MITSUGIRLYS DAWN TO BERMUDA NOVEL (or review and pictorial as some may call it)
Day 4: Arriving in Bermuda, dockyard, Baby Beach, Horseshoe Beach and Snorkel Park
I set the alarm for 8am that morning. I know we weren't pulling into port until 11am but I was on a mission to try to get my battery charged (which takes 2 hours according to the people at the photo shop) and I needed every moment I got.
I headed out on the deck to check things out and IT WAS WARM!! WOO HOO. I finally felt like this was a cruise. My kinda weather. I sat around on the deck for a little bit kind of killing time because the photo shop said they didn't open until 9am. As I sat there I watched one of the ladies that worked at the bar area wheel a huge cart up to the bar filled with the large jumbo waters they usually sell as you head off the ship once in port (even though I never did see them when we got off that day). Anyhow...she went behind the bar and got buckets of ice, came out to her cart full of water and dumped the ice into it. HOWEVER, she spilled a bunch of the ice on the pool deck....AND PROCEEDED TO PICK THE ICE UP AND PUT IT BACK INTO THE CART OF WATER!!! Um, ok. Lady, do you know how many people have walked on that deck? You put the dirty ice back into your cart that's filled with (yes sealed) water, but the "dirtiness" gets all over the other ice and the outside of the bottles, which people will touch with their hands, who may end up putting them on their face or picking up food and eating. Just gross!! AND I watched this happen not once but TWICE!!! I had to walk away in disgust and decided to head down to the photo shop at 8:30am and just wait in the atrium for them to open.
When I got down to the atrium...the photo shop WAS ALREADY OPEN!! HALLELUJAH. I stopped and ask the worker about putting my battery on charge and they did. I told him I would be back in a few hours to pick it up. YES!!! SCORE!!! At least I would have a battery for the day.
I headed back up to the room to wake the family up for breakfast and we headed to Aqua this time for breakfast at 9:15am....of course with no camera. So no food porn. We (Sakari and I) had waffles, bacon, and hashbrowns. The hubby ordered eggs benedict, bacon and coffee. I gave him a :eek: look at didn't say anything. They brought his coffee, which ended up being cold. Yikes! Hubs + cold coffee = not a happy morning person. He flagged down the waiter and told them the coffee needed to be replaced and they quickly did. Our food came out and he looked at his eggs benedict and was like um....is this what this stuff is? LOL He didn't eat it and I knew he probably wouldn't. He had no idea what it was and it was kinda funny. He's not a big morning eater person, so he was just happy with his coffee, which was now hot.
One thing that I have always said is NCL goes above and beyond when it comes to cleaning. Like I've said before, sometimes if you go to get a drink, you'll come back and your plate is GONE! If you turn your head, you better keep one eye on your plate because they'll swoop it away in the blink of an eye. It's great they try to keep things cleaned up but sometimes there comes a point and time that it gets a little annoying. It starts to feel like they are rushing you to finish. This would be one of those times. I swear they were taking plates away before we were even finished...or at least putting their hand on the plate saying "finished?" while we were still shoveling the food in our mouths. This cruise got so bad with them doing this that the hubby got a little perturbed with it and said he'd rather them leave all the dishes on the table until we got up and left it was getting so annoying.
Once we finished eating, we caught up with Kendra, I headed up to pick up my battery and we decided to head to our rooms and pick up our beach bags and head down stairs. They were making announcements, but we couldn't exactly tell what they said. I honestly hate that you can't hear anything when you are in your stateroom.
It was 11am and we had been in port for a little while so we headed down to deck 4 on the elevators. When the doors opened, there were 2 other elderly couples and another family with a child there. Once we got off the elevator (our party of 8) the worker there started flipping out. He kept saying "there's way too many people here, you all need to go up to deck 7 to wait for the announcements" I said "Didn't they just make the announcement?" (Remember I couldn't hear bc we were in our room). He said "No, it's not time and there's just wayyyyyy too many people here and you shouldn't be here." Um, there were 15 total people...in the entire huge area. Seriously? We all kinda looked at each other like guy...chill out. So then the guy said "You can't get off here anyhow and need to go to the middle in order to get off". Whatever dude, we will leave so stop getting your undies all twisted up but I can tell you that I SEE the sign RIGHT BEHIND YOU that says "Gangway this way".
I can tell you that not one other person moved from the area but we went ahead and obliged so the guy didn't have a heart attack and went up to the atrium area where the herds of crowds were. Can you say "no people skills and rudeness?"
So yes, remember my OCD planning skills? Well prior to coming I had completely planned out our day minute by minute with 2 different scenarios we could go by.
Since the Dawn comes in on a Sunday, you are very limited to places to go using the bus/ferry system. You can not get a ferry to St George at all on Sunday, so that eliminated that option. We could get a bus to the Southshore beaches, BUT they stopped running early and since the Dawn doesn't get in until 11am, you have very limited time any place especially when you factor in the time to get there.
