Monday , December 18 2017
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Guess what? I Went To The Bahamas! (And For Free!!)

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Freeport (Lucaya), Grand Bahamas

 

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How about whilst you browse this article, press play (its a loop unless you press stop) to listen to some exciting Bahamian Music Mix….Yeeha!!

 

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Guess where I went for my holiday a few years back?. The Grand Bahama Island is the picture-perfect place for an unforgettable vacation. Families can go for swimming with dolphins, couples can treat themselves to a romantic dinner overlooking the ocean, and your friends can try their luck at the casino during a weekend getaway.

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Colourful map of The Bahamas

No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll love the island spirit and culture—especially during  their annual festivals and local events—and the variety of sports and water activities available. Try one of the many eco-adventures or check out local shopping districts for great deals on duty-free merchandise. Their truly is something for everyone on Grand Bahama Island!

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ucaya is a suburb of Freeport, Bahamas a city on the island of Grand Bahama, approximately 105 mi (160 km) east-northeast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Lucaya’s primary industry is tourism.

Major hotels and attractions in the resort are the Our Lucaya resort, which includes both The Radisson and Reef Village properties, Pelican Bay Hotel and the UNEXSO (Underwater Explorers Society) dive charter operation.

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Map location of The Bahamas

UNEXSO was the first destination dive charter business in the world and now features a dolphinarium as well as a variety of SCUBA diving charters including shark feeding dives. Port Lucaya is a popular spring break destination with the socializing centering on Count Basie Square.

Port Lucaya gets it name from the gentle tribes of Lucayan people who were the islands original inhabitants before the time of Columbus. The Lucayan Indians have all disappeared, but there are many places on the island that use the word “Lucaya” in their names.  So, when youre there you’ll notice theres only one PORT LUCAYA.

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Bhs_flg2FACTS About GRAND BAHAMA

  • The Spanish gave the island the name Gran Bajamar, meaning “Great Shallows”.
  • Our average winter island temperature is 71 degrees.
  • Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama houses the largest explored underwater caverns in the world.
  • The Bahamas National Trust’s Rand Nature Center is home to Grand Bahama’s only flock of flamingos.  Nature Tours of the beautiful native flora and fauna are given daily.
  • Our crystal clear waters around the island are full of fish.
  • Bone-fishing; Grand Bahama is home to some of the most abundant supplies of Bone fish in the Bahamas.  Daily bone fishing trips may be booked through the marina office.

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Now lets have a brief look around The Grand Bahamas, Freeport and Lucaya where I visited and stayed for my four days holiday!!

Hope you enjoyed watching this video??

Now how about a peek at where I booked and stayed for this holiday!!

AnimatedDolphin2Now for some photos of the Bell Channel Inn taken by me when I was there in the early morning after reaching Freepart airport from Miami, Florida, USA!. (All photos copryight of Josh Ash)

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The signage over the front entrance to the Bell Channel Inn
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A sideview shot of the hotel rooms as one climbs down from the front entrance
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Another cool shot for the Inn’s front entrance, phone booths and whatnot – corridoor to all the hotel rooms
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Shot from just outside my hotel room in the corridoor at the Bell Channel Inn, Lucaya, Bahamas
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The next beautiful morning shot from the balcony of my hotel room…ahhhh..
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A sideview shot taken to the left of my hotel room balcony
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Now how about some photos I shot at the Port Freeport, Lucaya Marketplace?

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Meanwhile if you love to listen to more Bahamian Music, click play on this above (its looped unless you click stop) and listen to more interesting holiday music!! (Make sure the other embedded player playing music is clicked “stop”!)

 

 

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boy_walking_with_bahamas_flag_hg_clr_1The Jewel of Grand Bahama Island, the Port Lucaya Marketplace is a shopper’s paradise.We are the only premier shopping, dining and entertainment complex on Grand Bahama Island.

This multi faceted complex has everything you came to Grand Bahama for and so much more. Features over 40 specialty stores and boutiques, 14 Restaurants, 6 Bars & 3 late night bars/lounge in addition to 3 Watersports operators. 110 Straw Vendors & Authentic Bahamian Craft Artisans designing their handicrafts that can be personalized at the customers’ request.

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Lucaya Marketplace sidewalk
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Is that a Subway???? When will I ever not see one?!!
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It was a warm sunny morning in Lucaya!
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What a shopping place without the iconic Harley Davidson eh??
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Visitors and Tourists alike settling down to enjoy the morning sun! Me too!!
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Arghh!! No more Duty Free shops for me!! I already bought enough epxensive Nautica wear and whatnot from the US mainland!!

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Lunchtime in Lucaya!!!

554748_origI decided I wasnt going to go for a Subway…yuks! I have had enough of those boring sandwiches/buns as I wasnt in the mood to feed healthy, well not that unhealthy..hahaha! Have a peek where I ended up right in the midst of Lucaya Marketplace after about one and a half hours of walking about like a headless chicken…..

