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My first choice for Stop 1 on this trip was Santiago, Chile. Unfortunately, since I didn’t book the ticket until last Thursday, flights to Santiago were totally sold out so I had to get creative.
After striking out with every South American destination I could think of, I started looking in the Caribbean. To give you a little background: The rules on the Around the World ticket with Delta (or rather, Skyteam) are pretty simple, you pick a direction (east or west) and keep going until you get back to your starting point, no back-tracking allowed.
Once again I chose to go east since it allows me to choose overnight flights which save time and hotel nights. Of course, if I had all the time in the world to spend entire days on a plane and money were not an issue, I think I’d go west, it would be a lot easier from a jetlag perspective.
So, I like to start in South America and head to Europe from there. At the very least, I wanted to start somewhere warm. Mexico was out because that was west of Atlanta, so I looked elsewhere in the Caribbean. And Nassau turned out to be the only place I could get into and out of on the dates that I wanted. So, Nassau Bahamas, it is!
Flying into Nassau yesterday over crystal blue waters, I started to think maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Are the Bahamas adventurous? No. A step outside my comfort zone? Certainly not. But, after all, my next stop is Morocco where I’m planning to run a marathon so maybe easing into this trip by starting off with a little R&R is not such a bad way to go.
I should also mention that I am joined once again on this trip by Jerome the Travelin’ Gnome! As you may recall, Jerome was a gift from my friend, Lynn, before last years’ trip. (She just thought SOMEONE should go with me.) And I must admit, he’s the perfect travel companion for an independent traveler like myself. He doesn’t eat much, almost never complains and I still get to make all the decisions about what we see and do.
Though I must say, he’s not much for picking up a check at dinner. Well, what are you gonna do? No gnome is perfect.
My hotel for the 2 nights I will be staying in Nassau is the Sheraton Cable Beach. (Sidebar: You will be hearing a lot about Sheratons, Westins and Le Meridien hotels in the next few weeks because I have made good use of my hard-earned Starwood points for this trip.)
The hotel is actually quite nice. It has recently undergone a complete renovation and looks brand new. My room is excellent with a great view of the white sand beach and sparkling turquoise sea outside. I am relaxing already. There isn’t much to do other than laze around on the beach or go to the casino but, hey, that’s just fine with me.
After all, I am running a marathon in a few days so let’s just call this “taper” mode, Bahamas-style.
Next stop, Marrakech.