The Beach Shopping Network

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Jose Kevo on November 5, 2001

"If you lay there, they will come" and so goes the scenario for locals trying to hawk goods and services to the resort tourists to make a quick buck. You'll see all types selling all kinds of things, but you'll definitely want to meet "George"; a local who's been working the Cable Beach area for years. You'll notice him coming down the beach with a sizeable bucket of coconuts balanced on his head. For $3.00, he'll whack off one of their tops, pour the milk into another potent concoction for mixing before refilling the shell including ice and a straw. A couple or three of these things will be MORE than enough - enough said!

Other walking vendors sell all kinds of hand-crafted items, weed, and tourist junk...or, the "Perfect 10" look for those looking to get a Bo Derek braid job. The jewellery items, made from broken conch and other shells, come in a large assortment of styles, necklaces/bracelets/earrings/etc. and are not only dirt cheap but durable as we've still got some 5+-years later. Actually, the long shards of shell will break off before the stringing ever does.

Other than George, my favorite vendor is a dread-locked guy who pulls a surfboard in ankle-deep water along the coast with conch shells and other marine life for sale including some of the largest starfish and sea urchins I've ever seen in my life! Items are priced at $10 each, but he's given me a deal of three for $25.

Inside the Radisson on a lower hallway are the hotel's galleries and shops with some interesting finds that are definitely more upscale and pricey as you'd expect from their levels of clientele. Aside from a lot of clothing, they've some really nice forms of local art that's obviously original works and not mass-produced to look that way. If you've still time and looking for the good buys, head across from the Hotel to the "can't miss" typical Caribbean market. You'll basically find what you expect...including aggressive vendors applying pressure in desperation to make a sale. (If "only looking" would ever be acceptable in these places!)

Clearing customs when leaving the country is somewhat "I've only been here for the day" isn't enough to get their attention. They've always checked my/our bags though they never really look and I know there was once I was over the legal liquor export level. I also question about the legalities of the shells and such? Took a chapter from one of my Bermudan friend's travels back to her homelands and this advice - 'Any time you don't want them looking, wrap the stuff inside your wet beach clothes, towels, socks and dirty underwear!' It worked for her and it worked for me...including when reentering the country and customs check again at JFK.

Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
West Bay Street
Nassau, Bahamas

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