We are beach people. I have waited forever to see these beaches. I planned on getting the most out of the day...even if I had to pay for an expensive cab back to the dockyard...I didn't care.
MY PLAN FOR DAY 1: (Yes this is a word document that I made with both plans and I'm copying it).
Now when you see it saying "use 3 tickets", I am talking about the tickets you purchase in a booklet of 15...which can only be purchased I believe in Hamilton, which is what we discovered prior to arriving in Bermuda. Once again, an AWESOME person here on these boards "donated" a book of leftover tickets, which were just the right amount for our time spent there, for us to use. Tell me this board isn't the greatest thing ever!!!
So, this is me figuring if I was going to use the tickets for all of us or just use 2 tickets and pay the child price using exact "CHANGE"...eh hem...we'll discuss that LATER! :eek:
Now people on here did report that you could purchase tickets on a trip there, if you didn't use them all then you could use them at any future returns back to the island...no matter how long ago it was. So, I believe this person was there in 2013 that gave me the tickets, so, I figured the amounts of us paying cash...just in case they had changed the rules and could no longer be used, which is why you will see a price listed.
Catch the #7 bus to Warwick Bay- Use 3 tickets (or 2 & pay $2.75 for child-adults $5)
#7 Bus Schedule:
11:20am 1:20pm 3:20pm 5:20pm
11:50am 1:50pm 3:50pm 5:50pm
12:20pm 2:20pm 4:20pm
12:50pm 2:40pm 4:50pm
Arrive at Warwick Bay (40 min) around 12 noon.
Take pics and walk over to Jobsons Cove.
12:00-1:30 Jobsons Cove
1:30-2:30 Stonehole (large parrot fish) to Chaplin Bay
3-4:30 or 5:30 Horseshoe Bay and baby beach
HORSESHOE CONCESSION STAND:
*cheeseburger $5.75 x3
*French fries $4.00 x2 = $34.25 ($40)
*soda $3.00 x3
Chair=$11.00 + $5 deposit =$32.00 ($40)
Umbrella=$11 + $5 deposit
Catch the shuttle back up the hill at Horseshoe $2pp = $6.00
4:50pm Catch LAST bus back to dockyard.-Use 3 tickets (or 2 & pay $2.75 for child) Back to dockyard at 5:30pm
SHUTTLE TIMES BACK (from Hamilton):
3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30
(Or take a taxi back whenever for $50)
$7.90 first mile,
$2.75 2-10th mile
(total of 10 miles)=$32.65 + 25% Sundays $8.16=$40.81 TOTAL plus tip
Play putt putt that evening-open until 10pm
Adults $15.00 Children 12 & under: $12 =$42.00
Adjacent to snorkel park through the common archway
So this was our plan for the day after months and months of planning. I KNEW for a fact this was a "must see, must do" for the day (the beaches).
We just tried to find things to occupy our evening hours each night and prior to the cruise we had decided that evenings were going to be "adult" time without the little ones. I have never dropped Sakari off to the kids club during a port day. But I felt this was a little different and we all agreed that it would be the plan each evening for the cruise.
I went back and forth with watching the sunset at either Black Bay or sea glass beach (decided not to bc the buses stop running early which meant we would have to walk on the narrow dangerous streets at night). We thought about going on a sunset sail, but figured we could watch the sunset ourselves and save $$ by doing it somewhere else on a beach. We thought about doing the night sail to the "bermuda triangle" something or other with the glass bottom boat. But I read reviews and people were a little unhappy with it and it just sounded pretty corny.
So for the first night...we had decided on going to play putt putt. Easy to walk to and something to do.
HOW DO YOU ALL THINK OUR PLANS FOR THE DAY PANNED OUT??? Coming up next....our actual day. :p
So a little about Bermuda to help with your planning needs before we get down to business. These are some of the things I used to help plan.
HERE is a link that has a wealth of information on it. I'm informed that it's not an "official" Bermudian that runs the site, so it might not be "up-to-date" with things, but it does help give you ideas of things to see, places to go and so on. I found it very helpful in my beginning stages of planning to get an idea of where we'd like to go and then I researched additional information after that to narrow things down. (http://www.bermuda-attractions.com/)
If you want maps and brochures THIS is the place to get them. It's an official Bermuda website with tons of information. (http://www.gotobermuda.com/get-here/maps-and-brochures/) Poke around the site for just about anything you could want to find out about Bermuda and it's there.
I used several maps to "learn" my way around the place. I did so much research, looked at so many maps that I felt like I had already been there.