Then I saw this Chinese eatery down a small quaint looking alleyway amongst a throng of small restaurants…then I said “Ahhh!..how about this place as I dont have anymore energy to walk anymore….its too damn hot….>>>>>>>

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The signage explains it all doesnt it?
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Lovely quaint little alleyway full of restaurant choices, dont you think?
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Where at sat on the porch of the China Cafe…..
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The opposite side of this alleyway…another restaurant! Looks more Western cuisine to me?
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Crowded now! It was probably now reaching well after midday and alot of the visitors and tourists were tucking into whatever they were tucking into…another view of this alleyway
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Another shot of the front entrance to the China Cafe, where I ended up for lunch!

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snooze-logo-squareAnimatedDolphin2So after a few hours of strolling around the Lucaya Marketplace and surrounding areas and getting some quick lunch, my feet were practically killing me so I decided to head back to my hotel (Bell Channel Inn and have an afternoon layback and snooze) and later on shower and head out again to this district and look for some dinner, yeah!!!. Its a real pity that I didnt have more days stay in the Bahamas but hey, this was a free holiday and not many I know of in my country would get a chance to experience a FREE holiday in The Bahamas, right or not??.

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AnimatedDolphin2NOW..when it came to the first evening in Lucaya and after a much need break and nap, I got decided after a nice shower of sorts to venture out in a local taxi to the Lucaya Marketplace once again as I didnt feel to good in venturing into downtown as its night..and mulled over what I should be seeking to eat for my dinner.

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This was my first evening here and I wasnt too aware what was available in the same area I had been earlier on in the day. So I walked, walked until I came across a restaurant that looked appetizing enough to venture in. Have a look at the some of the evening photos I shot once back at the Lucaya Marketplace around 6.15pm onwards. Of course, alot of the tourists and visitors earlier in the day had probably gone elsewhere or boarded back onto their cruiseships onwards to their next port-of-call as it was pretty deserted this evening when I returned.

After walking for a while, probably close to one hour, round and round and having a peek at the available eateries, I decided there was indeed one that seemed pleasant enough to walk in and look at its menu (photos below).

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The glorious sunset facing the ocean from the beachfront of Freeport, Lucaya, Bahamas

Now came to my choice eatery for dinner on my first night in Lucaya, Bahamas and some photos I shot walking around the Lucaya Marketplace around 7pm…

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One corner to another colourfully lit alleyway
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Looks like Greek food right?. With a name like Zorba, one would espect the second word would be “The Greek?” LOL!!
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Lo and behold, this is the restaurant I decided I would settle down in and get some much needed dinner…famished lah!
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Sideview of the ZORBA Greek Restaurant
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In the end, I actually got seated just behind this fler sitting right in front of me…and if my memory doesnt fail me, I ordered some Mediterranean Cuisine….wasnt in for the heavy stuff like meat etc.

The meal was not bad but as expected not as heavy as meals are back home…Asian curries and whatnot aint the heathiest food around to be honest. Greeks are more into salads, seafood and interesting sauces, soups and remarkably good tasting salad dressings. Couldnt eat that much, not on my first night as I was kinda tired after the flight, the earlier-in-the-day adventure. Sad I dont have any photos of what I actually ate!. Maybe I got tired ot taking anymore?.

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Can you find where the Bell Channel Inn is in this map? This also happens to be the map locaton of the Lucaya beachfront

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UCAYA beachfront has got to be one of nicest Ive seen in a long while and I do come from a tropical country!. Just have a look at some of the photos I shot that warm sunlit morning on the beachfront…

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Shot from above of the Grand Lucayan Hotel overlooking the vast beachfront of Lucaya
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The Grand Lucayan Hotel again
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Need I say more?
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Looking like a perfect day to jump into the sea dont you think?
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The beachfront yet again….
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Looks like more and more people will join in sooner or later…it still being early in the morning..
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A detailed map of the Grand Bahamas

AnimatedDolphin2After a full day on the beach and walking around the town, having a nice haircut too (costing me around 20USD..and yes, it aint cheap as compared with my country!!) it was time to get back to my second home at the Bell Channel Inn and sit down and have a drink before retiring for the night..it was after all sunny all day and as the evening set in, I could still feel the warm air blow across the beachfront all the way back to my hotel…not far from the beach actually.

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Then of course I ventured into the living area/bar/restaurant area of the Inn..and ordered something to drink (Non-Alcohol) before making my way to my hotel room…..and within minutes, straight to bed. I didnt really watch the local TV channels as it wasnt why I was here in the first place. Being a tropical getaway and paradise, the best one can do is eat, swim and enjoy the great weather. Its no wonder that The Bahamas are one of the most sort after holiday destinations, especially for Americans.

Its certainly better weather than what some of them have to put up with on the mainland barely 55 kms away from these islands. It ended up being my last day and I didnt do much on the last day as I needed to gear up, get rested and ready to fly back to Florida, USA on the morning of the fourth day. Yeah, I said initially it was four days and in a way its still true, just not a full four days…….

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opinion_09_temp-1373179328-51d90dc0-620x348I was indeed sad to leave the Bahamas as it was a much needed break from the cruiseship and I would have seen more of this island and the eco-adventures I would get involved in, if only I had a whole week I guess.

But it was quite an experience and I would do it again if given the chance!!

Farewell Freeport, Lucaya, The Bahamas…..until next time…:-))

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“Whats our next port-of-call?. Ahhh..it’s Tallinn, Estonia!!!

 

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