There is a widely shared belief that The Bahamas has only three shades of crystal blue seas, sun, and sand. While most of that is true, The Bahamas boasts a huge marine habitat, and more shades of blue than Sherwin Williams.
I had the pleasure of exploring one of the best kept secrets in Nassau on the Tingum Tour with Ultimate Tours Bahamas. It is a half day tour that begins at a bush tea facility and ends at Bonefish Pond National Park, and includes a historical drive through Nassau.
The first thing this tour teaches you is that the Bahamian culture is very colourful, and filled with stories from all walks of life. You can never be prepared for what you may hear in The Bahamas.
We toured Tasty Teas, a bush tea facility founded in 2013. The owner and his mother gave us an exciting presentation on the medicinal value and cultural heritage of bush tea, even allowing us to taste some of the most popular teas. (Side note: There are teas that can fix backaches, various pains, or even aid in the baby making process. )
We then headed westward, stopping at the Woodes Rogers statue that stands in front of the British Colonial Hotel. In 1717, Woodes Rogers was appointed as the Royal Governor of the Bahamas and expelled piracy after a long three years of battling with it.
We passed the Royal Bank of Canada in the downtown area, which was one of the first banks in The Bahamas, and black people weren’t allowed to bank there. Rumour has it that in protest of the obvious racism, Sir Milo Butler and Sir Lynden Pindling entered RBC and stood on the counters demanding equal rights.
The journey continued with one last stop to Fort Fincastle—it looks like a boat when you’re approaching it. We ventured on the world famous Queen's staircase (66 steps), taking in the natural beauty and peacefulness the location offered. After we had learned all we could about Fort Fincastle, we were on to our final stop, which unbeknownst to us would take our breath away.
We arrived at Bonefish Pond excited to kayak and take part in a rake 'n' scrape performance, but first, we had to stop and take in the beauty that surrounded us. The beauty was truly indescribable, and I, who rarely lack words, was speechless. The 1235 acres of coastal wetland area is peacefully still, a perfect place for mangroves to thrive and for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
We took part in a rake n’ scrape performance, learning how to use some of the instruments for the first time. Some of us got lucky and some struggled a little, but it was all in great fun. We sang, we danced, and then we attempted to kayak.
Although I have always been a bit afraid of kayaking, and it was considerably harder than it looked, it was fun minus a few bumps.
Tingum Tour offered by the Ultimate Tours Bahamas was the ultimate Bahamian treat. This tour is a must—you won’t want to leave and you definitely don't have to.