Dispatch, Bahamas: Smile, you're on Eleuthera


 Before the opening of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace on Jan. 20, Caribbean editor Gay Nagle Myers spent a couple of days in the stress-free air of the Out Islands. Here is her second dispatch and her thoughts about Eleuthera.

A sign in the restroom of the Island Made Gift Shop near Gregory Town on Eleuthera reads, “Fix your face.” I thought it meant to reapply lip gloss or powder my nose.

Not at all, according to Jackie Gibson, senior manager of the Eleuthera Tourist Office.

“It’s just a reminder to put a smile on, take away the frown. No one likes an unhappy face,” she said.

Everyone I saw on Lutra, as the locals call the island that is shaped like a thin strand with a bend at top and bottom, had on a happy face.

A group of kids gathered on the front porch of the pastel-pink library in Governor’s Harbour were laughing and talking; families on small sailboats in the harbor at Cupid’s Cay were having a good time; and the crowd waiting outside a church in Upper Bogue for the bride and groom to emerge were joyous and celebratory.

My too-brief tour took me on Queen’s Highway, the two-lane paved road that runs the length of the 110-mile-long island.

When you travel south on Lutra, you’re going “up south.” Heading north, the phrase is “down north.” I never understood it, but that’s what a GPS is for.

Eleuthera sink made from tuba

Governor’s Harbour is the island midpoint, more or less, and that’s as far as I got, passing pineapple fields (the annual Pineapple Fiesta is the first weekend of June), small farms, clumps of love vines (which are boiled for tea) and palmetto palms (which are dried, plaited and used for baskets).

I stepped inside a 100-year-old house at Squire’s Estate, a group of six historical homes available for rent with furnishings that are a mix of Bahamian retro and Old World antiques — the sink in the powder room was fashioned from a tuba.

Later I rum-punched it at Sky Beach Club, a high-end, modern enclave of seven villas with an infinity pool that meets the Atlantic.

Then, that was it. Time to head to Nassau and get down to business. I knew re-entry would be rough. And it was.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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