Barbados

Curly went to Barbados and Dasha to Puerto Rico. Then the plans were for Curly to continue to Jamaica and for Dasha to visit her friend in NY. Meanwhile in Barbados…

Dear Dasha,

Arrived 08.00. Cleared immigration 08.30. Chatted to lovely tourist information until 09.00. This made customs very suspicious of the dread-locked-patch-bearded-smelly man. Had to empty my bags. Card didn’t work in ATM. Got on bus with $EC – not acceptable. Luckily dude paid for me. Made friends with Ron Stares, Canada. Got off at St Lawrence Gap. Overwhelmed by hotels and tourists – think I made a wrong turn somewhere. Ocean looks beautiful. Dude at internet café prejudice asshole. Managed to exchange EC135 for B95. Wandered up and down looking for somewhere cheap, struggling. Paid B80 to stay at Rio. Cool and met many others. B0.90 for 2 bananas, B11.50 for chicken and mash (been awake for 9 hrs by now without eating). About 4 or 5 B$ left in my pocket. Kept in search of room for rent. Difficult. Adopted aloe vera selling friend – nice but just wanted money. The beaches are amazing. They paved paradise. How can we ever draw the line between natural beauty and the ability to see it!?!? Saw dominoes and cards in action. Have to go again. Kept wandering, searching, calling, struggling. The hot afternoon sun was starting to set. With $B3 left, found a bar selling local Banks beer for $2! The last $1 went on club Keno, doubled to $2 to pay my bus home. Credit card paid for fruit for breakfast and Mt Gay rum for dinner. Lets hope I can clear my debts tomorrow! (laundry and calling Aus bank) 22.15 bed.

Dear Dasha,

I woke up at 7.15 to the sound of my alarm, a very unfamiliar sound. I had no idea what was going on or where I was – or where you were!! After a few seconds it hit me and so did my hangover, telling me to lie down. Tried, but knew the sun was shining. Squeezed some lime into my water bottle, paused at the door to wait for a shower to pass, then went to the beach for a run and swim. Not sure if it was the hangover, lack of fitness or soft sand, but it was hard going. Met Wilma. Showed me her apartment for rent. Really nice, but too expensive even at (genuine) special rates. She drove me to her friend, Malcolm. $B250 for 6 nights, half the price of the guesthouse. Wilma is awesome, genuinely trying to help me, not rip me off. Went for a drive with Malcolm. Nice guy. Buildings everywhere, no gaps between towns. Lots of cricket grounds, but I missed a tournament last week! Cooked dinner for me and my housemate Alexi. She spends ALL of her time in her room, working online. Time for a rum and a movie. Seems that I’ve missed Australia day.

Dear Dasha,

Got up at 09.30, was a great sleep. Got myself ready and went for another drive with Malcolm. He has birds – canaries, finches, a parrot etc. and was going to pick up a hen for his whistling cock, Chirpy, who came for the ride too. He drives a tip-truck, which is pretty funny, way too big for his needs. We drove up the West coast to St Lucy in the North, much less populated, then home along the East coast. East was very nice (reminded me of Aus with yellow sand, rocks and surf). Saw some surfers. Waves were pretty rough. There are breadfruit trees everywhere, and they’re in season. Had breadfruit cou cou the other day – delicious!! Was like a cheesy mash, with gravy. Just had lunch at 17.00, now having a beer. Heading to St Lawrence Gap tonight to meet some Csers including Charles, so should be fun.

Dear Dasha,

Met up with Charles, a local electrician, and Jess from Mexico – she makes babies. Also bumped into Daryl from the guesthouse. He bought me 5 beers to celebrate his last night on the island. Nice people. Early night but a good night. Spent today reading and writing, swimming and chilaxin. The beach and water is incredible. So relaxing. I think people can see it in my eyes. Yet at the same time as having this peaceful bliss, I wish I could bulldoze every building in site and let Mother Nature regain what is rightfully hers, and in her infinite wisdom provide enough bananas and breadfruit for everybody! Having a beer at the Ship Inn (again). Meeting Jess and maybe others at 20.00 at the Friday fish market. Sounds brilliant!

Dear Dasha,

Turns out sounds can be deceiving. The fish market was big, with lots of fish cooking, but not how people had explained it. It was about $10-$15 for a meal, not as cheap as I was expecting. If you were lucky, which I was, right in front of the toilets, you got a good size chunk of fish, in my case delicious Marlin. If you were unlucky, like my new found pome friends, by the dominoes, you got little more than a fillet of flying fish. People had been telling me how it draws a good mix of a crowd. If you consider 17000 tourists and 100 locals a good mix then you would agree. There were a lot more locals after dinner though by the stage checking out the break dancing. Unfortunately Jessica and Charles didn’t make it, leaving me on my own.

Bloody birds have been flying inside and eating my banana. I got picked up this morning at 07.15 by Kyesha, another couchsurfer, and Aron. We went for breakfast at a farmer’s market. It’s a serious set up he’s got, couple of hundred people there. This afternoon I’ve been snorkelling. Quite nice but not very colourful. I saw an eel. He scared me. No turtles though. Tonight Jessica is coming over for dinner then we head to the Reggae Lounge for happy hour. Chop chop!

Dear Dasha,

Reggae Lounge was cool. It’s a nice big bar, half outdoors, playing good tunes and cricket on TV. Unfortunately, there was never more than 10 people in there. Apparently the crowd turns up at 1.00. After happy hour we went next door to McBrides, just in time for their happy hour. Spent the night there with a bar full of English dancing to cheesy pop. It was ok. It was a late start the next day. I spent hours on the net trying to find a flight from Jamaica to Cuba – incredibly expensive, and always via Panama, America and Mexico, or Canada! The Cayman Islands might be my answer. I’m going to go to a travel agent today. My last day, so have to book something!

Dear Dasha,

The travel agent sorted me out. Cuba via Caymans. I’ve heard other people print an itinerary without actually paying for it and it works. Then I went to a bar and met 2 Canadians and a Bajan. Went to a beach with them, Harrismith’s, it was beautiful. The best place on the island. Unfortunately couldn’t swim because of the rocks at high tide, but we could drink beer. Back in to town to catch happy hour at Mojo, say goodbye to Jessica and hello/goodbye to her friend Aina from BCN.

Did I like Barbados? Not really. Am I glad I stayed for a week? Yes, because the last day was my favourite!

2 thoughts on “Barbados”

  1. Hey Craig,
    Sounds like Barbados has just a few tourists!!
    But you appear to have caught up with some good locals and tourist alike.
    May not have been the best place but
    Better than being at work I can assure you.
    Cheers
    Gavin

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