Awesome map of the dockyard
I used this map to determine what bus route I would be using to various places:
I was completely fretting over the weather forecast for the time we were to be docked in Bermuda. Every day I checked it faithfully. Every day it called for rain and thunderstorms. I watched the cam at the dockyard and would see it raining or people posting that it was raining. I was really getting worried. I know that people will come back and complain that they had a crappy cruise and the weather was raining or whatever and people just tell them to "suck it up" you can't predict the weather. Of course you can't, but I can tell you first hand, it does put a damper on how you view things. I won't let it ruin my vacation, but it is a bummer when it happens and the entire mood is just not the same. I empathize with these people every time.
So...if you want to know about the climate and weather in Bermuda...look at the above link to at least see what is "average" for when you plan on going.
If you are a stalker like I am, you'll want to spend time viewing the dockyard webcam and watch the ships come in and out. I have to say it was quite interesting to see the Dawn docked back at the dockyard when they had the problem and hit the reef. I watched the divers go down and do the inspections/repairs while listening to the goats to "baaaaa" in the speaker from the governors house. LOL HERE is the link to the webcam. (http://portbermudawebcam.com/)
If you are one of those people that have to stay connected while on vacation, you can purchase a wifi pass for up to the 3 days for only $15.
Ok, that's everything I have (for the moment), it should keep you busy when planning. I will included additional information during the actual review because it will pertain to the places we went. :D
I had planned to get off the ship and head straight to the buses without stopping because I knew that the very first bus after the time that we were to arrive would be at 11:20 according to the #7 bus schedule (remember it is Sunday).
I knew in advance that I already had the tickets, so I would not need to stop and purchase any passes/tokens or anything and there was no time to spare. However, Kendra and the rest of her family did not have tickets. We discussed this prior to going and knew that if you purchased tokens you could do so for $4.50 pp for adults and $2.75 for children. IF you decided not to purchase the tokens and had the correct change then you could just pay the full price for adults...which is ONLY .50 more=$5.00. I mean come on, is it really worth it to spend time standing in line to buy a token to save .50? It's not to me. It's a waste of time. So, we all agreed ahead of schedule that she would just pay cash (and I would too if my tickets did not work).
NOW LET ME START BY SAYING THIS... to US, here in Ohio, when you are told to have the "exact change" it means have the correct AMOUNT. It means an amount that won't require someone to hand you money back. I don't know what the rest of the world is like, but when I was told over and over by people on these boards that if you have the correct change you were allowed to ride the bus. Change meaning the exact amount, not CHANGE as in all coins!!!!! UGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! More on this in a few....
Number 1 complication coming up...
They did not let us off the ship (cleared customs) until 11:25. Yes, our "plans" were already off track. We had missed the first bus out of the dockyard and now everything just decided to go down hill from there.
Of course since we were sent up to the atrium to wait on these announcements (which of course would come as soon as we got up there), we were in a sea of people trying to get off at the same time as well, which meant a very long line with a lady in front of us with a walker that was screaming at the top of her lungs the entire time to the point that some of the crew members thought a fight had broke out at one point.
When we made it to the 4th floor standing in line close to the elevators, one of the crew members was standing there and she had the nerve to tell everyone "You can exit off the other end, just head that way"...which is where we were the very first time around and was told you could not get off there. Of course half of the herd took off running that way and I just shook my head knowing that we were standing right here by the exit and she was not going to fool me into walking the length of the ship to another exit only to be caught in that line as well. I politely told her "the person down on that end actually sent us this way and said we could not get off there" She was down right RUDE responding several times, "Oh yes you can, go that way to get off" and some other rudeness came out of her mouth, which kinda ticked me off. Once again I told her with a little more attitude this time around "Well, maybe they shouldn't be sending people this way saying you can't get off there then" She yelled some more rude comments and did a little attitude head shake and I walked on in my original line while others decided to take her advice and go the long route. Geesh!
We were finally off the ship and it was time to hit the streets running. But not before we stop to get our obligatory "getting off the cruise ship" picture with Mr Dolphin that seems to follow us to every port we visit. I'm pretty sure that he was just with us in Cozumel and Nassau and about 10 other ports.
I will not post my snap happy pictures along the way to the bus stop and will save them for my picture tour of the dockyard itself later. I really didn't have many of them because I was limited to my battery that was newly charged that morning and I wanted to save it all for the beautiful beaches I was about to see that day. There was plenty of other times for dockyard pictures on the other days if my batteries were depleted when we returned.
We were puzzled as to where to go once we got off the ship and walked out of the secured dock area. I did see the train and looked at my watch and thought, well, everythings already screwed up and off schedule and since I have no idea where I'm going, we'll just hop on it and ride until we see something that looks like it might be where the buses stop at...or the herds of people getting off and that should be it.
