The flight from Newark to BDA took about 2 hours. It didn’t take long to go through the customs. We claimed the luggage and took a taxi to Granaway Guest House. The driver might have taken the long route, but it was a scenic ride. It cost about $40. For four people it wasn’t too bad.
Once we arrived at the Guest House, we were greeted by Carol, the owner of the House. She was very friendly. James and I had the blue room, which had the view of the Hamilton harbor. Brian and Susan had the cottage, which had a kitchen and a private garden.
It was almost 5pm when we settled down so it was too late to hit the beach. We decided to go to the City of Hamilton for dinner. We met Francisco, who was the helper at the Guest House. He showed us how to walk through the garden of the House to get to the Belmont Golf Course. (We’d rather get hit by golf balls than cars.) Through the golf course, we walked to the Belmont ferry dock in about 15 minutes. We didn’t have any tickets or tokens for the ferry and they let us ride for free. This happened not only on the ferries, but on the buses also. I guess it didn’t really matter to them since they know we were tourists. (We had maps on our hands.)
Hamilton was quite quiet on weekends. We had dinner at The Pickled Onion. I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant. The service was way too slow; it took them nearly 45 minutes to bring out the food after we ordered. The food was poorly prepared. James ordered his steak medium-rare; it came out medium-well. My salmon was not fully cooked; the inside of it was kind of raw. Not to mention the steak knives were not sharp at all.
We went to the bike shop to get our mopeds. Brian had ridden a moped before so he had no problem with it. He ended up renting one for 3 days for $170. James had a hard time controlling the moped so we decided that we would just use the public transportation, which was the most economic way to travel around the island.
Brian and Susan headed to Horseshoe Bay on their moped. James and I went to wait for the bus. The cash fare for 3-zone was $3/person. We didn’t know where to get off the bus and the driver wouldn’t stop unless somebody pressed the “stop” button or someone was waiting at the bus station. Luckily, most drivers were nice and they would announce the next stop if it was a tourist attraction.
We met Brian and Susan at the parking lot of Horseshoe Bay. This is by far the BEST beach I’ve ever been to. James couldn’t wait to take pictures as soon as he saw the turquoise water lol. The water was so clear and the sand was so fine that it made me never want to go to Jersey shore again. The rock formations were pretty. The waves were quite big as it was very windy. We got some good pictures though. There was an area for snorkeling at Horseshoe Bay but there were only a couple of fish.
After having lunch at the Beach House, we went to Jobson Cove hoping to see more fish. Brian and Susan drove their bike of course. James and I went on foot. It took us some time to walk from Horseshoe to Jobson Cove. The Cove was a secluded area and there were only a couple of people. There was an area that was full of pink sand. There weren’t many fish but Susan spotted a giant fish while she was standing on the shore. We missed it as we were on the other side of the water. By the time we went to where she said the fish was it was gone.
We had a nice dinner at Blu which is on the Belmont Golf Course. Then we went to Flanagan's Outback Sports Bar to watch the Yankee game. (Brian is a big Yankee fan.) They had twenty-two wide screen HDTVs – some playing the Yankee game, some playing the Giant game. Pretty cool.
The weather wasn’t so good – it was cloudy with shattered showers. We walked from the Guest House to the bus stop to catch the bus. It was quite a workout as we had to walk uphill, but at least we didn’t feel guilty about eating out everyday and not hitting the gym. We, again, didn’t have any tickets or tokens for the bus. We told the driver we were going to St. George’s so he let us ride for free as we would be buying the tokens when we transferred the bus at Hamilton Bus Terminal. The token fare for 14-zone was $4/person.
We arrived at St. George’s just in time for the re-enactment of the punishment of a local woman who was going to be dunked because of her general meanness. There were a lot of people as there was a cruise ship in port. We took some pictures at the Unfinished Church as it was on our way to Tobacco Bay Beach. Tobacco Bay was a great place for snorkeling. We saw a lot of fish and took some pictures underwater. This time we saw those giant fish that Susan saw in Jobson Cove. It was pretty cool.
We snorkeled for an hour or so then rain started pouring. Brian and Susan went head-on with the rain on the way back. We waited for the rain to stop then took the fast ferry ($4/person) from St. George’s to Royal Naval Dockyard. We could have gone to Fort St Catherine but we’d rather catch the last ferry. We walked around the Clocktower Mall at the Dockyard. We wanted to do the Maritime Museum but it was getting late. So we took the ferry to Hamilton, grabbed a sandwich, then took the ferry back to Belmont.
It was our last day on the island. After saying goodbyes to Michael, Carol, and Francisco, we took a taxi to Crystal Caves. We saved the caves for the last day because it was very close to the airport. It was a little expensive at $18 for just the Crystal Caves, but we did enjoy it. The tour started every 30 minutes so we didn’t need to wait for long.
The temperature in the caves was cool and it was very humid. Little drops of water fall down onto our forehead as we walked through the caves. The water that fills the caves was crystal clear. The clarity was so perfect that it was possible to see the cave floor. The stalagmites and stalactites were beautiful. At one point during the tour the guide turned all of the lights off so we could truly experience the overwhelming darkness of the caves.
We had lunch at the Swizzle Inn, which was actually just around the corner from Crystal Caves Drive. It was interesting to see thousands of business cards and reams of graffiti cover the walls. Susan ordered the famous rum swizzle drink and seemed to like it. After lunch we headed to the airport and that concluded our 5-day trip.