As I usually do when planning a trip, I turned to geoaching as one source of information. As destinations go, Nassau has a very manageable number of geocaches to find. As I’m writing this, there are less than a dozen in the downtown area. Using the locations of the geocaches as a starting point, layering on my strong preference for active transportation whenever possible and rounding things off with a browse through others’ photographs of Nassau, I planned a geocaching and photo walk that I figured would take a good part of one day and then a couple of other possible routes I could do if I had the time and energy.
After doing some sunrise photography (that morphed into cruise ship photography when there turned out to be no colour in the sky), I packed up my GPSr, camera gear, sunscreen and lots of water and headed out. It was about 8 o’clock on Sunday morning and the streets were quiet.
My first stop was at Parliament Square. The flamingo-pink government buildings are examples of the colonial architecture of old Nassau. The building on the left is for the office of the Leader of the Opposition, the Senate meets upstairs in the center building and the one on the right is the House of Assembly. Behind the center building is the Supreme Court where quarterly sessions of the Bahamas Superior Court and sessions of The Court of Appeal sit. It was Sunday, so I didn’t see any judges and lawyers dressed in traditional British wigs and robes. Just south of the Supreme Court building is a cenotaph honouring soldiers killed in the line of duty, mostly during the World Wars. There were close to a hundred wreaths at the cenotaph, presumably laid at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) just a few days earlier. I’m not posting any photographs of the cenotaph as it’s the location for a virtual geocache. Just beyond that is Nassau’s public library, an octagonal pink building that used to be a jail.
Leaving the area of Parliament Square, my next destination was the Queen’s Staircase, to find a small geocache and make the observations necessary to log Nassau’s only earthcache. As I anticipated, even early on a quiet Sunday morning I encountered one of the many local “guides” that frequent the area. Neville had a lot of historical and cultural information to share and was pretty funny too – not surprising in someone who depends on tips for a living.
From the top of the stairs I headed over to the Water Tower and Fort Fincastle, the former being the location of another virtual geocache.
After descending the Queen’s Staircase I veered generally northwest, my planned route taking in a couple of other quick geocaching stops. The absence of sidewalks on some of the streets made me thankful it was a relatively quiet Sunday morning. I finished my planned route by about 11 o’clock in the morning, much less time that I anticipated, so after a leisurely brunch I loaded up with more water and headed west to Junkanoo Beach and then up another hill to Fort Charlotte, location of another virtual cache.
It was early evening by the time I got back to my hotel, and I’d walked about 15 km, so spent the rest of the day relaxing and doing some photo processing.
My meetings were over by about 2 o’clock on the second day, so I had about a three hour window before the sun went down and it got dark. I figured that was enough time to walk over to the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island and back. I saw some great buildings, chatted with a few locals who were out walking, too and enjoyed the elevated view of Nassau Harbor that I got from the apex of the Sidney Poitier Bridge. I got the required information to log the virtual cache at the Atlantis, but opted not to go for the nano cache located a bit to the east.
I made it back to my hotel just before dark, having walked another 10 km or so. So now we have another country on our geocaching map and one of the caches also filled in an empty square on our D/T (difficulty/terrain) matrix. The Parliament Square virtual is within a few minutes walk of the cruise ship wharf and the Queen’s Staircase and Water Tower caches are about a 15 or 20 minute walk. We’ve never done cruise caching, but I understand it’s a thing. Nassau would be a good stop if that’s your thing. At the time of writing, all the physical caches were micros or nanos, so be sure to bring a pen and leave any trackables on the ship!