The photographer came around while we were on the train and took about 5 pictures of us hanging out of it. LOL I purchased 1 of them that had me, the hubs, Sakari, Chrissy (Kendra's bf's sister) and Shayla (her daughter) in it. There was no room for Kendra, Billy and Brayden in our car and she got the next one over.
No idea who the man was in the cart with us, but man was he happy about something. Could it have been the dolphin? His (?) spouse ducked behind him when she seen the photographer coming. I however, hung my head out of the window for a few goofy pictures and then the good one you see above.
We rode the shuttle straight to the bus stop, which I'm now glad we did since it seemed like it would be quite a walk. (It's really not but you know how when you are going somewhere for the very first time it seems like forever to get there and then super quick when you return?).
I'm really not sure I would have been able to pick this out as a bus stop and especially where the location was in the back. So, I'm glad we did take the "train" shuttle there.
Now even more fun begins...well, not "fun" in MY book. Just more aggravations and complications. :mad:
Our plans for the day consisted of taking the #7 bus and getting dropped off at Warwick Long Bay and working our way back toward Horseshoe Bay for the remainder of the day. Depending on how long it took us, stopping to enjoy each little place, would depend on whether or not we were able to catch the last bus heading back toward the dockyard (which left Hamilton at 4:30pm) or if we would just catch a cab and pay the outrageous price to get us all back. I was prepared to do either.
Here is a map I had to help me along:
For those of you that only want to visit Horseshoe Bay and want to take the express shuttle bus there, this service is offered for the price of $16 round trip. It only goes to Horseshoe and back.
We got off the shuttle train at the bus stop. As I said, we all had decided before arriving to Bermuda that we forego the "discount" and just pay cash on the bus to save time and waiting in lines.
There was a guy standing there directing people on what bus to get on. We told him we were going to the Southshore beaches and getting off at Warwick. I had known from all my research that I needed to be on the #7 bus. However, when the #7 pulled up (and it said Hamilton), he told me NO! He said that it was going directly to Hamilton and not where I wanted to go and would not be stopping at the beaches at Southshore. All those months of research and planning and he's telling me I'm wrong? I was really thrown off about this.
(Can anyone tell where this is going yet?)
The bus filled up and pulled away and we were left standing waiting for another bus.
When the next bus came, it said "Special"...ok, this can't be the bus we needed. When I approached him again, he seemed like he was put off by my questions and told me that this was the bus we needed to get to the Southshore beaches. I once again said we were going to Warwick. He started shouting "passes or tokens only".
(What about now, can anyone tell where this is going?)
I thought I would take this opportunity once again to ask another question. I ask if this bus took tickets and showed him my tickets. He replied "Yes". So when we went to get on, he said "Only passes, tickets or tokens" in which I replied "I thought you take cash as well". He said only the correct change...which is what we had.
Once again...just trying to catch the d*@#*&^ bus and get to our destination and he's telling us we need "coins". WE HAVE THE CORRECT CHANGE!!!! You just said we could use the correct change! Nope, must go by coins.
At this point I'm super aggravated and the bus is almost full. We are once again going to miss another bus and this jerk is really being nasty to us and had the biggest attitude. I have read so many things in the past about how Bermuda is so different than any other place you visit. The people are super nice and friendly. This first impression of Bermuda so far and their "friendliness" is giving me a bad taste in my mouth and not starting out on a good foot.
Kendra and family came out with their "coins" and at this point I'm standing there saying "Is there even any room for us on the bus still???" He said "You can stand" I already knew from my research that it would take about 40 minutes to get to our destination...no thank you. However, I did see some seats on the bus and we were going to take them!
We got on the bus as there were actually 6 seats left. We let the 2 little ones just sit on our laps and it all worked.
LESSON LEARNED...the terminology of "correct change only" means CHANGE...AS IN COINS! My terminology of correct change means you have the right amount of money for the trip and do not expect to get any money back. There's a big difference and I did not know this. So, they will not accept any dollar bills. I will know this next time we visit.
It was now 12:05 and we were finally pulling out. This day is not off to a good start, but I did feel comfort in knowing that we had already decided that we would catch a taxi back to the dockyard to maximize our time at the southshore beaches...so no worries...I had hoped.
I already knew that I would need to preserve my battery the best I could for the day...after all, I had a lot of beautiful beach pictures to take. However, when it's your first trip somewhere, it's hard not to resist taking pictures. I developed a habit of turning on the camera, snap a picture, turning it off...repeat...over and over and over and over....the entire cruise. UGH!
As we pulled out of the dockyard, I tried to pay attention to things along the way that I had read about. I tried figuring out when we made it to the area of sea glass beach and Black Bay and so on...snapping pictures along the way.
My apologies in advance for some of the crappy pictures. Remember, we're on a moving bus and I have an excited 7 year old on my lap trying to see everything as well.
