BARBADOS - FIRST STOP!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Monday- fine and warm!
Barbados- we docked at 8am on Monday and headed into town on foot to look around -nothing special- and it turned out to be a very hot day; sunny and bright!!
Barbados is a small island with a population of around 290,000, 90% black and of African descent. It was a British colony from 1626 until 1966 and their economy relies heavily on tourism now. According to a government report we read they are the biggest economy outside Canada and the USA, but to a visitor this is not immediately obvious as the island looks run down in areas!
They are mad about cricket!
The ship offers expensive tours around the island but we decided to explore independently and spent the grand total of $20 between the 3 of us, which Sheila converted into Barbados dollars in the bank.
We caught a local bus down the south coast to Dover Beach which was lovely- white sand, turquoise sea with some healthy surf today. There seem to be lots of resorts along the beach and we found ourselves a space on the sand and enjoyed a swim in the cool clear water.
Time for coffee and a little café selling espresso was recommended by a local guy selling crafts and it was a good choice; just to mention that the coffee on the ship is American style and very weak, tasting more like powdered coffee or whatever!
Our return bus trip was a bit stressful- first of all we waited nearly half an hour for the "big blue/yellow bus" and when it finally flew into view it was totally full and flew by. Small private buses kept stopping but were packed like sardine tins and would not take our bus token. Some friendly ladies gave us advice and a Barbados dollar to supplement our last remaining Barbados $5 to make the $6 we needed to catch the little buses; just when we had sorted all this a “big blue/yellow bus” flew into sight and we promptly returned the dollar and jumped on board. I use “flew” because the speed they travel is pretty scary but we got back to town in one piece.
The most noticeable thing about Barbados, apart from the stunning beaches is the people – they are black and beautiful, and amazingly friendly; yes it is true we spent not even 6 hours on shore but all our dealings with the Bajans were wonderful.
From the people in the bank, in the shops even the taxi drivers, who do try to over-charge but respond inevitably with a lovely smile and a shrug! Kath was happy that this was an old colony of Britain, independent now for nearly 50 years and everyone speaks English; she struggled understanding the lilting accent however.
The day was hot when we reached Bridgetown again so we negotiated a good price for a taxi back to the ship and had lunch before returning to the cruise hall to connect with free internet – the price on board is 90 cents per minute!! Forget that! Even the ships employees have to pay that rate!!
Tonight was the Captains Welcome Cocktail party and a fabulous live musical show in the theatre- wow the standard of singing, dancing, aerial acrobatics and stage effects were beyond our expectations- very impressive and enjoyable.