Journey to the end of the world
Journey to the end of the world
Just 50 miles from Ft. Lauderdale Beach are the western islands of the Bahamas. The closest, and perhaps most (in)famous is Bimini; the end of the world, the island across the stream. Once this was the place where expats would go off the grid and where Hemingway often came to fish. Strolling around the town you can certainly imagine how it musty have been during that time, and why it was such a destination.
A few weeks ago Myself, Rum Shop Ryan , and Mike from Rum Connection decided we needed to take a little trip to this magical place and see what kind of adventure and fun we could find. So plans were made and we had a mission. Though this wasn’t so simple for one of us. Go read The Bimini Blunder and find out what Ryan had to do that morning and how he just barely made the plane.
As the Bimini airport cannot handle, nor does it need, the big jet liners, we took a small prop driven plane from Ft. Lauderdale for what was only a 30-minute flight; so no sooner did we take off, we were once again landing. Paradise to paradise, another palm tree lined beach. Friends I tell ya, the life of an island writer and professional beach bum sometimes can be a tough one.
We deplaned, quickly cleared customs, took a ferry across the channel to Bimini, and then checked in at the Big Game Club. We made the necessary arrangements, case of beer on ice, and as we had no cooler, beer was in the sink. Now, we were ready to begin our trip. First order of business, food and a few drinks while we planned our night.
Since we didn’t arrive in Bimini until around 5 it was just about dark by the time we ventured out. We made it down to the where the famous End of The World Bar is located, but to my dismay it was closed up tight. But from nowhere a man came from the alleyway with a broom in his hand. He noticed us and said hello, then waved to us to follow him out back. Now I don’t suggest following random people down alleys while in a foreign country; but such acts have always led to some interesting stories for me. And this very decision drastically changed the rest of our trip.
After we made it to what turned out to be a waterfont bar, the man introduced himself as Star, the owner of the bar. If this man nature and personality are any indication, Star’s Bar will certainly be one of the best bars in Bimini; even rivaling the End of The World Bar just next door. The bar was in the middle of renovations and was far from done, but this transitional tavern would prove to be a place of great times for us. I deemed Star the Bahamian version of the most interesting man in the world, as it seems he’s done it all. He was more then happy to share with us the beer he had, which, as there was no real bar to speak of yet, we suspect was his own stash as he worked on his place.
So the first part of our night was spent listening to the stories from our host, drinking Kalik beer, and getting schooled by the master of the Bimini Ring Toss Game. We decided to leave star to his renovations, but he insisted that we return the next day and he would have for us plenty of fresh lobster and conch. As it turns out, at one time he was also a chef, among many other things.
End of the road at the end of the world
Saturday we rented a golf cart and headed to the north end of the island. After reaching what we thought was the end of the road, beyond Bimini Bay Resort, we came across a cool little beach bar that was part of the Resort; but seemed to be way out on it’s own. It was an amazing way to start the day as we enjoyed some great drinks and a breathtaking view. That day the waters were so blue they seemed to glow, contrasted by the dark clouds lingering over the Gulf Stream. We spent a few hours here enjoying several more rounds while we conversed with our amazing bar tender Geo and listened to some Mishka. But we wanted to find the end of the island so decided to head down the road in search of it’s end.
A shirt distance later we finally found the end of the road. We stopped to take some amazing pictures to share with all of you, rescued some stranded tourist who’s cart had died, and then we headed back south. On the way back to town we stopped at Stuarts Conch Salad Stand for some very fresh Conch salad and a few more Kaliks. Stuart’s is another must if you visit Bimini. They serve up a ceviche style conch salad; but rather than letting it sit, you watch the conch go from the water, to the cutting board, to your bowl. It was honestly some of the best I have had.
After our snack we continued with our site seeing trip south and ended up coming across Yaritza and Paul Morris, a couple staying at the Dolphin House on their 10-year anniversary. We were interested in the Dolphin House, as it is an eclectic tapestry of items found on the beach, so they were nice enough to bring us in and show us around this very unique place. After our tour they decided they would join our small group for a few drinks, so we all piled into the golf cart and headed down to Sherry’s Bar as we were quite thirsty at this point.
After a few cocktails and some laughs we walked down the beach for a closer look at a shipwreck that was decaying on the beach a short way down. We grabbed some awesome pics of the old ship and our new friends agreed to join us back at Star’s place for some lunch. So we made our way back to Stars and he seemed more than happy we had returned. He quickly disappeared into the old building then reemerged after a few minutes with lobster tails and conch and quickly began creating an amazing meal for us. Now it was time for the party to begin.
Want to know how the party, and what was one of my most memorable island trips turned out? Come back Friday and let me bring you into the weekend with a party in Bimini. I promise plenty of Kalik, Rum, and as always; great times.