I live in Freeport and I constantly find myself having to apologize for that. The narrative is that there’s nothing to do, but I disagree. I have friends who aggressively attack Grand Bahama in all her pine-tree glory, and even though I’m from Nassau, I find it really hard to not take it personally.

There’s one friend in particular who finds a way to invalidate every activity I partake in on the Island of Grand Bahama. Because I lack imagination and I’m pretty fed up with him ragging my good home, I’m going to call Steven Cartwright out by his full Government Name. This series is dedicated to you, mate.

 

He’s enjoying himself already

I’m almost certain that no one should defend a place the way I vehemently come to the rescue of Grand Bahama, but honestly, it’s my brand now and I’m stuck with it.

Image result for LIE BENEATH THE SURFACE HEI HEI

Much like Hei Hei, I’m persistent.

You’ve been fed the story of woe in Grand Bahama. A cautionary tale of an economy stranded in a Great Depression-like era.  Swathes of buildings long abandoned and exposed to the elements and all of that is true. I want to be as transparent as I possibly can. Grand Bahama and her citizens were dealt the short end of a pretty shitty stick. Grand Bahama was stripped away of all the things that its citizens thought made her special. Fancy hotels, glittering casinos, drug dealers that made money. You name it. But strip that away and what were we left with? It’s a question I feel like people are afraid to know the answer to.

The Shalamar Hotel is not coming back

 

I thought I’d attempt to take 10YS readers on a journey that looks beyond the fact that Grand Bahama doesn’t have an Atlantis or a BahaMar, and show how we can appreciate it anyway. So today, I’m taking you all to one of my favorite spots in Grand Bahama, The Lucayan National Park.

 

This may be a bit self defeatist; starting my series off in one of the least inhabited places on the island. But, to know Grand Bahama is to know that we honestly cannot compete with a busy city and we shouldn’t try. There are hidden treasures all across the island.

 

Driving along the winding road of The Grand Bahama Highway, far past the University of The Bahamas campus (that has more students than it does classes), you’ll eventually come across The Lucayan National Park.

Image result for lucayan national park

We’re civilized. We have signs here.

Named after the indigenous people that were murdered by the guy with a statue in front of Government House, The Lucayan National Park unveils a complimentary stillness to the island.

It’s a place where I find peace. Mostly because no one can really afford the gas to get there but also because it’s actually a serene place.

 

Spanning acres of land, the Lucayan National Park covers a series of caves, flora and fauna, and also the one place I’d claim as my own in a heartbeat: Gold Rock Beach.

Dubbed the “Unofficial Welcome Mat” of Grand Bahama, Gold Rock  goes on for miles with no clear end in sight.

Related image

Look at all of that serenity Steven

East Grand Bahama was actually home to  the first Pirates of The Caribbean movie. We even had the Black Pearl sailing off of our shores for the better part of two years. I get it, this is the perfect time to make a ghost town ghost ship joke – but the truth is, that ship represented a lot about what makes Grand Bahama such a unique place. A place that was once filled with grandeur; today, a shell that still holds beautiful quirks and unique experiences if you dare to take a chance and look beneath the surface.

 

Right across the street from this hot bed of yoga potential is Ben’s Cave. A cave that’s a part of a system of underwater caverns that people travel really far to scuba dive in. you need a special permit to actually dive in there, but honestly, I don’t have a death wish.

Image result for ben's cave

There is an eerie sense of quiet in this bat-filled cavern. And I know there are people that  feel like I’m a person that is perpetually on extreme sides of the spectrum, but this is a place that mellows me out to my core.

 

Grand Bahama is the butt of a lot of jokes, some even made by its very own residents, but the island has a whole lot to offer, STEVEN.

 

I joke and I kid but the truth is, going to places like Ben’s Cave makes me feel like I have something special to share with fellow Bahamians. I can’t always contribute to a Bread Man and Relly story, but I can suggest domestic places they can take their love drunk antics to.  So, I’m forcibly taking everyone on this rediscovery of the island I call home.

 

Next week we’re talking about drinks. 

 

 

Comments