My journey down to the Bahamas began on Friday, as I opted to stop into Atlanta for an overnight and arrive into Nassau on Saturday morning, rather than take the direct flight from New York, since the timing of the JFK-NAS flight was not conducive to my work schedule, taking off in the early afternoon. I arranged to stay at the apartment of my friend Winnie's on Friday night, having used her place as a stopover already on two other occasions only a few months earlier in November 2018: on my 50th state weekend coming back from Tulsa and taking an early morning flight back to New York, and then a few days later passing through Atlanta on my way to Panama. I was up at 5am the next morning in order to get myself out the door and in an Uber to the airport for my 8:30am flight.
After a slight delay due to some issues with checked luggage not scanning in correctly with all the boarded passengers on the flight, we were off to the southeast to the Bahamas. We landed nearly an hour late, and being near the front of the plane, I was through immigration and customs pretty quickly before the onslaught of morning arrivals from other flights began to show up. I was out the door, dodging taxi drivers trying to get a fare from me as I was a man on a mission: find my way to the Shell station about 10 minutes outside the airport grounds, as there was a local jitney bus serving the main road just outside the airport taking people to downtown Nassau for a mere $2.50. Taxis would cost WAY more, and I'm an expert budget traveler.
|Mmmm... cracked conch!|
|Posing with our bibs at the expo|
|A humongous conch salad.|
|Race morning startline|
|Running through downtown Nassau|
|Crossing the Poitier Bridge|
|About to cross the other bridge|
|What a gorgeous sunrise|
Along the way, we passed a few aid stations manned by volunteers playing the Marathon Bahamas theme song on repeat - after awhile, it got to be ingrained into our heads! We also passed the early morning church crew, cheering runners on as we passed their congregations before Sunday morning sermons were to begin. As we continued westward, we got to parts of Nassau most tourists don't get to see - in fact, the area south of the street we were on was considered one of the poorest neighborhoods in Nassau, known as "Over the Hill." We stayed right on the boundary, and could see some of the neglect in the surrounding buildings; however, it was still pretty early in the morning - local police was out at the major intersections, ensuring runners' safety as a few cars needed to cross the route during gaps of runners.
Running by some volunteers playing the marathon theme song!
|Pastels of Downtown Nassau|
|Curving toward St. Andrew's Kirk|
|Passing the lovely pink Government House|
|Running westward on Bay Street|
|Seeing Baha Mar from afar|
|Runners coming back our way!|
|Finally made the turnaround!|
|Passing through Baha Mar Resort|
|The Office of the Bahamian Prime Minster|
|Baha Mar behind me|
|Heading right back into downtown Nassau|
|Customary 25 mile mark shot!|
Finish line parade!
|Cooling off on Junkanoo Beach|
|Amazing seafood at the Fish Fry!|
|Discovering Fort Charlotte|
|About to enjoy some local rum!|
|More drunkenness ensues...|
|Queens at the Queens Staircase|
|65 steps down. And we've had a bit to drink. Good idea?|
Our imbibements throughout Sunday put us down quickly that night, which was fine since early the next morning, Stacey headed out at 8am for the airport using a car service we arranged with our Airbnb host. I lazed around for a little while before getting my stuff together and heading out the door back to Bay Street in order to catch the local bus back to the airport. Budget traveler and adventurer, through and through!
The airport was a bit of a madhouse, but I made it through security fairly quickly and had enough time to sit in the Graycliff Lounge, using my Priority Pass access. Though not one of the ritziest lounges, I at least had access to getting some food before getting on my flight. My complimentary upgrade into First Class cleared just before boarding my flight, and we were back direct to JFK that afternoon. I arrived back in the cold January weather of the northeast, kind of sad to be away from the 60+ degree warmth we experienced in the Caribbean, but glad to have checked another country off the list!