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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Bermuda, Ahoy!

BERMUDA | Saturday, 29 April 2023 | Views [47]

"You can go to heaven if you want to. I'd rather stay in Bermuda." -Mark Twain

For the first time I've taken a journey where geocaching is my dominant goal as there are a lot of them in Bermuda. Upon landing yesterday on my Delta flight, I immediately went in search of a few of the "little boxes." Whilst I found one, I was exhausted due to pulling an all-nighter last night and then having an early flight from JFK yesterday morning. When I stuck out my thumb at the roundabout outside the airport I was picked up straight away by a lady from Thailand. She dropped me in the capital, Hamilton, where my CouchSurfing host, Anil, works in finance. He is originally from Bangladesh but has lived in Bermuda for the past 10 years. Since Anil was at work until 5 PM I had some time to explore. After grabbing a couple of geocaches I called in at Bermuda Bistro for one of Bermuda's iconic drinks: a rum swizzle.

It is made with fruit punch and two different types of rum. I got to keep the souvenir glass (technically it's a "souvenir plastic" as I'm sure they're aware that a glass likely wouldn't make it home in one piece). Anil and I would stay up into the wee hours and chat over Bermuda's other signature drink: the dark 'n stormy. Made with dark rum, ginger beer, and a dash of bitters, it is very tasty.

Last night I drank dark 'n stormies, I woke up this morning to it being dark 'n stormy. The weather wasn't the best this morning. I thought about going to Dockyard but Anil suggested St. George's since today is Saturday and the buses don't run often on Sunday. Founded in 1612, St. George's was the first capital of Bermuda and the third oldest British settlement in the Americas. 

St. Peter's Church is the oldest surviving Anglican church outside of Great Britain. 

The buildings are painted a vast array of pastel-hued colours, but Bermuda's most iconic feature are the white roofs that appear like a series of steps. Due to a relative absence of groundwater, Bermudians came up with a clever way to collect as much rainwater as possible. 

Water is collected in a rainwater tank, and the hole underneath the door releases the overflow. 

The lack of freshwater streams and lakes means there are practically no mosquitoes in Bermuda. It's really nice that Anil can leave his door open all night for fresh air and then not have to wake up itching with a thousand mosquito bites. It started to rain, and then as I was searching for a geocache I cut my foot on a piece of a broken beer bottle. As I took cover from the rain it took awhile to get the bleeding to stop. Idiots like to throw beer bottles and glass around and don't think about the fact that someone can become seriously injured as a result of broken glass, especially in a place like Bermuda where many people walk barefoot. My favourite place in St. George's is the Unfinished Church. 

The church was intended to replace St. Peter's Church but the congregation decided to renovate the original church and left this one to decay. The ruins are now preserved as a historic site. One of my former teacher's aides has been to Bermuda, and he said to have a Barritt's ginger beer. Bermuda and Australia are, in my opinion, the best countries for ginger beer. Barritt's and Bundaberg could easily have a taste test battle. 

Bermuda and budget certainly don't go hand in hand. Everything costs an arm and a leg here, and if I were to go out drinking every night I'd probably have to declare bankruptcy at the end of a one-week trip. Going out to dinner is often a three-figure bill. If you're a backpacker, you don't come here unless you either know someone or find a CouchSurfing host as there are no hostels or holiday parks, and camping is illegal. The cheapest hotels start at around $150 per night and can go well into the thousands. Many visitors to Bermuda are repeat visitors and it's common for them to bring a bag of coffee or some frozen steaks to cut some of the costs. Visits to the island generally range from about five to seven days. It's not possible for tourists to hire cars but hiring a scooter costs at least $80 per day. Bus fare is $3.50 per trip but that also adds up very quickly. Today I've gone back to my style of travel and I've started to hitchhike in Bermuda. Bermudians may not understand hitchhiking, but the many foreigners who live here are more likely to, and I was picked up quickly when I put my thumb out. A gorgeous Czech lady named Lenka would pick me up, and I firmly believe she should be on a magazine cover. Whilst I assumed she was going to Hamilton it turned out she was going to Warwick, very close to Southampton. Before coming to Bermuda I envisioned the island as being a "Norfolk Island of the North." Put a blindfold on me and I'd swear I was back in Norfolk Island.

Lenka told me to call in at the pub she works and she'd shout me a drink. I would meet up with Varun, who is also a CouchSurfing host. He originally planned to host me but he had some other plans that got in the way and he believed he wasn't going to be on island but it turned out he was here. In the dark I walked home as dark clouds still made their presence known. Thankfully the rain stayed at bay until I got back to Anil's home. After heating up some 2-minute noodles for dinner, I decided on a late-night geocaching run along the Bermuda Railway Trail. Whilst there used to be a train track it's now used for walking, running, cycling, and horseback riding. Earlier I cut my foot, and tonight I'd bang my leg hard on a horizontal bar that I couldn't see in the dark. On my first full day in Bermuda I've banged myself up a fair bit. I really struggled on the geocaching front even with my torch, so I headed home. My goal for a week in Bermuda is to find 100 geocaches, and in 1 1/2 days here already I've only found 16 so far. On my estimation, I probably walked at least 35,000 steps today. The weather wasn't the best today but what a magical place this is! The sound of Bermuda at night is surreal. Whistling frogs produce a symphony that you likely won't hear anywhere else! The sound is even better after a couple of dark 'n stormies. Anil and I chatted late into the night again. 

Just like Mark Twain, I'll take Bermuda over heaven any day. All I ask for is refreshed foot muscles and blue skies. 

 

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