Posted July 15th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Just got back from our cruise. Based on this thread, we went to Folkestone Beach about 9:00 or 9:30. Later someone on the ship said it was dangerous to go to the more secluded beaches. We took a government bus (blue with yellow stripe $2.50 for 3 people). We were the only non-locals there. Snorkel vests $5.00, locker $1.00, restroom, outside shower, chairs in the shade. You can snorkel on the right side, but there are boats that come in there. Be careful. We saw only a few fish, then saw a puffer fish. Then a school of feeder fish (minnow size) swam by and an eel came out of a small cave-like reef. Scared the ____ out of us! No one bothered us or tried to sell us something. My husband stayed in the chair and watched out for us. He didn't want to swim on that day.
We walked back to the bus stop (marked with a sign and a bench) and went to another beach to snorkel with turtles. Buses come by about every ten minutes. (Blue Monkey bar/restaurant, $7.00 bottles of water, 2 chairs & 1 umbrella $15.00.)Amazingly they have no change!
When I said I wouldn't rent from them since they didn't have change, they said they would find change. Two hours later, I went looking for the guy and found him. He saw me coming and said "I owe you $5.00" U.S. He said he didn't have it and gave me $10.00 Barbados $. I added $2.00 US to it and bought the water. This time we caught a privately owned bus (yellow with blue stripe -3 for $2.50) Interior was lime green, music blaring. I cannot remember the beach's name, but someone on this forum said it was easy to swim to where the excursion boats were. You really should not try to swim with the turtles from the shore. It is NOT roped off and is pretty dangerous. Jet skis and boats come flying by you. Some of the jet ski drivers have been drinking and may not see you if you are snorkeling and swimming towards the turtles. It looks really close from the shore, but it is pretty far once you start fighting the waves to get there. It is more than 30 foot deep there too. People are on the beach offering glass bottomed boat rides out to the turtles. We paid $10.00 per person to go out there. Offer less. We offered $10.00 and they took the offer. They would probably do it for less. They have life jackets and snorkel gear. Problem is they left us out there and we had to start swimming back. They did not count how many people (12) they started with. I kept looking up to see if they were ready for us and no one motioned us in. I looked up again and they were gone. I saw them at the beach so we started swimming back. We were exhausted before we were even 1/4 of the way back. They came back when my husband told them they had left us. We got in the boat and went back to shore. It is better to go with a small group so they don't forget you.
We did see two huge turtles out there. One stayed on the bottom and one swam within touching distance. I didn't touch it, but others did. I felt we should leave it alone and not touch it. Each flipper was about 15-18 inches long. The turtles were huge! If you take an excursion on a catamaran, most of your time is spent getting there! Much cheaper to use a glass bottomed boat.
We had a hard time getting rid of people trying to sell us something. A woman next to me kept getting touched on the leg by a guy trying to talk to her to sell her something. He would not listen to her saying no. He kept offering back rubs or lotion application....wouldn't go away. Her husband/boyfriend came back and he came over to us. My daughter was trying to put her shoe on and he grabbed her foot. She lightly hit his hand with her water shoe and he stopped. No snorkeling here.
We started back to the boat around 2:00. Other people near us had paid $60.00 round trip or $25.00 one-way for taxis to get there. The two women that paid $25.00 one-way came back with us on the bus. We got the "party" bus again and it was half full. By the time we went a mile, it was packed and standing room only. I wish we would have waved them on and waited for a government bus. That could have been a dangerous situation, but nothing happened. We went by a different route than the government bus came. We wound up in a bad area, then moved quickly on. They dropped us off at the government bus terminal (where we caught the first one) when we asked them to drop us off near the cruise ship.
We were the only non-locals on the bus. I would imagine that since tourism is so important, we would be safe, but anything could happen at any time. So make sure you are adventurous if you take the local bus. Go out the gate and walk through a park-like area with beautiful flowers. It is well-maintained. You will walk until you pass a shopping area that sells crafts. It was a nice walk even in July! 15-20 min. The drivers watch out for pedestrians so that is good. After the shopping area, look to the left and you should see the bus terminal. Cross the street....driving on the left here! Ask for bus going to Spreightstown or Holetown. Coming back, ask for "to town" bus. The bus stop signs say "out of city" and "to town".
Ride the bus at your own risk.