Although Barbados looks fairly small on a map, and before arriving we had plans of being able to walk from the west to the east coast in a couple of hours, the heat dictates that this is not a viable option.
Buses were a consideration, however, our brief experience of them is that they’re hot, sticky, overcrowded and erratically driven, therefore, we ‘copped out’ and hired a car for the day.
We headed north along the beautiful west coast, driving past enormous mansions and tiny shacks (chattels), the divide of wealth is stark.
First port of call was Speightstown which our trusty Lonely Planet described as “easily the most evocative small town on the island”, and they were right. It was lovely, bustling but not overcrowded with locals selling fruit and veg on the streets, the sea sparkling and plenty of friendly people. We tried to find ‘Eats Bar’ in search of rotis, a local dish which I’ve been trying to track down since arrival but still haven’t managed to sample yet. Unfortunately, it’s no longer called Eats and the lady there informed us that she was not cooking today…don’t believe everything you read:(
An on spec visit was made to Port St. Charles Marina; Robert, a helpful chap, showed us around, there were some beautiful yachts, we are just waiting to hear whether the prices are equally so.
After some ‘discussions’ about my map reading abilities, we headed for the east coast. The view down the coast from Cherry Tree Hill was stunning. It’s in total contrast to the picture paradise west coast. The coastline is rugged and the roar of the Atlantic booms, filling the air with a mist of sea water. Surfers come here but swimming is not advisable.
Later we drove to Oistins, 10 minutes east along the south coast from where we’re staying, where, every Friday night, a ‘fish festival’ is held. The fishermen cook their catch, mostly locals and some tourists enjoy the food, drink copiously and dance the night away. Even Jamie ate red snapper and appeared to enjoy it.