Bridgetown, Barbados

January 10, 2012

Barbados is an independent country which is part of the British Empire.  It is a coral island.  The terrain is mostly flat, but with some hills.  You can see the coral base everywhere, including where the roads are carved into the coral.  The island is very dry compared to Dominica:  rainfall is ‘only’ 60 inches per year.  The legal population of the island is 270,000, with another 30,000 illegals, who are mostly from South America.  Their number one industry is tourism, followed by manufacturing and sugar.   

Although the ship docked at about 8:00 AM, our excursion wasn’t until the afternoon.  The excursion we chose was called ‘Green Monkey Eco Discovery’.  We were almost late for the excursion because we did not realize we were to meet out by the bus, and it was a long hike out to the bus, along the dock through the terminal building.  The tour started with a bus ride through Bridgetown.  The downtown area of the city looks much like any town in the United States.

Our first stop was for photos at the beach in a town called Bathsheba, which had some interesting coral formations in the water.

We continued from Bathsheba into a countryside with rolling hills, headed for the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.  The main attraction here was the green monkeys, which are actually free to come and go as they please.  However, the monkeys are fed at the reserve, and we were fortunate enough to see them.  Although the monkeys are a great attraction on the island, they are actually not native to it.  They are related to the vervet monkeys of Africa.  In addition to the monkeys, we also saw red deer, many red-footed tortoises, and a rabbit-like rodent called a Mara.  There are supposed to be a lot of birds in an aviary, as well as otters and wallabies, but we did not see any of those.  We were offered a drink as part of the tour, and the rum punch was quite nice.

On the way back to the ship we drove along the west coast of the island, through Speightstown, the second largest town on Barbados, in an area referred to as the Gold Coast, as it is home to many rich and famous residents as well as the island’s best hotels and restaurants.

This was a pleasant trip, but not spectacular.  There are other things to do on the island, such as snorkeling or SCUBA diving, and cave exploration.  Although we enjoyed our day, there is nothing about Barbados that calls to us.

The most spectacular part of the day occurred when we were watching the sunset and witnessed the green flash phenomenon as the sun was disappearing over the horizon.  

There are more photos in the album.         

Coral Formations at Bathsheba

© Susan L. Stone 2015