Eleuthera – Trying Travel, but Warm Welcome
That is the face of a man rescued by the warmth and hospitality of the Eleutheran people.
Usually, when we start a trip, we drop a “good morning from X destination” post. But how we arrived in Eleuthera and how I found myself with this plate of food in my hand is worth a recap.
NYC to FLL
It started at 4:45AM when my alarm went off in Brooklyn, New York. After rousing my family, we all got ready for a travel day. JFK was uneventful. Once at our layover in Ft. Lauderdale, we even managed to spend some quality time with Steve at his house before heading back to FLL airport for the next leg of our journey: the short hop over to Eleuthera.
Silver Airways, however, wasn’t going to make this easy. Our flight was delayed by nearly two hours. Passing the 12-hour in transit mark, the family started to fade as we baked in our small plane on the tarmac, waiting to take off.
FLL to ELH
Finally, we landed in Eleuthera. After some phone calls to find our rental car and a mechanic poking a stick into it in an attempt to quiet some god-awful sounds it made when we started it up, we were making our way down Queen’s Highway for the final leg of our trip.
All we wanted to do was get to our house with zero stops.
ELH to Airbnb
The car wailed as it hobbled down the road; the gas tank was on E when given to us, the rear back tire was practically flat, the right blinker was malfunctioning, and the AC didn’t work. We less turned and more lolled around turns. On our way, we limped across the Glass Window Bridge. After screeching down the road for over an hour, we finally make it to our AirBnB around 8:30PM—a full 15+ hours since our travels began.
Naturally, there wasn’t a crumb of food in the house, and we hadn’t eaten since grabbing airport food in FLL around 1PM.
So, we were starving.
Airbnb to Salvation
Leaving the kids in the house, we climbed back into our gasless, wailing rental and screeched out into the night.
We made for Governor’s Harbour, about four miles away—the gas gauge pinned to “E.” Arriving in town a bit after 9PM, everything was dark.
We parked at the closed Shell gas station and wondered ‘what the hell were we going to do next?’ And that’s when we saw it. Smoke. People. There had to be food!
We hopped out of the car and shuffled across the street. The smell of barbecue filled our nostrils. Our bellies rumbled.
The scene was a quintessential West Indian cookout. Grill going strong. Macaroni pie, potato salad, corn, rice, and other sides peaking out from beneath foil coverings. Plates of food dished out at breakneck speeds. People liming. Kids running around. It was salvation.
I dragged myself over to a guy and asked, “How much is a plate?”
He watched me and smiled: “Free.”
Me, almost delirious: “What?!”
“Yeah, it’s free. We’re celebrating the team’s win over in Nassau, so the food is free, and there’s drinks over there.” He pointed to a nearby makeshift bar.
“Yeah. Get a plate.”
At that moment, a woman runs out of the kitchen: “Mister, you hungry? Pork chops coming now!”
Before I knew it, I had a plate of food in one hand, a full cup of rum in the other, and a broad smile plastered all over my face.
Eleuthera First Blush
This was my very first experience. In one singular, warm, magical moment, this community made me feel more welcome than I had in a long time.
Eleuthera, I might love you already.