Penguin Island, Antarctica 2008

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FRIDAY, MARCH 18 - Bridgetown, Barbados

We have a leisurely breakfast this morrning since our tour is starting later this morning. We have been to Barbados before, in 1993, but do not remember much about it. We dock at the commercial port about a mile from downtown Bridgetown and go ashore for our 4x4 safari.

Our tour is in the back of a truck with five, fairly comfortable, seats down each side facing inward. Dick draws a tailgate seat and off we go. The driver is talking to us over a PA system and all we can do is try to see what he is talking about as we whiz by it. If you are facing the left side, you can see some of that and vice versa for the right side. But, there is a hard top and a rolled up curtain so you can’t see up and out. Bummer! Our first point of interest is Gun Hill, the highest of the 40 signal forts built by the English in the 1700's on hills around the island.
We pass through several parishes (a left over from English rule) and see the original parish church in each one. These churches date from the 1700's and are constructed of the coral limestone fornd on the island.. But there is little chance to take pictures.
We pass many sugar cane fields...they grow two crops in 18 months from one planting
and by the sugar mill that once was the mainstay of the Island’s economy.
We pass some interesting and detailed graffiti.
Then we take a slow, bumpy ride over a dirt trail
through some "virgin" forest that is somewhat interesting with different types of trees and some termite mounds up in the trees. But the road is terribly rough and we are glad when it is over.
By now, we are on the far side of the island from the port and we stop along with numerous other groups on the same tour for a restroom stop and refreshments. Our stop is on the beach at Besheba and the setting is quite pretty. We skip the rum punch and have water and coke, but do try some coconut bread and it is quite good.
There are some interesting eroded coral formations in the surf and they make for some good pictures.
After 30 minutes or so, we load up and head out for more high speed sightseeing of the west coast,
through several more parishes with rural colorful cottages,
rum shops on the north side,
some fossil areas
and the upscale residential and tourist areas of the east coast.
The truck could use some new shocks and several times we have the feeling that it is going over as we do a round-about or take a sharp turn.

We return to the port check out the tourist shops in the terminal, find two pins for Jack’s collection and head in for lunch. Our plan is to go to a beach for a swim and there is one not too far away. After checking into it decide the transportation is a little iffy and we do not want to walk back so we pass and go for a swim in the ship’s pool...much easier!

Carolyn rest and works on the blog and the pictures the rest of the afternoon. Dick goes to Trivia. Later we go the Horizon lounge for drinks and have a nice visit with the two dance hosts and a lady from France. Dinner is rather lackluster tonight. We are learning that we really get tired of ship’s food after so long on the ship. Carolyn goes to the after dinner show starring the "Original Platters" actually it is only a couple of the originals singers and some new talent, but they sing the songs that were favorites when from high school days. It is a great show, to bad Dick missed it!

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