A Walk in the Park

The Exuma Land and Sea Park has been one of our favourite places so far.  We hiked around the park on most days as the wind was too strong to make swimming and snorkeling fun. The park office has hiking maps for all the trails on Wardrick Wells as well as information sheets on the wildlife that can be found there.  They sell identification cards for birds, reef fish and sharks that you are likely to find in the Bahamas – handy for knowing what you’re looking at!  But being the cheap cruisers we are we didn’t buy any and so don’t know the specifics of what we were looking at.

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The sign reads… “This was once a Pirate’s Lair.  The anchorage was hidden from view and water found in the natural well was fresh and sweet.  When the pirates came ashore to scamp by the well, they brought their sleeping mats and other possessions.  Stuck to these items were seeds from distant places.  Some of the seeds grew leaving a selection of plants not native to the Bahamas. Unknown to the pirates, this sweet water collects under the island as a fresh water lens.  The well is a natural sinkhole, refreshed by rain that percolates down through the limestone.  The fresh water lens id easily polluted or destroyed.  Please avoid contamination and use it sparingly.”

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We decided to pass on sampling the water, it didn’t have that “fresh and sweet” look.

This is a Bahamas Hutia – it’s not a great pic as they scurry away under the brush as soon as they hear you coming.

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BooBoo Hill on Wardrick Wells isn’t that high or challenging to climb, but it is one of the highest points in the Bahamas!  It offers a great view of the Bahamas Banks as well as the Exuma Sound, Ocean side of the island.

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To get to BooBoo Hill, you need to cross Banshee Creek. Best to do it at low tide as see here. When we came earlier that day there was three feet of water covering this piece of land – a wet hike it would make.

 

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This entire sandy area is covered with water at high tide.

At the top of BooBoo Hill, boats tradionally leave a piece of driftwood with their boats name.  We were not prepared and didn’t make a sign to leave behind.  We’ll make one for our next visit to BooBoo Hill.

 

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Looking out over the ocean side of the island.

 

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LahoWind was one of my favourite blogs when we were dreaming about this trip. It was fun to see their sign on BooBoo Hill.

 

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The wind was out of the west during our time in the park and the Blow Holes are all on the east side – so with no significant waves on the ocean side, the Blow Holes, were a bit of a let down.

 

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A small ray taking a rest in the sand nearing low tide.

 

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These critters are everywhere! Some make the noise of a large animal as the scurry away into the brush (and if you didn’t see them go, you wonder what the heck was that noise!), others don’t bother to move off the trail as you approach and you risk stepping on them.

 

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