guide communicated with us on. We all got in a row, got on the left side of the road, said a prayer, and took off.

They took us to Millionaire's Row, where people owned real estate on both sides of the road. On the left, you owned a home that backed up to the ocean, and on the right, you owned a home that backed up to a canal. Weird!

We drove around through the Lucaya Market, making sure that we stayed on the left side of the road through all the round-a-bouts. Josh busted out with "Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament!" It was hilarious!

We drove through the Palm Forest and learned that there were only 4 types of non-poisonous snakes and raccoons on the island.

We drove to a beautiful, isolated beach on the southern side of the island.

We drove out on a rocky jetty that was about a car and a half wide and ended at a place called Chloe's Point. One of the members of our tour walked out into the water and found a huge starfish! The water looked like it had been filled with various colors of blue and green food coloring. It was just too gorgeous for words. I sat on a rock and just zoned for like 5 straight minutes, trying to burn the beauty into my mind forever.

Then we finally made it to the Garden of the Groves, starving, thirsty, and hot. We saw birds, flowers, waterfalls, just beauty that was indescribable. Jansen found a lady in a hut selling conch shells and he just had to buy one. He also used his money to buy his Nana a lovely little beaded necklace that he thought she would like because, "it's a gift from the heart."

We finished up our tour on a really crowded beach. Honestly, at that point, we were all done with the tour. It had been like over 5 hours, and we were just ready to take showers. We sat on a bench watching people make conch salad the whole time we spent at the beach. It was still good.

On the way back, it started sprinkling just the slightest bit as we got back into the bus.

We got back on the boat really quickly again, and showered immediately as we had reservations for dinner at Cucina del Capitano on the boat.

This is what the kids did the whole time....

That night was also New Year's Eve. Neither one of my kids have been able to stay up for this in years past, so they were very intent on going to the party in the lobby. Carnival was planning a balloon drop at midnight. It was well worth it!

It was another day for me to sit on the balcony with my ipod and just thank God for blessings. I simply cannot believe that there are places that exist on this earth that are stunning to the point of tears. I love that time on the ship. Just me, the ocean, my thoughts, and some music. It truly is a blessing!

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