My tour was in the afternoon, so I walked in to the center of town passing the slave monument and continuing briefly to Heros Square.
My tour, Barbados Natural Wonders, left at 12:30, a bit awkward timing for lunch. I got to the pool grill just as they opened at 12, and was soon on the way to meet my tour. The main attraction was the Andromeda Botanical Garden, but we spent most of our time on the bus on a slow but very scenic crossing of the island
. Barbados was formed by the action of shifting tectonic plates, and is quite mountainous and rugged, yet supports a variety of agriculture, especially sugar cane. Along with the cane fields, we stopped at a farm where black bellied sheep are raised, a lovely breed which is reported to be low in fat and high in protein. As a reminder of Barbados' darker slave days, we passed a chattel house, a dwelling of recently freed slaves who did not have the means to own homes, were subject to eviction at any time, and who built homes that could easily be disassembled and moved to a new location. We looked at the East coast of Barbados, directly west of Africa and unprotected from the waves, and saw plants like a lovely poinsettia tree. On the way back we passed a wind driven sugar mill, the sole survivor of over 500 such mills, as sugar production moved to large factories. We returned to the ship about 4:30, and 6 of our group sat on the back deck for sunset and sailaway.
Several of the group did not come to dinner after the busy day ashore, and the 12 of us who were present enjoyed dinner at the large single table. In the evening Comedian Robbie Printz had the audience in stitches and the Summit Orchestra performed Big Band music in the Rendez-Vous lounge.
As today's parting shot, this day had a bit of a bittersweet touch
. After Crystal's 2 vessels, the Prinsendam is my favorite ship, she has just emerged from a drydock, and is doing the itinerary I have booked for next year. It was hard to see the ship in the harbor so close and yet know a ding of my seapass won't give me access. I could be very depressed except for a couple of things:
1. Keith, Tracey, my brother, niece, the extended family and the joyous occasion.
2. The Amazon adventure is now mostly a memory for the people now on the Prinsendam, while I still look forward to the journey with great anticipation. The glass isn't half full, the glass is overflowing.
With plans for a day in port, I planned on walking on land and did only a brief walk on deck, becoming aware I had missed sunrise today as we arrived in the harbor. This was my second time in Barbados, coming on the Wind Surf in 2009, with another trip planned next year on the Prinsendam (docked across from us today).