Today was our first full day on Barbados, and the island did not disappoint. The view from the hotel room was, if anything, even more breath taking than the previous evening, and the overnight showers seemed to have blown over.
After a long flight yesterday, and with us all dying to spend some time enjoying the nice weather, we decided that today was not a day for venturing too far. Maybe from the beach to the bar to the pool, but not much further.
So after breakfast we engaged in what of the oldest British traditions, and lathered ourselves in plenty of factor 50. To be honest, despite our best efforts, we still struggled in the midday sun. Mad dogs and Englishmen and all that….
As the afternoon wore on we thought we take a short stroll along the bay towards the centre of Bridgetown. It is my first visit to the island, and I was not entirely sure what to expect once beyond the immaculate tourist hotspots. What I found was a busy, bustling suburban area, where narrow streets reminded me off many small English towns. The housing was a completely varied affair, opulent manicured villas stood side by side with a row of dilapidated old colonial houses that look as though the last time they were decorated was when they were erected sometime in the 19th century.
From my small wander, it is easy to appreciate the different pace of life here. Nobody appears to be in a rush to get anywhere, with many just casually sitting at the roadside. Car horns can be heard frequently, but to issue thanks to other motorists not to voice displeasure. The atmosphere of suburban Bridgetown along the main roads feels much like home, only with far better weather, and much friendlier faces.
My day was finished off with a traditional Bajan BBQ including full entertainment. The food itself was very nice, but it was the entertainment where the night really came alive. A three-piece Caribbean band strolled their way through the restaurant, posing for photos along the way. No sooner had they finished, an extremely flexible woman was up and doing a full limbo show in the middle of the restaurant. She finished off the evening by contorting herself under a flaming bar no more than a foot off the ground.
Tomorrow, we are heading out early doors for a full tour of the Island, including a stop at plantation house and rum distillery. I’m looking forward to seeing much more of this beautiful island before we have to leave at the weekend.