Posted by Tni Newhoff on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007 at 8:55 am
Position: 25.0757 by -77.3133 map

Marilee and Jon arrived on Friday and we were so happy to see them! We spent only 4 days in Nassua…which is definitely more than enough time to experience it. It’s a “city” and while we were not thrilled at having to be there when where we really wanted to be was in the Exumas, we made the best of it and ended up having a great time. We went to the Ardastra Gardens which basically turned out to be a zoo. Typically I’m not a fan and end up feeling depressed but this zoo was quite good. It was small and the enclosures were large and more natural than your usual cages. The craziest thing were these pink flamingos (Bahamas’ national bird) who have been trained to march in drill formation responding to a drillmaster’s commands. I know this sounds bizarre…and it was, but it was also oddly really cool to watch. Other activities on our list for Nassau was lunch at the Ocean Club (a One and Only resort – beautiful, rustic chic, with the most amazing view and an equally amazing beach – great people watching), an adventurous dinghy ride (and when I say adventurous what I really mean is bouncing over the waves and getting soaking wet) to the beach for a picnic and snorkeling, a visit to the Cloisters (a 12th century Cloister built by Augustinian monks in France that was purchased and reassembled on Paradise Island), and Junkanoo. Let me just say that I wish that Junkanoo existed in The States b/c it is the coolest parade/ festival I have ever been to. Standing on the sidelines you just feel compelled to groove. Junkanoo, which originated in the colonial days of slavery was a day when slaves were allowed to celebrate their African heritage. The festival resembles Carnival and Mardi Gras and consists of a parade of groups (shacks) in elaborate costumes and masks, dancing and playing everything from drums to cowbells. Each marching group works on its costumes and performances all year long. The whole process is top secret and it is fiercely competitive as they vie to be the best “shack” at Junkanoo. The celebrations take place on both Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Years Day and both begin in the wee hours of the morning at around 1 or 2 AM and go until that afternoon. To see them perform – their grace, their rhythm, and their tireless energy is something truly awe inspiring.


One Response to “Nassau”

    Thanks for keeping the blog up: at least some of us are tracking your moods and routes. And, Tni: congratulations on catching quite a birthday fish!

    Here at Vinq HQ we’ve noticed that the weather in San Jose has been cooler (and windier) recently than in NYC. Swimming in warm Caribbean water sounds delightful.

    Meanwhile, if you liked Junkanoo, plan to park somewhere in mid-February where there is an active Carnival event. One site with some dates and places is, but I’m sure your new network will have more resources and suggestions. I’ve enjoyed parades (+music, +costumes, +energy!) in Rio de Janeiro (sort of off your route, these days), and Puerto Rico (many years ago), plus the Labor Day replay in Brooklyn, and the Memorial Day foggy version in SF. The tradition of transgression before Lent makes for a lively couple days of partying.


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