But what I do crave is a square of Bahamian mac n'cheese. Yes, you read that right, a square. Those Bahamians know how to do things right. They bake it up in some sort of casserole and cut into squares. This is the type of thing I want seconds and third of. Heaven forbid if someone tries to get the last square. I'd probably stab a fork into the back of their hand, grab the last square and sign contentedly. And gloat. I'd definitely gloat.
I had my first square in Hopetown at a little snack shack. My stomach was grumbling and I spied a sign which promised mac n'cheese for only $4. Everything costs way more than $4 in the Bahamas, even bread. I'm all about value, so mac n'cheese it was. And it was good. Beyond good. It was delicious.
If you're a frugal traveler like we are and ever find yourself in Hopetown, head to the snack shack across from Vernon's Grocery Store & Bakery. If you don't like mac n'cheese (What?!! You must not be American!), there's plenty of other things to choose from and everything is so much cheaper then if you eat in a proper sit down restaurant. I don't know the name of the place, but everyone knows Vernon's, ask for directions and they'll point you in the right direction.
We bought a loaf of coconut bread at Vernon's. Fascinating place, for a grocery store that is. Vernon is a direct descendant of the founder of Hopetown settlement, so he probably knows the ultimate recipe for Bahamian mac n'cheese. Sadly, I forgot to ask him. What he definitely knows about is key lime pie. He's famous for it. Our pals, Charlie and Jane from S/V Wild Blue, bought a pie and shared some with us. I'd never had key lime pie before. Turns out it is a lot like lemon meringue pie, but with limes. Go figure. It was good, but one slice was enough. I didn't feel the need to stab anyone in the back of the hand to get another slice.
In addition to running the shop, Vernon is also a Methodist minister. As you walk around the store, you'll find all sorts of inspirational and humorous sayings posted on little scraps of paper on the shelves, walls, windows, cash register - everywhere. You can spend hours discovering them as you look at the wares for sale and you're bound to find one that resonates with you or tickles your funny bone.
Hopetown is a cute little town located on Elbow Cay in the Abacos. The place is full of energy, the pastel houses sparkle in the sunlight, the people stop to chat and everyone seems happy. Must be the mac n'cheese.
Hopetown is probably best known for its red and white striped lighthouse. It kind of looks like a giant candy cane. It's adorable. Stripes do have that effect. I think the lighthouse would look even better with polka dots, but that would probably take a lot of effort to repaint it.
I don't know about those people climbing up the steps. They look like troublemakers.
There are a lot of steps you have to climb up to get to the top. We met a woman coming down who is scared to death of heights. She was shaking and trembling, but so proud of herself for making it to the top, as she should be. She totally deserved a giant piece of mac n'cheese as a reward for her courage.
See the sign that says, "Danger - Do Not Touch"? Doesn't that just make you want to touch them, whatever they are? My guess is some sort of still.
As you make your way up the stairs, stop to catch your breath and peek out the window at the harbor.
Keep climbing. It is so worth it with amazing views like these.
The Hopetownians (what do you call someone from Hopetown?) are rightly proud of their lighthouse. They've even incorporated it into the Fire & Rescue logo.
The only downside of eating mac n'cheese is that it goes directly to your tummy and sticks to it like glue, creating these unpleasant bulges that make it difficult to zip up your shorts at times. So, we went for a stroll around Hopetown to try to work off some of those calories. Everywhere you look you see some sort of boat.
I love these old fishing doo-dads. All the different colors and shapes. They kind of look like giant hard candies. All this talk of candy is making me hungry. Sorry, need to go now and see if I can whip up some mac n'cheese.
Want to know more about Hopetown? Check out this site here.
LOGBOOK NOTES | Friday 22 May - Sunday 24 May 2015
Total Nautical Miles - 4
Total Time - I have absolutely no idea (note to self, keep better notes)
Anchor Up - Man O'War Cay
Anchor Down - Elbow Cay, outside of Hopetown Harbour
Best Coconut Bread Ever - Vernon's
Number of Mediocre Dinners - 1 (overpriced for what we got)
Number of Awesome Squares of Mac N'Cheese - 1 (perfectly priced)
Next time on the blog...we take a little break for our usual monthly roundup in numbers. But right after that, we get back to our Bahamian adventures with some thoughts on stupid can openers and why three days in Marsh Harbour is three days too many.
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