Thursday, 21 February 2013
Barbados or Bust
Barbados... It's a British colony, with lush land, and nice beaches. We had originally planned to tour Barbados via a Friend of an investment adviser we were working with. He would take us to the island hot spots, and his social club for lunch. Unfortunately we had to break ties with our investment adviser since he couldn't get his mind around our plan to quit the rat race. HIS goal was to see us build as much wealth as possible. Sounds great, but not so compatible with a life of sailing.
We landed in Barbados, and sought out a cab for downtown, with a plan to 'figure it out'. Fortunately, we met Adrian Baily, a cabbie/tour guide who saw no value in taking us the three blocks to downtown, and convinced us to venture further. For a nominal fee of $50, he would give us a tour of the island, then take us to Turtle Beach to spend the afternoon. Eager to get out of the rain, we agreed, and jumped in. Adrian quickly reminded me that I wasn't driving, and had to move to the left side seat! British road rules!
Being a somewhat religious culture, churches were considered a significant cultural attraction in Barbados. We visited the church that Tony Blair observed mass in while on the island. Then we visited the golf club where Tiger Woods got married. Insert Tiger joke here! Adrian wasn't supposed to be driving on this property so we got our first real life paparazzi experience!
As we headed out of town, across the island, we saw a duo of monkeys scattering along a fence rail. They were common in Barbados, and roamed freely. Until this point we were not overly keen on the flat landscape that was Barbados. But the thought of Mickie, our Alaskan Malamute, having a monkey for a pet was tempting!!
We climbed up one of the few hills on the island. and took time to stop at a clearing to take pictures . A short drive from there, and we were at Turtle Beach. It was one of those days where if you didn't like the weather, waiting 10 minutes was a sure cure! Unfortunately,we got dropped off at the wrong part of that cycle. We pondered whether to bother with the beach but rationalised we had our swim suits on, what harm would come from getting wet? There was a couple on our tour from Ohio, as well as their visiting family from Germany. They too agreed staying at the beach was worth the gamble. We got Adrian's cell #, hoping we would be true to his word, to come back for us.
As we walked onto the beach, the rain subsided, as the clouds scattered, almost like they were saving the sun till we arrived. The sand was soft and white. The water blue/turquoise blend. It was a nice beach, though not the best I've seen. Perhaps the most feature was Smoothie's, a small beach bar. It was a basic hut, selling beer, and a few other beach essentials. For a buck you could use their washroom. However, if you spent $10 with them, the washroom was free for the day. Wise investment. The washroom was even clean! For another $15 I was able to rent snorkel gear. I cursed this fee, since I had my own gear. However, since my gear somehow got left back home, it was of little use.
After trying to snorkel I quickly realised the water was too rough and stirred up to see much of anything, and decided a nap on the beach was called for. Something to be said about warm sun, in December!
Around 2:30, rain made an encore appearance, cuing us it was time to head back. Adrian was there within minutes of our call, and we made good time back into town. Having two hours before boarding, we decided to check out downtown. We got drooped in the core, and roamed aimlessly looking for exciting ways to part with our money. Within 20 minutes we were frustrated by the lack of exciting shopping opportunities so we headed back towards the port. Close to the ship we found several tourist geared souvenir shops, but still found them to be uninspiring, and surprisingly empty. Clearly Barbados wasn't famous for shopping. It was equally clear that Barbados was not going to be a part of our future adventure plans, or a place we would ever call home.
We climbed back on board, and headed to the Lido Deck to find Lou, and a tasty Mojito!