Looking at this picture, maybe some of these pics are from our ride back to the dockyard. I know I was not sitting in the very back of the bus taking pictures out of the back window...so let's just pretend for the sake of me having to figure out which pictures go on what part. ;o)~
I was trying to figure out where the buildings are that have been described so many times in the directions on how to walk to sea glass beach. I remember seeing the buildings from "above" on google earth and then the street that goes in between them to cut down behind them to find the path to sea glass.
I'm not sure if these were the buildings or not. It kinda looked that way to me. They didn't look to be in great shape and there was trash laying around. They almost looked like they might have been abandoned?
I know shortly after that would be Black Beach (if you can even see this from the road). Maybe this is it?
Where they keep the friendly people pink buses at:
Yea, I'm going to adventure and say that maybe we weren't on the bus for this picture either. Just saying...But let's just pretend for the sake of the story.
Oh whoops, maybe all my pictures are backwards tonight...daddy and Sakari on the choo choo shuttle train in the beginning. LOL
(I'm just seeing if you guys are paying attention that's all...gotta keep you on your toes).
So we are into the ride about 20 minutes and I noticed the split off where the #7 bus heads down the southshore and the #8 bus would continue down Middle Rd (I believe it is...I would have to pull out my map to confirm the name...just going off memory).
So I knew we were getting close to Horseshoe. I had a bad feeling about this. I looked at my husband and told him "I can guarantee we are not going to Warwick. I bet this bus only goes to Horseshoe and this guy at the port didn't direct us to the correct bus even though I told him a good 3 times where we were going".
The bus stopped at Horseshoe. Everyone got off. The entire family looked at me for direction and did not budge until they seen me get up after the entire bus emptied. LOL (Ducks).
I went up to the driver and ask about Warwick. WITH AN ATTITUDE...she was like "wrong bus! Why are you on this bus if you are going to Warwick?" Wow, what a friendly voice you have big bad wolf...I mean grandma. I explained to her that we told the guy at the bus stop where we were going 3 times and he put us on this bus. She said she was not going to Warwick and we would need to either walk down the street or go to Horseshoe and walk the beach there. Well, that completely defeated my plans of walking from Warwick to Horseshoe to remain the rest of the day and as late as we wanted to stay, there would probably be no way to catch a taxi that late at Warwick. THANKS BERMUDA FOR SCREWING UP MY DAY AND MY PERFECTLY PLANNED ROUTE...that I had been working on for months. I JUST KNEW IT! I had a bad feeling about it from the beginning and I was correct. This day was just going down the sh*tter really quick.
She did not offer any other solution other than walking down the road or beach. Non-helpful at all. I mentioned..."Is there another bus that stops here that would take us on down that way??" She sighed (seriously) and starred at me and then said "So you are telling me you need a transfer??? For all of you???" Well......if that's the only way to get there obviously...duh
She pulled out a small piece of paper and flipped it over and wrote on the back transfer, the date and what I assumed was her initials and handed to me. I ask her where to go and she pointed at this little hut. I inquired how long it would be before the bus would come and she said "The next bus should be here within a few minutes"
We all piled out of the bus and into the bus stop...where we would wait....and wait...and wait.
Yea, everyone seemed happy at this point, but we had just arrived here. The smiley faces went off their faces after awhile and I felt like I had failed my family with my planning.
We sat at the bus stop for 20 minutes...and by now, the bus we were on had now turned around and was coming back toward us. So...obviously they go on down a ways in order to turn around and head back to the dockyard. It would have been nice if she would have just been able to drop us off down there. I bet she passed several bus stops along the way. But I get it. She's a "Special" bus and she probably isn't allow to do that. I'm just aggravated that's all.
The kids are entertaining themselves and it's hot out and I'm just getting more and more worried that this next bus is not "coming in a few minutes"...since it had been at least 40-45 minutes. According to my #7 bus schedule, there should be a bus running about every 30 minutes or so. The only bus that left ahead of us at the dockyard left a good 15-20 minutes before us. There was not a bus after that. So, if my calculations were correct, there hadn't been a bus go by there for at least an hour.
I just kept asking the family "What do you want to do? Do you just want to continue to waste time waiting on another bus or should we just walk down to Horseshoe and decide what to do once we get there?" They, of course, looked at me astonished like they had never been put in the position to make such an executive decision and they gave me that "deer in the headlights" look and froze. Ducklings posing as deers do not do well in a role change...just saying.
I would pull rank and make the executive decision that we were heading to Horseshoe Bay. We had wasted enough time on this not-so-wonderful bus system and it was hot and I just wanted to be in the nice cool water at this point...any water. Momma duck would have settled for a puddle at this point. (No it was not that hot outside, it was actually PERFECT outside. I was so grateful for the day it turned out to be. There were clouds in the sky keeping the heat at a good temp and it was truly the most beautiful day I could ever ask for).
