Published on Friday, February 3, 2012
It's Day 6 of Graham McKenzie's Bahamas tour:
"One of the things I really enjoy when visiting places is to have a drink in the local bar, get to know local customs, hear some history and maybe try out local food and crafts. Not the globally mass produced pap but things that are genuinely thought up, organised made, or performed on a local basis. Well, you will not be surprised to know that North and Central Andros is not short of these and I was lucky enough to experience a few of them.
A couple of times a year the local villages compete in an event called Junkanoo. It is basically a street parade that crosses between Mardi Gras and the Notting Hill carnival. It is held throughout the Bahamas to celebrate emancipation from slavery. Before the event Peter, our local host, introduced us to Smithy’s local bar and food stop - a very simple outdoor bar with sit-up stools and a very tasty and satisfying Conch fritter, fries and Heineken evening special. It was just the right preparation for the main event.
Children prepare for the Junkanoo
The level to which the communities prepare and perform for Junkanoo is quite unbelievable. The costumes, the choreography, the music all combine to give true entertainment. Cow bells, trombones, drums, whistles and in the past conch shells give off a very distinctive sound which you can feel before you hear it. Every so often the British heritage that these islands enjoy (suffer?) comes to the fore with the playing of familiar songs from the past. Given the glitter, glamour and magic I quite expected Mary Poppins to burst forth with ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ which would have just about summed up the evening.
Earlier we had the privilege to visit the Androsians batik factory in Fresh Creek, Central Andros. I say privilege because it enabled me to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes - buying wicked brightly coloured shirts. On the day we went they had ran out of cerise so I had to make do with a rather fetching light blue short sleeved affair with some terrific print. The batik, the design, the printing is all done in the factory which is run and managed by local people. Shortly before my arrival NBC’s The Morning show had been to call and had a bespoke specially designed logo and cloth made. I was mortified when I had no such offer for TravelMole."
Graham visited :-
and stayed at
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.