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116 Bahamas

116 Bahamas

His first lie was that Bay road went all the way around the island.  His second came out of his mouth in the same breath as the first, even the same sentence.  Two independent clauses of deceit punctuated with contempt.

His second lie was that there was no way I could get lost.  I paused to consider that behind me were 5 huge cruise ships each containing 2,000 tourists.  It was a pretty easy bet that today alone those tourists would be worth half a million dollars locally and it seemed unlikely that any place would build a tourism infrastructure that specialized in getting people lost.  That was a lie I told myself.  As for my portion of the tourism dollars, I spent mine on beer and a scooter, but not in that order.

“Hey man, Hey.  Ya you.  You want to rent a scooter?”

Keep walking

“Man you don’t have to rely on taxis, you can go anywhere.  To the nude beach where the girls take it all off man, you like that don’t you.  Or maybe you go to Atlantis?”

“No I’m good, I’m just going to walk around.”

“No Man, I make you a really really good deal.”

Ok, he had me here and I stopped walking and turned around

“What kind of deal are we talkin’?”

This song and dance of haggling ended up with Scooter, gas and insurance for the rest of the day, which was really only about 4 hours. Nothing about this seemed like a good idea, I have never driven on the left side of the road and the number one reason that people get airlifted back to Miami is scooter wrecks.  But it was a really good deal, I felt like I had won the haggle and I can’t turn away from a winning haggle.

Ok, take this ticket to the guy down the hall and he will get you set up.  The guy down the hall showed me the basics and then laughed at me while I was trying to fasten my chin strap.  He told me that I didn’t have to wear the helmet once I was out of the scooter rental area, it was just for the cameras and then he pointed up.  I told him that I really wanted to wear it, but it seemed like it was missing part of the buckle.  “Oh ya”  he said, “they are all like that.  You can tie it if you want.”  Then he gave me some, what I thought were, pretty easy to follow directions that when actually followed put you on a one way street going the wrong way.  I ended up facing down a line of minivan taxis on a narrow road, ya, I got to be that guy.  So bowing to the pressure of about 6 honking horns I tuned around, disregarded any notion that I was going to be following anyone’s directions and decided that as long as I was behind a car that was going the same direction I wanted to go, or thought I wanted to go,  then at the very least I was on the correct side of the street and that maybe I should tackle this task one thing at a time and task 1 was getting unfreaked out about being on the wrong side of the road.

So I followed a bus.  A bus that was going to the barrio.  I say barrio, but I don’t know if that is what they call them in the Bahamas, ghetto would work.  I rented this thing thinking that I would get some really nice vistas from a road that rings the island but now I was surrounded by trash that hadn’t been picked up, crappy little houses with yard cars and as a bonus yard appliances.  There were loads of stray dogs, and more than a few looked like they were still nursing pups.  Time to turn around and see if I can find this bay road and take my trip around the island while I still have time.

Found it!

Bay road is mostly the road that goes behind the houses that are on the seashore, so the vistas you get are the gates of the kind of houses that have names.  Let’s call them villas.  I got to pull off at a couple of small public beaches for a nice view, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had been lead to believe.  And then just when I started to think, “Where the hell am I?”  I realized that I wasn’t on Bay road any more, in fact I had no idea what part of the island I was on, what direction I was heading or how to get back and to make matter worse, I had stopped to ponder my situation, turned the scooter off, removed the key and now couldn’t for the life of me remember how he told me to start the damn thing.  Well, actually I could remember and I was doing what he showed me, but it wasn’t working.

Now I’m lost and potentially stranded trying everything to get this thing started, oh…. you have to squeeze the brake when you push the starter.  Got it.  Now to find the ships.  It turns out that retired Bahamian men playing checkers on the beach are a remarkably good source of directions and I was only 15 minutes from the boat.

I had a good beer some crappy wifi and called it a day


November 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. but at least you got a good story out of it.
    everyone should have a hazardous scooter story from a foreign country

    Comment by Owen | November 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. that was a pretty good adventure. Love your stories…they need to be published when you return.

    Comment by Mom | November 3, 2010 | Reply

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