For the last couple of years, the world famous Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas have become quite the sensation. From celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade posting pics of them on their Instagram, to features of the pigs on major tv shows like "The Bachelor" and even a prime spot in "The Angry Birds" movie, it the pink and black spotted creatures have become mega popular on "must see" travel lists!
So, I thought to myself, I live in paradise, but rarely ever care to enjoy a lot of the attractions and wonders that are literally in my back yard! I guess when you're used to having something, you can take it for granted (as I type in my shorts and flip flops in the dead of "fall/winter")
Anyways, I decided to experience these peculiar yet kinda cute creatures for myself with the Exuma Escapes tour company. I was totally stoked! Swimming with wild pigs partly sounds so bizarre but yet so damn cute and sure to make my insta followers drool, right?
The adventure started at 8:30 am where we got on board the boat right behind the Magaritaville Restaurant on Paradise, Island. The golden sun warmly beat upon our swimsuit clad bodies as we were greeted with a wide smile by our friendly captain for the day. I wobbly hopped on to the small boat (there were about 10 other persons), one of the crew members clasping my hand to ensure I didn't buss my ass. Sitting at the front of the boat, we began our trek to the first island where would pet Bahamian iguanas! Now, the trip to the first island is about an hour - so be prepared to sit tight for a good while.
And a word of advice, don't wear a hat unless:
a.you're prepared to lose it
b. you're prepared to have hand cramps from trying to keep said hat from flying away.
I was a victim of a and b. Rest in peace to my favorite REP JA hat. *pour a glass of Hennessy onto the floor* You know belong to the ocean.
After riding through 50 shades of gorgeous blue water, we dropped anchor on the first little Exuma cay (Exuma has 365 by the way) and the captain and his crew gave us long wooden sticks with plump wet grapes to feed what looked like mini dinosaurs to me.
Let me just put it out there...I WAS SCARED.
Be prepared to see many pics of me with a panicked look across my face or literally me in mid "run away position". So much for my tons of insta-worthy pics.
Before you clown me though, I mean it's a frickin' WILD iguana...and they have a mean old resting bitch face.
I literally spent 10 minutes shrieking and hiding behind my friend Shaunna before I could sit down and feed them and take a pic. I came all this way, I had to do it for the gram! But after a while, I must admit it got easier. It was kinda like Donald Trump winning the presidency of the United States, after the initial shock and fear, you just kinda realize you still have to power through.
Running for my life!
Don't mind the smile, I'm using Shaunna as a human shield.
"Take the damn picture so I can move away!"
Next up on this adventure in paradise, it was time for the big stars of the show; THE swimming pigs.
Their home was Big Major Cay, and tt took us about another hour to get to their home Big Major Cay- but I didn't mind because:
1. The views of the water were absolutely breathtaking - it was so clear, I saw a nurse shark swimming around. Now that I think of it, that should have possibly made me hesitant, but I was enamored.
2. The captain made sure the vibes were good with some great music
3. The fresh air on my face was a nice break from the craziness of everyday life.
4. I've seen that people are trying to capitalize on the popularity of the pigs and basically implanting other pigs on other islands - but I'm all about authenticity, so I didn't mind the wait and extra time it took to get to the real destination. That's why I was so keen on doing this experience with the Exuma Escapes tour company too.
We anchored in the shallow waters, I took a step down into the powdery, golden sand and....
I.... Almost shat myself.
The swimming pigs WERE SCARY AS F*CK!
This face is a cry for help!
How do the girls on instagram make it look so cool?
Listen, I've seen all these pics of people petting these pigs and smiling with their flawless go pro pics and impossibly perfectly tanned asses and I dunno HOW I convinced MYSELF that it would be a walk in the park. ISSA SCAM!
They were HUUUUUUGEEEEEEE and FIESTY! They're obviously used to so many people coming now that they swam right up to the boat. Cue me shrieking and sweating!
They gave us carrots to feed them and with the help of Shaunna aka #TheHumanShield I wad finally able to kinda sorta touch them and quickly drop food into their large, jagged teeth lined mouths. And oh, those big heffas are enthusiasts about their damn carrots, so if you do this tour you absolutely HAVE to follow the instructions of the crew and keep your hands up and only drop the carrot down low when you're ready.
Don't mind the social media pics, it's an interesting experience but they are NOT domesticated animals and we are in their environment, so act accordingly.
The little babies were the cuuuutest (and the least scary to be around)! Shaun, who was obviously a pig wrangler in some other life, picked up one for me (while he let out a high pitched shriek) so that I could get a photo to post on Instagram and act like I was not scared at all. #goals #ILiveWhereYouVacation #forcedSmile
After an hour of petting, feeding and mostly running from the little pork chops, we headed to Staniel Cay, Exuma, where we had an amazinggggggg lunch that was actually included in the tour package. I wish I had pics but I was so hungry, I inhaled everything before I could take an enviable pic. We were able to order whatever we wanted and it was super tasty and the staff was super friendly ( I expected no less from the people of Exuma. Their hospitality is legendary )
Our last activity in the tour was feeding and petting some nurse sharks. Surprisingly, I was not afraid at all. Maybe I had reached my anxiety quota for the day or something. They were so graceful and this part of the tour was super calming for me. The captain dropped red, dripping pieces of meat in the pristine water and as they approached I was able to slide my fingertips across their smooth, almost leather like skin...
This tour was totally worth it! 3 islands and 3 amazing attractions in one day! I think it's a perfect option for someone wanting to experience the beauty of The Exumas, especially if you don't have time off or all your coins yet to fly and stay overnight. If you'd like to book a day trip to enjoy (or scream and run from) the Swimming pigs visit www.swimmingpigsbahamas.org
AND if you wanna see my RUNNING away from the PIGS via motion picture, check out my video recap below:
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