Barbados

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Map of Barbados

Barbados easily rates as my favorite Caribbean Island. The British system of government is well established here, giving the residents a stable, and predictable framework within which they can grow and prosper. Barbadians hold onto traditional values, and so tourists shouldn't wander around Bridgetown clad only in a bathing suit. Shorts or slacks and a shirt or blouse, along with some shoes or walking sandals is expected.

Flying into Barbados, the vacationer is greeted with formal but friendly British-style immigration. The airport is quite modern, and taxis abound to take you to your hotel.

In 1981 we stayed at the Southern Palms Beach Club, which is located just south of Bridgetown near the village of St. Lawrence (aka "The Gap"), located in the parish of Christ Church. The beach at St. Lawrence is superb, and has many moderately priced resorts located along it's length. Board sailing  as well as many other water sports are very popular with both tourists and locals on this stretch of calm, protected beach.

The beach at St. Lawrence, Barbados Board sailing just off the beach at St. Lawrence, Barbados Bridgetown, Barbados

Being located close to Bridgetown is important, since car rentals are very expensive in Barbados. Many tourists therefore take advantage of the excellent public bus system, or taxis. We did rent a mini moke for two days of our stay, in order to explore this fascinating island more fully, however the rental was outrageous, considering we were renting a basic jeep-type vehicle.  We might have done better to hire a taxi for a couple of half day tours.

In any case, our little tour around Barbados first took us past an old sugar mill and sugar cane fields. Barbados also has a limited supply of oil they are pumping out of the ground.  They use this resource by refining this oil into fuel to be used by the public bus system, thus keeping the fares affordable.
Old sugar mill and sugar cane fields, Barbados Small oil refinery, Barbados Sam Lord's Castle, Barbados

Heading further along the east coast, we come to Sam Lord's Castle, which is a rather fancy hotel these days. Situated on vast grounds, which go right down to a superb beach, the oppulent past is prominently displayed in the main building. Rumor has it that Sam Lord was a pirate, but who really knows?

If you consult the map of the Lesser Antilles, you might notice that Barbados is not inline with the rest of the chain of islands. It sticks out into the North Atlantic by a couple of hundred kilometres. This means the seas along the east coast of Barbados can be quite rough at times. This is especially true along the beach at Bathsheba, which was the next stop on our little driving tour.

Turning inland, our next stop is the Harrison's Caves.  By early afternoon, the temperature was rising, and it was a relief to descend into the cool, dark caves. There are some spectacular sights to see as you are taken through the caverns on a little tram. If you want to take pictures in the caves, be sure you have some fresh batteries for your flash.
Harrison Caves, Barbados Palm trees getting a trimming, Southern Palms, Barbados A spectacular sunset from Saint Lawrence Parish, Barbados

Upon our return, the palm trees on the grounds of the Southern Palms were getting a trimming. You will see this being done to palms which grow on resorts in tropical countries all over the world. Both the palm fronds and the coconuts fall to the ground and put guests' safety at risk, therefore aggressive pruning is required. We were witness to some spectacular sunsets while in Barbados - this one was taken from the beach outside our resort.

 

 

 

 
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Last updated: June 08, 2014

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