When we went to the Cayman Island's Stingray City, the owner of the boat that we rented was extra special. For free, he took us on a side trip to dive conches.
The owner and his partner, an immigrant from Honduras, let my husband and daughter Rainier dove for two live conches. The Honduran guide took a huge hammer and cut the back of the conch shell. He pulled out the white meat of the conch. He sliced them into several pieces and distributed them to whoever wanted to taste a fresh conch! My husband shared a piece with me saying that it tasted like a coconut meat, but I politely refused.
After the passengers of the boat finished eating the two conches, my daughter Sierra asked me if I can ask the guide if she can have the shells. The guide was planning to toss them back to the ocean. The Honduran guide gave the two conches to my daughter Sierra and she was so happy and elated to have a treasure from the Cayman Islands!
However, bringing those two conch shells home gave us a lot of problems at the Miami International Airport. Since they were heavy and bulky, we have to check them in. At the security check point, a security guard detained us after finding on the screen machine unfamiliar x-ray. We were detained for awhile as we were asked to open our luggages. After finding the conch shells, the security officer asked us whether those shells were empty or not.
Moreover, when we arrived home, we were welcomed by a foul odor coming from our luggages. Immediately, we brought our luggages outside the house! Our clothes were so stinky and washed all of them. And, aired-out our luggages. Although the conches were wrapped good, we can't wrap the smell!
It took us at least two months to clean them. We soaked them in warm soapy water for two weeks and scrub them. Then re-soaked them again for another week. And, we repeated this for about two months.
Now, the two conch shells sit in our living room reminding us of our lovely experience in the Cayman Islands and at the same time reminded us of how difficult it was to bring them home! Also, those two conch shells were good conversation subjects with people visiting us at home.
While we were there, crabs were running all over the place! It made it a little interesting trying not to hit them while driving! Some of them were quite large---makes you wonder how they lived to get so big! There were also a lot of tiny ones, like this one.
THey drive on the WRONG side of the road there! It's a bit scarey the first time a car comes at you from the right! Actually, it was a bit scarey the whole week! Plus, the turn indicators are on the wrong side of the steering wheel----which resulted in us having the cleanest windshield on the island!
Don't forget to put sunscreen lotion, and drink plenty of fluids.
When diving - don't touch anything. You may encounter sharks, but they usually run away before you get a glimpse at them.
During the hurricane season you may need to go to a hurricane shelter.
If you're a relatively new diver, as we were (actually we were just certified 2 days before our trip), be sure to go with a divemaster. We went out on our own & I got some bad equipment. Actually at 60 feet, my reg stopped working & I had to buddy-breathe to the top. It didn't stop us from diving however - we've dove many, many more times & are glad we did. Just be careful - go with a reputable dive outfit such as Fisheye. The divemasters & instructors were good but the people working in the shop need to brush up on their customer service skills.
The photographers of the guided tours going to the Sting Ray farm are charging too much to tourists! So, make sure to bring your underwater cameras or water-resistant cameras when you go to the Sting Ray farm.
The photographers are charing $50 per CD!!!
For me, I was not able to take pictures because I was so dizzy on the boat and requested the photographer to take pictures of my daughter diving for a conch.
After the tour, I was charged $50.00. It's kind of sad that those are memorable pictures so I ended up paying the photographer...But, I learned two lessons: Bring my own underwater camera and take dramamine pills before I head to the boat!
Don't buy the coconuts here to eat or to drink it's juice. They are not sweet at all. You are just wasting your money.
My daughter bought one and she said it didn't have a taste on it. It's not like those coconuts that you buy in Southeast Asia especially those found in the Philippines (I grew up eating fresh coconut meat and drinking it's fresh juice at my grandfather's house).
I tried to take a sip and I didn't like it. It was a waste of money...I told my daughter to charge it to experience...
When I was there a group of us visited a nightclub somewhere along Seven Mile Beach. We were far from being a rowdy crowd of drunken Englishmen abroad but that didn't seem to stop a few of the local guys from taking exception to us. We ended up being chased out of the club with machetes and the hire cars had the scars to prove it. Be warned!
This island is very strict about drugs. Just don't try to fly it in or buy it. You can be stripped searched in the airport without a warrent, you can be stripped searched by the roadside without a warrent. You can be asked for a urine sample and if you refuse that is basicly saying you are guilty in their eyes and LAWS. Not a place to play like this. The goverment and police are very SERIOUS about this problem. Northward prison is not very nice and that is where you go.
that is all I have to say on that
Its a nice scary place to visit, but I wouldnt wanna live there...: )
of course I mean the real Hell !!! hehehe!
Watch out for the giant crabs that wander the road at night. They can pop your tires. Also be aware that you will be driving on the opposite side of the road and the opposite side of the car. Yikes!
Be careful if you go snorkeling not to step on the coral. It is a $5,000 fine! Also if you swim out too far you can get badly hurt.
On the beach at Bodden Town, 1 bedroom, living room, kitchen with rental car costs about 60% of a...more
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