So away we went...crossing the street and headed in the direction of where we had seen several people go.
I seen this sign, so I knew we were headed in the right direction.
Somehow my ducklings must have lost faith in my ability to do effective planning for the day and I ended up at the back of the line. That's ok, let poppa duck lead the way since he's never planned a day of our vacations in his life. LOL
We were walking down the hill and I must say it really seemed like a walk. (Back to that feeling of going somewhere for the first time and it seems to take forever). It's definitely quite a hill and not at all what I had pictured.
We made it to the scooter parking lot. I felt like we must be getting close now and the rest of the parking lot.
Wash the sand off stations for I guess for munchkins...or maybe it's just a foot washing station. There was no time to stop and find out...keep going ducklings!!!
WE MADE IT!!!
Wow the waves looked a little well...wavy. I decided not to put the burden on the rest of the clan because I didn't want another deer in the headlights look from all them and went to Kendra instead and ask what we should do. Our choices were to stay here or head over and take the long haul down all the beaches in the reverse order that I had planned, which meant we would have to also turn around and come back that way again. She sighed and I left it up to her. She said if we were going to be doing it in reverse order, we might as well start here and pointed over to the "baby beach" at Horseshoe. Sounds good to me...at this point just give me some ocean water.
We headed that way.
We arrived and I was a little shocked to see that there really wasn't very many people in this area.
Before we could even get situated Sakari was already off and running into the water. I absolutely love the water and she loves it like me x10.
We picked a spot and put our things down in the sand and claimed our real estate for the day...which happened to be in the middle of that small beach and in the sun (which was odd for the hubby, he usually likes to find a shady spot).
I was off to explore a few of the nooks and crannies.
There were all kinds of neat places to explore here.
How's the water Sakari?
I was not in all the way at this point. Yes, the water was a little cool, but not too bad and I usually quickly get use to the water after a few minutes. However, Sakari decided it was time that I got fully use to the water and jumped in enough to completely cool me down....ugh, kids. I like to do it on my own time thank you. She decided it was time for me to get wet whether I was ready or not.
What a beautiful bird. There were several nest up in the rocks around the little bay.
We all headed into the water and explored for awhile. We snorkeled, but I have to say the water was all churned up so there really was no way to get any good pictures. I took several and they are all pretty crappy. There were some really huge parrot fish in the area (which is something I had read up on prior to coming, but I had heard a lot of people mention that you would find really huge ones over at Stonehole Beach during our walk from Warwick).
I climbed the rocks to take pictures and it was much easier to see the huge parrot fish from up there.
They were seriously huge. Probably the biggest parrot fish I have ever seen before were here in Bermuda and this wouldn't be the only day we seen them this big. They just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Sakari watching the fish
The rocks in the area and super pointy and jagged. I did not know this and man it would be super easy to get cut up on them. I had to be extra careful since I'm so danger prone on vacations. The last thing I needed was to fall and break something. I got myself into an area along the edge and wasn't really sure how to get back out. So what happens in that case? You just jump off the rocks back into the water. Problem solved. Yea, I took the easy way down.
Like always, I'm always searching for the "neat little things" that people normally wouldn't think to take pictures of. The waves churning back and forth, the rocks in the water would fill up when the tide comes in and when it goes back out they would "drain".
After the hubby seen the fun I was having, he decided to adventure out on the rocks too.
"Hey, give me that camera and I'll take some pictures of you from up here"
Well if that wasn't a fake "I'm snorkeling pose" then I don't know what is...I look more like I'm water tanning.
Hubs decided he was going on up to see the view
More of the family climbing on the rocks and in the water below
Sakari found something interesting over there by the rocks and spent a great deal of time there for some reason. I think she was finding small snails because she brought me a few.
Us girls decided to snorkel the entire area to see what we could find. Once again...crappy churned up water pics.
I honestly didn't find many interesting things in the area (as far as fish) other than the size of the parrot fish. We still had a lot of fun though.
I managed to find a huge snail and had to show Sakari that my snail was bigger than her snail (which happened to be about the size of a fingernail).
Kendra inspecting the snail and having the nerve to ask me if that was really a snail down inside it and if it was real. LOL She quickly found out the answer to her question while she was holding it that it suctioned to her hand and she let out a squeal and I caught it in a picture just in time as everyone was laughing at her over it. Tell me we weren't having a good time. Just look at those faces.
At this point we were getting a little bored with the area (and when I say "we" I mean Kendra & I because the guys are perfectly happy never having to move more than a few inches from their prime real estate any place we go). We decided that we would just sneak off to the other side of Horseshoe and explore.
We found a cave
Yep, we're going in girls. It was quite the task to make it in there with the slippery rocks in the water below our feet and the huge waves crashing in on us. It would prove to be an adventure.
