We left for Heathrow airport at 7am this morning for our flight to Bahamas. We did a little duty free shopping for Helen and then had breakfast in the lounge. By that stage it was almost time to board. On the way to the gate we met Paul & Tina and then bumped into two other actuarial people all on the same flight. We left right on time and the pilot told us that the flying time was 9 hours 15 minutes. All those hours during daylight hours. Nothing to do but watch a movie (or in Helen’s case two), read a book (I managed to finish mine), listen to some music, have a short sleep (I managed an hour Helen got about 2 hours in) and eat. I watched the new batman movie (which was worth watching for those of you who haven’t seen it yet) while they served us lunch. Helen was disgusted that they served lunch at 11:30am. I was hungry and didn’t care. Just before we landed they served afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones. Very good scones actually (for all those that saw and commented on Helen’s Facebook status yesterday!).
You can get snacks during the flight as well. They have chips and chocolates and other healthy options like fruit and yogurt. But after seeing Paul walking back and forward with a fistful of chocolates I thought I better get some before they were all gone. I basically got the last ones for Helen and I to share. I reckon Paul ate all the rest.
We landed about 45 minutes early. Coming in to land you can see the azure blue sea around the island. It was quite beautiful and I kick myself for not taking any photos. The airport is a relatively small and was pretty deserted except for our flight. It must be smaller than Cape Town airport even. Passport control was straightforward, luggage came off about 10th and we found our transfer to the hotel. We were with all the other actuarial people on the plane. 7 South African’s on the plane. The ride to the hotel was only about 10 minutes.
We are staying at the Sheraton Nassau (www.sheraton.com/NassauBeach). It is a massive hotel. We have an ocean facing room (also overlooks the pool). The photo is from our room balcony. It is about 75 degrees F (not sure what that is in degrees C right now – mid twenties I would guess). It is quite humid though so it feels hotter even though there is a quite a strong breeze blowing. After we did the essential and got the internet working, we went for a walk on the beach and tried out the various pool options.
We met Paul & Tina and Cisca (Actuarial Society of SA employee) for dinner at 6pm. We all decided to eat in the hotel as we were all quite tired. We just went to the Italian restaurant in the hotel. Everything is quite pricey here. Helen and I bought 2 cooldrinks and a packet of crisps and paid $14 for that (i.e. R100). Dinner cost us over $50 for very simple options – 1 course only and I had a local beer (quite nice). I can already see that this is an expensive place to eat and drink.
It is now 8pm and Helen is already asleep. I am fighting the tiredness and trying to keep going to at least 9:30pm. Anything earlier and I know I will be awake in the early hours of the morning and I want to avoid that. Fortunately tomorrow am is free as my first meeting is at 2pm tomorrow. My first impressions of Nassau:
1. It is a mix of America & British cultures
2. The houses look American
3. You have to listen very carefully when the locals speak (I sometimes wonder if they are even speaking English)
4. It can get very hot & humid here
5. There isn’t much to see except the beach
6. It’s going to be expensive