Saturday, May 29, 2010

Visiting the Blue Hole

Ok, ok, I know I said I was going to do a post about the Land Crabs, but I still haven't put my video editing software on the computer, so it's not ready for upload. I'll get to that, I promise. Because I know you're all waiting for it....uh, yeah, moving on.

We had another adventure today. Andros is home to a large number of what are called Blue Holes (I linked it to a site with more information in case you wanted to know more about them; I'm not in the mood for a geography lesson right at the moment, but they are very interesting). We'd been told by several people that you really need someone to take you there the first time because it can be tough to find, so we haven't as of yet attempted to find it. (That's kind of the norm here on the island, actually. There are very few road signs, and most of the shops and places to eat are out of people's homes.) Friends of ours were taking some visiting relatives up there today and invited us to tag along, so we were excited to finally see it.

After driving there, which took about a half hour over some very rocky terrain, I think we could have found it on our own with some decent directions, but I appreciate being able to check it out the first time with people who knew something about it. Because they were actually prepared, and had life jackets they nicely traded around with our kids so we could take them in the water. I'm definitely going to jump online and order them some ASAP for the next time we go. They were kind of a must.

On to the pictures, which is really how I have to explain this place:

This first pic is a tad blurry because I tried to take it while driving. I should have had Oliver stop, but oh well. This is the last stretch of the road we traveled. We were part of a caravan of three cars, and kept talking about how annoying it would be to have to back up if we met someone coming the other direction. That would really be the only option, as it was narrow for about five-ten minutes of driving.

This next one is of the parking lot:
I'm sure you are wondering why I just posted a picture of a turn-off, but yes, that is actually what the "parking lot" looks like. We were actually parked on the road alongside the path down to the blue hole behind our friends' trucks (notice that these are trucks, too? Yeah, apparently trading in our little car for a truck might have been a wise idea.). There really isn't anywhere else to go past that point, so it worked out fine.

This next pic is of the path there:

I actually took this one when we were leaving, which is why Wyatt has a towel on his head. I was surprised to see this wooden planking, actually. Our friend told us that he would occasionally bring his machete along to get down there before this was put in. I'm thinking this may be part of the reason people told us to go with someone the first time. I would not have been able to find the place alone without this path to guide us.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any decent overall pics of the place, but imagine a large, perfectly round lake that drops down below you, with a small covered pavilion with seating at the top. There were steps that went down to the water and a tiny dock. Apparently, there used to only be a rope and a ladder made of rope and wooden steps and no pavilion at the top. Uh, yeah, not the most kid-friendly place. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy the upgrades.

Here is a view of the steps from the top:
blue hole steps

This doesn't show you the missing rung with the nails sticking out or how I felt the need to practically go down it on my butt when juggling Oscar and the camera. Oscar wasn't too big on me helping him. He spent the first fifteen minutes going up and down the ladder, or sitting on the edge of the dock and kicking his feet in the water. See that yellow thing in the water to the right of the dock? That's part of what once kept the dock floating. It now has a very distinct tilt into the water. So, when my little two year old was sitting there on the end, he would lean forward with the tilt, freaking me out. He didn't want my help, nor did he enjoy the hand I kept clamped on his rash guard, but that water is deep, and we didn't have a life jacket for him.

Here he is climbing up the stairs on his own:

The missing rung is right where the girl above him is stepping. Too big a gap for Oscar to navigate, so I carried him over it right after taking this pic. Thankfully, he finally got on the kayak our friends had brought, averting my heart attack. He loved that boat trip, and stayed out quite awhile looking for fish.

This kid, though, still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Take a look at this pic:

There is a gate on the end of the pavilion that overlooks the water. It's something like a 15 foot drop. They threw the kayak off of it to get it into the water, and then used it as a diving platform. Oscar was very fascinated by this, and we had to constantly watch him to keep him from going right to the edge. I think if we hadn't made such a show of freaking out he would have jumped right along with everyone else. Crazy little guy!

Before you ask, yes, I did it, too! Oliver made an attempt to capture it, but our waterproof camera
has a terribly slow shutter speed, so this was the best he could do:


If you look at the bottom right corner, you can see part of the ladder I mentioned earlier that was once the main way down to the water. Freaky! There's no way I would have done that with one of our boys.

We weren't the only ones there, and in fact had a tour group from Nassau show up soon after we arrived. They didn't want to swim, though, just stayed to chit chat a bit and laugh at the fool hardy souls jumping off the platform. The only other people who were there came from AUTEC. I am curious how busy it gets, or if we could go there and end up being the only ones. We'll have to test that theory. And, along the way, pray that we don't blow a tire. Driving home on a donut would be murder, and then we'd have to try to buy a replacement and have it shipped in...hmm, here's hoping we never do that! We have to go back, though. Absolutely!

Finally, reason number 153 why I am glad I have boys: There is no bathroom here. Nada. So if you ever go, be prepared to get to know the woods a bit better. And that's all I'm going to say about that!

1 sonar pings:

DerrK said...

Wow, I bet that was gorgeous out there. I'm not the best swimmer so I would have had a heart attack if my kids were as adventurous as yours. :)