Once inside I seen a nest up in the rocks with some long tail feathers hanging out. I knew this must be the Bermuda Long Tail bird. She did not bother us and we did not bother her.
There were areas that headed off into the cave and we are not adventurous enough to even try it.
Then a few goofy pictures before we left
We were trying to make our way back out, while Shayla got pounded by the waves
Looking back at the beach. It had gotten a little crowded throughout the day.
I have no idea what this thing was on the beach. Anyone?
The girls decided they wanted to stay in the area and "ride the waves". This is one of Kendra's favorite things to do. She likes the water like this. Me, not so much. I rather have the calmer water so that I can snorkel or at least look around under water without actually taking in the water. LOL Riding the waves takes a little bit of effort.
I decided to head back over toward the baby bay beach area and I was on a mission to climb the rocks and take pictures of the area.
The path leading up was a little tricky. It looked like someone chiseled out foot prints for people to walk up. I climbed them keeping safety in mind and talking it over in my mind about how I could NOT get hurt or fall or break something.
I made it to the top without incident. Looking down at baby bay and seeing the family at our real estate.
I spotted Sakari down there. There was an extremely nice little family that decided to adopt her today. She just hung out with them the rest of the day and they didn't seem to mind. Sakari is a big social bug and will talk to anyone and make friends with everyone.
The hubs looks a little hot and Billy was getting his tanning his tats.
The views from up here were amazing. It's so weird to be down below and you are in your little area not realizing what's on the other side of the huge rocks that are protecting you. Once you are up on the rocks, you have a whole new perspective on things and it's an amazing feeling.
I spotted the girls
I yelled "Kendra" not expecting them to be able to hear me all the way down there plus with the sounds of the waves. She must have had bionic hearing and eyesite to spot where I was.
This area looked kind of neat from up here. It almost looked like an oil spill in the water or a rainbow. I know it was the rocks under the surface, but it was still kinda neat. Do you see it?
I finally caught me a picture of the Long Tail Bird...and another.
Time to head back down and I wasn't looking forward to it. I knew that going down was going to be a lot harder than going up. I watched as people tried to climb down as I was waiting my turn to go up the path. They were hanging onto anything around them and sliding. Just great.
It looks easy enough, until you are actually doing it. They get smaller and they are not a flat surface.
I had made it back and all was good.
When Sakari seen me, she immediately wanted me to come snorkel with her. I was hot from being up on the rock so out we went.
As we were in the water a guy (teenager) was standing on the other side of this rock wall. He tells me "There's a really neat little "pool like" area back here with tons of little fish, you should come check it out". I ask him how to get back there and he pointed in the direction I needed to go. Sakari and I headed that way, which required us to basically climb up on a slippery rock that was IN the water, down into the little area that was also slippery, holding on to the jagged rocks, and then at one point going down the path you had to step down into this open rock area that was hard to determine how deep it was...all while trying to hold the hand and balance a munchkin and myself. NOT easy and I'm now wondering what this guy got me in to. I just wanted to turn around and go back and I ask Sakari several times if she wanted to go back. She encouraged me to keep going and keep going we did.
We finally made it to this area and while it was "cute", it definitely wasn't worth the hassle of getting there. Thanks dude.
I told Sakari this was not safe and I didn't feel safe being here. She begged to at least go in the little "pool" before leaving and I lowered her in while trying to hang on to myself at the same time.
A picture of the area right beside us and the beach.
She came up with her trophy...another snail
Can you tell the girl hasn't come out of the water yet today? Look at those wrinkled hands.
It was time to head back out down the slippery, rocky path. I was never more happy to get out of there!
Back at the camp, the hubby went and got a hamburger and some fries. The fries were really yummy! Like seriously cooked crispy and yummy.
Since my last cruise, I came up with a plan to start bringing my own pop to the beaches with us and it worked out pretty well that time, so I figured why not do it again this time. I have a small soft cooler that we use and it holds about 6 cans in it. We have the room steward fill 2 zip lock baggies about 1/2 full and we place them around the cans. It works great and no leaky mess. When we are done with it, the cooler actually fold up and velcros flat. Score!!
From my research I knew that they sold cheeseburgers for $5.75, French Fries for $4.00 and their soda was $3.00. They also had things like hotdogs and chicken sandwiches and also an ice cream store there as well.
The birds must know that the fries there are awesome too. They sure were loving us and taking the fries. They didn't care how close they had to get. The hubby actually had a few of them take it right out of his hand and if you weren't looking, they didn't think twice about snatching your food and running.
Brayden also made some friends that day.
Kendra, Billy and Brayden all decided to climb the rocks...only different rocks than what I had went up.
You can't take a picture of Kendra without her doing something silly.
