Alvan and the chickmunks
Trip Start Nov 29, 2011
99Trip End Mar 01, 2012
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We started our day with a leisurely stroll down the road to the local supermarket to get some provisions for our stay. There is a fridge in the room and a kettle and basic crockery, so we can self cater a little during the day. We had a breakthrough as I found some Tetley Decaf Tea Bags – hooray! Unfortunately tea is one thing that the Americans just cannot do, it is awful.
After a quick bowl of cereal we headed to the beach so that I could have a swim in the Caribbean swim too! Steve took his snorkel and went and had a look around and I had a swim. Although initially slightly cool to get into, it soon became lovely and warm. The sea is the most fantastic blue in colour and the sand is just perfect – yes it really is a paradise island. Whilst on the beach I managed to pick up some wifi and we had a Skype with Gemma. She was not too impressed when I gave her a look around..........Perfect internet and we talked really well for quite a while. What I couldn't get her to see what the crab that kept coming out of his hole on the beach every so often to have a look around
While talking of animals/creatures, we have a little sparrow like bird who met us on the balcony of our room yesterday when we arrived and has carried on visiting us. He even came in for a visit today, cheeky monkey. I have named him Bob – in honour of the great Bob Marley! Anyway I gave Bob some croissant earlier on and he loved it. Will capture some pics tomorrow and post them.
Lisa had found out about a festival going on in Holetown on the west coast today – an old traditional festival that has been around for many years. Alvan had told us which bus we needed to catch, so that was our plan for the afternoon.
We went out to catch the bus from the hotel and had just missed it. Having to wait for approx another ½ hour, we (or should I say I) decided it would be easier to take a taxi over to Lisa’s hotel. Not such a wise idea – bus = $2 Barbados Dollars each, taxi = $30 BD.....mmmmmm. Anyway we got there and Lisa needed to get some bits and bobs from a Pharmacy and it had to be done today. All shops etc close on Barbados on a Sunday – it is still the very traditional day of rest. We strolled to the local "Mall" and opposite was a great restaurant called Tapas which had been recommended to Lisa from the hotel she is staying in. After buying up the pharmacy, we headed over there for some lunch. Great meal, lovely restaurant and set right on the beach – what more could you ask for
Alvan had told us we were only to catch the blue buses – the others looked packed and drive a lot faster. Apparently one recently was pulled over by the police. It had seating for 14 people – they found 27 crammed in – errrrr not my scene at all! Anyway after about 10 minutes the bus to Speight town pulled up and we jumped on. First problem – I offered the bus driver $20 BD and he just shook his head. He then pointed at a glass box which the exact money had to go in. I had no less than a $20 note – fortunately Lisa did and we got on.
The bus went all around the houses and we got to see a lot of the built up residential areas of Barbados between the south and west coast. Rows of wooden houses built in a tight knit fashion and quite a few of them looking in need of some renovation. Before we hit Holetown we came to a virtual standstill. The main roads were shut due to the festival and the police were there directing everyone.
Down the main street there were lots of stalls selling lots of different things – clothes, leather goods, sandals, souvenirs, wooden carvings and childrens toys to name but a few. Then there was a huge array of cooking stalls all conjuring up some traditional Barbados tucker .........didn’t sample anything but some of it looked and smelt so good. Lisa knew what some of the dishes were, scouse is a Barbados version of black pudding but made with pigs intestines and some spices, very nice apparently but I won’t be verifying that
Lisa needed a hat, saw one and bought one, only to turn around and find a lot more choice on lots of other stalls. She wasn’t happy!
We heard some music coming from the street so we went to investigate and saw the carnival procession of acrobats, dancing girls and stilt walkers. It all made for a great atmosphere. Just off the street was a path down to the beach where there was a bar and the Police brass band ready to start entertaining the crowd. We sat sipping cocktails on the beach listening to the band as the sun set over the sea, it was just perfect. Frozen margaritas – very nice!! Have a look at the picture of the four, should I say more senior, people in their deckchairs on the beach – they were brilliant. Just sat there taking in the atmosphere........all quiet until the point they all shouted “Tequila” along with the band playing – classic! Fantastic atmosphere down there.
Alvan came over to pick us up a little later and took us to his bar which is on the North shore of the island. It is a traditional bar which they call a rum shop. Apparently on Barbados you will always find a rum shop within 100 yards of every church on the island
We had an absolutely brilliant day today......the whole island ethos of “soon come” is very appealing!
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