Published on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fish pedicure and tiddlywinks anyone?


The area of North and Central Andros is absolutely jammed packed full of things to do and see and virtually all of them are for free as this is the centre of sustainability and natural wonder.

You can bike; walk, swim, fish or just paddle to your heart’s content in an environment that remains virtually untouched by human intervention.

On the first day here I chose to take a bike ride of about ten miles and then walk into the forest to discover one of the islands many ‘blue holes’.

Blue holes are underwater cave systems bored into the limestone structure by a combination of fault lines and chemical reaction over thousands of years ago. A combination of sea and fresh water make them ideal natural swimming pools, which both locals and visitors make the most of.

The blue holes are also used for diving and exploring the cave systems that link many of them together. Some of them are so deep that even Jules Verne would have a struggle surveying them. On the edges of the water you can dip your feet in if you’re not inclined to swim and after awhile tiny fish will start to nibble at them. This is a treatment that can cost you lots of money in  posh spas (and shopping malls) around the world. Here in Andros, it’s all part of the package.

Peddling back to Small Hope Bay Lodge, you get a real perspective of how friendly the Androsians are when every car driver that passes beeps the horn and waves. No, not an angry fist but a sociable gesture to newcomers.

Back at the Lodge the list of activities does not diminish with diving and snorkelling   topping   the agenda. I am not a diver but I wish I was. The lodge is set on the Andros Barrier reef, which  is the second largest and, so I am reliably informed, most unexplored in the Atlantic.

view from small hope bay lodge

They have a team of qualified and experienced instructors that lead two dives a day including wall, cavern, coral garden, wreck and shark programs. Even the weedy snorkelers like moi can join in with the shark encounter two or three times a week. The whole episode is recorded via still and moving image then replayed back to the throng after dinner in the lodge games room. This room also allows you to test your skills at table tennis, drafts, chess and even tiddlywinks. It’s surprising what genuine fun and interaction you can have with no television, no  internet and no newspapers.

Graham stayed at:-


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