Oh, I did mean to post this earlier about the transportation services:
Now I do want to mention this. I know that everyone just automatically
purchases a 2 or 3 day pass. Yes, it's convenient and you might think that
you need it. However, you should really "plan" and SEE if it's actually needed.
Are you really going to travel using the transportation system several different
times during the same day? Are you really going to go somewhere needing that bus/ferry
service on the 3rd day...the day that your ship leaves? Or do you plan on sticking around
the dockyard on the last day? Everything should be taken into consideration when you
decide how to go about purchasing the transportation.
Most people seem to take the bus to a place (let's just say) Horseshoe Bay.
So you need a way there and then a way back. IF you purchase the 2 day pass for $31.50
a person. This gives you a breakdown of having to use the bus/ferry for 1 day $15.75.
($31.50 / 2 days = $15.75). IF you were to pay FULL price for a bus ride (using correct
CHANGE, meaning coins) it would be $5.00 there and $5.00 back. So your total price would
only be $10 instead of $15.75. If you decided to get a coin, you would save $1 and your total
price would only be having to spend $9 for the day. See how that works?
To me, it's even cheaper than the $16 bus to and from Horseshoe.
However if you are going to be going more than 1 place during the same day, yes it would be
worth the price to splurge on the 2 or 3 day ticket. All I'm saying is decide exactly what you
are doing and add it up. You might be surprised at the money you can save by not buying the pass. ;)
Several times during the day Kendra and I both looked at each other and said "Do you want to start walking along the beach toward Warwick?" Each time I was hesitant for some reason. Something just didn't feel right. I know at one point she said "I wish WE could just take off walking there and leave the kids and guys behind". That would have been the perfect solution although I didn't want to spend a majority of the day somewhere else without the rest of the family. There was something about having my grandson walking along there and the "cliffs" along the water that just scared me. He's unruly, he scares me, and I was just so unsure of the timing.
I kept telling her that since our plans didn't work out the way we had wanted them to, we could always just save the money and head back on the bus instead of staying longer and having to pay almost $50 for a cab each. There was always things to do in the dockyard and I was more than satisfied with our day we had spent there.
In the end, we decided it would just be too much work to pack up the entire family and start the trip to Warwick and then have to come back. Yes, I was disappointed in not being able to stick to my original plans and I was even more disappointed that the bus directing guy had led me in the wrong direction after multiple attempts of telling him what our plans were. In the end, I just seen this as an excuse to have to come back in the future.
It was about 4pm and we decided we had a great day and we'd start packing up our things to head back. It always takes awhile to get Sakari out of the water and I knew this time would be no different. By us leaving now, we would be able to catch that last bus returning from Hamilton at 4:30pm and head back to the dockyard.
I did notice they had beach wheelchairs there...so if anyone is wondering...
We headed to the showers to rinse off. Yes, they had regular sized showers in the bathrooms with ice cold water, but it was refreshing.
Around the time that we decided to leave the sun came out in full force. It felt like the temps doubled and man was it hot.
Looking up the path to head to the taxis
Sakari insisted on one last photo of this beautiful place with the big fish before we left
We made it to the taxi area and knew ahead of time that we wanted a ride up the hill because it was quite the walk coming down and what I would consider somewhat "steep".
As we got to the area where there were drivers, they were asking us where we were going and if we wanted a ride. Kendra was far behind and I kept telling them that I was waiting on the rest of my party to catch up. I told him we were a party of 8. They kept putting people in the taxi's and they would leave and when Kendra finally caught up, I told them we were all here. He said he'd take us to the dockyard and I inquired on the price. His reply was $7 pp. Kendra ask "What about the kids?" "Um...$1.00 per kid."
So public transportation would have been:
$5 pp for adults x 5 adults=$25 plus
$2.75 per kid=$8.25.
Plus $2 pp x8 for the ride up the hill=$16.
That's a total of $49.25 for our entire party.
For the Taxi:
$7 per adult=$35
$1 per child=$3
for a total of $38
Yep, we'll take it. We had the entire van to ourselves and it was awesome!!!
I sat in the back seat and was snap-happy with the camera on my ride back to the dockyard. Yes, I actually had some battery life left. Yippee! (Of course after developing a new strategy of turn on camera, snap picture, turn off camera, rinse and repeat).
Good riddance to that little bus stop where the bus left us hanging and never making it to Warwick:
Haha, we beat you big pink bus!
More pictures along the way...
I found the roof tops to all the buildings to be pretty interesting. Yes, I found out the story behind this later on.
The graveyards reminded me of those I have seen around the Caribbean with them being above the ground.
I just loved all the different bright colors of the buildings:
There seem to be a little bit of trouble going on at the entrance of the golf course. There were several police cars on the main road and several along the driveway leading into the golf course.
We drove over the smallest drawbridge in the world. (More on this later). I knew this from previous research and we had plans