Thursday, April 22, 2010

Renting a Car in the Bahamas

For those of you who have gone through the hassle of renting a car, and that’s probably most of you, you need to rent a car in the Bahamas. And not at one of the airports or major cities, but from an independent agency or person. It can’t be beat. Most of the islands we’ve visited have been relatively small, and we’ve been able to walk everywhere (on some islands, we’ve walked every road in less than an hour), or we’ve gotten ride from local drivers. Eleuthera Island is over 100 miles long, so we splurged and rented a car for a couple of days. This is how we did it. We called the local we-do-everything shop in Rock Sound on the VHF radio. They didn’t have a car available, so they found someone at the nearby airport with one. This kind gentleman—Buffalo to his friends—brought the car to us Friday morning at 7 am and handed us the keys. No paperwork, no need to see a license, no credit card to go on file, no insurance. Actually, I think it may have been his own car. When we asked what time it needed to be back on Sunday, he said “What time do you want to bring it back?”—no extra charge. He also said “If you have any problems, call me and I’ll find you.” And finally, to my question of how much gas we should leave it with: “Whatever you want.” Altogether, a delightful experience, and it allowed us to see some attractions we couldn’t have gotten to by boat or on foot (see my next couple of blogs). It was the same procedure (or lack thereof) our friends had when we all rented a car on Long Island (Bahamas) for a day. I highly recommend it.

The picture above has nothing to do with actually renting the car per se, but a blog without pictures is boring. We saw this ramshackle house while we were in the rental car, if that counts. The Bahamas is filled with such ruins (and on the charts, they’re sometimes labeled as ruins)—broken-down houses (we saw a similar church on Cat Island) being reclaimed by the undergrowth. Actually, I quite like them. They give an area a bit of a haunted feel.

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