THE 'QUEST' IS ALL THAT AND MORE! We just got back from the Bahamas and had the best time on a tour there called Nassau Native Quest. For those of you that want a truly native experience, this is it!!! From the moment you get off the bus (clean and air conditioned) you are part of this family. Leroy and Todney(sp) greeted us and took us down to a small amphitheater. Here, they gave us an orientation and got us into our costumes (colorful raffia skirts and carnival type hats). We learned about their native slang as we got into our costumes. Word to the wise, listen up, they use the terms later on in the tour.
After that, you get to watch a quick dance routine and then participate in some native dance moves and limbo. I think I made it through the first notch on the limbo, but had to bow out after that (this 60 something body just doesn't bend like that anymore). My grand kids (5, 6, 10, and 15), loved it, though, they kept moving the bar down lower and lower for them.
After the limbo, the tour moved very quickly into a group competition. There were two other families (two adults and two children and another group of 6 adults) with us and Leroy broke us up into three groups. They gave us colorful Junkanoo (their largest festival, some what like Carnival) names and paired us up with some of the other dancers. We were the Saxons!
The tour moved into learning about their conch, coconuts and sponge and we got to play games with them. What a riot that was. The winner at each station got a prize (had to give it back at the end of the tour, but was still fun). I was the loudest at blowing the conch, which I received a conch necklace for my excellence, thank you very much! Just a heads up, all three of the games that were played were easy enough for young and old to play. Also, bring your cash, they have a small snack stand at the front and the end of the tour where you can buy snacks and drinks.
The next part of the tour was very intriguing. I had no idea how big of a part slavery played in the Bahamas. We learned all about slavery and how it influenced Junkanoo. We even got to make our own Junkanoo arm bands and instruments.
From there, we were given nap sacks and headed over to Ft. Charlotte for our scavenger hunt. The walk over to Ft. Charlotte was fun as we got to converse with the guides and dancers. Watch out for that Dantez (sp) he's quite the charmer. Once there, we got another quick orientation and then off we went trying to figure out as many of the clues as we could. You only get 15 minutes, so time is of the essence. My grand kids ran me and my husband around in circles. Was a great way to learn about the fort, though.
Once we finished with the scavenger hunt, Todney took us over to Ft. Darcy (a part of the fort that the normal public doesn't get to come into). Here, as they put it, we got to taste the Bahamas. We tried bush teas (I particularly liked the lemon grass and banana rum teas), some of their local rums and specialty drinks. For my grand kids, they had their local lemonade, which they call switcha and some fruit punch. Before we left the rum area, Todney gave a nice tip speech (they split tips between the whole crew). Their is a tip jar upstairs at their souvenir section. We tipped them well, they totally deserved it. One last thing, downstairs, they also had a table of all Bahamian made or grown products. A lot of what was on this table was for sale upstairs at their souvenir table. I bought some earrings, a straw bag, and a couple of sponges. I think my husband bought a few bottles of rum.
After I shopped I finally made it over to the food and treat station. Yum! is all I can say. Even if you are not the sort to come out of your shell when it comes to food, there will be something there you will like. They had a curried chicken, fish balls, a seafood chowder, and some conch salad for us to try samples of. It was all amazing! I didn't get back for the treats, but my grand kids did and I didn't see any sad faces.
Just when we thought it was all done, they announced which group won, which, sadly wasn't us, but it was still a hoot to be a part of it. And then, the air exploded with cow bells, drums and other shakers. Leroy shouted for us to get our shakers out and we joined in with a group of Junkanoo dancers that lead us down to our bus. It was awesome!!! We said our good-byes and grudgingly got back on the bus.
If any of your are going to be in Nassau, I highly recommend Nassau Native Quest. I think they charge $55 dollars on the island, and their website is $45. Either price, you're getting your moneys worth and more! I promise!
If you own or manage Nassau Native Quest, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.