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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Crystal Caves of Bermuda

Bermuda is easily in the top three islands you can visit on a dime.  That being said, there are some guidelines you need to follow. If you do not follow the guidelines listed below, you will blow your budget.

Many of the islands that cruise ships visit have a shared problem.  Public transit is almost unheard of.  There are some exceptions like Bermuda.  Bermuda has excellent public transit.

Here are some guidelines to follow.

1. You cannot use taxis.

2. Avoid hotels. Stay on a cruise ship. The cost of the cruise is cheaper than even the cheapest hotel.

3. Avoid eating on the island except for food stands or other quick options.

4. Buy a bus pass.  Don't pay by the trip.  Buy a pass for your stay.

Bermuda has a surprising number of things you can do.  Some islands are a one hit wonder.  Bermuda has beaches, water sports, light houses, historical sites, and unique natural features.  One of those natural features is the Crystal Caves.

The Crystal Caves are subterranean, tidal caves.  There are two main caves.  Both are worth checking out.  The price isn't too bad if you go it alone but there is a group discount.  If you are an outgoing person, and have a little extra time,  ask people at the entrance if they would like to group up.  This can save everyone in the group.  The discount is sizable.  When we were there we teamed up with a group of strangers.  It saved us $20.

The Slick Stairs

You have to descend into the caves.  This can be an issue for people who are very out of shape or become easily winded.  Keep in mind.  The descent isn't bad, most people can do it without any problems.  The ascent is the killer.  If you are out of shape you will need to stop and rest.  The descent / ascent consists of two sections.  The first section is a ramp.  This is the part people have a hard time with.  After the ramp there are stairs.  Both the ramp and stairs hand railings, use them.  The floor is often slick.

Now the caves themselves are impressive.  The rock formations and colors are amazing.  Now this might sound odd, but the water is a draw in itself.  The water is layered.  The top layer is pure, rock filtered, water.  The second layer is a mix of salt and fresh water.  The final layer is sea water the enters through submerged tunnels.  The layers create an optical illusion.  They magnify the bottom.  This means that the depth appears to be about ten feet when it's really up to fifty.  Whatever you do, don't drop anything.  You can see why as soon as you look over the edge.  There is a collection of cameras, glasses, and other items.

Now for some warnings.  If you are claustrophobic, you can do this, but make sure you do it at low tide!  At high tide parts of the caves could be difficult for people who cannot tolerate tight spaces.

If you are afraid of the dark, do not do this.  They shut the light off at one point.  It's not a problem for most adults but some of the kids in our group freaked out.

If you need fresh air, that could also be a problem.  It can get very stuffy in the caves and the air does not move.  The air is also very humid which can make things worse. 

If you do not suffer from any of those issues you should really enjoy the Crystal Caves.

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