Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shore Leave - Bridgetown, Barbados

Sorlandet in the Bridgetown Harbour

We arrived back in Barbados on January 5th after our week long island hopping adventure and said goodbye to the alumni who had been with us.  Then we had a couple days of quiet before the students arrived back for the second semester. The first night they were here was a combination of first day of school, return to summer camp and that intense camaraderie that happens on a ship.  They were clearly thrilled to be back to this once in a lifetime adventure they are on.  There were lots of hugs, squeals of excitement and bags of belongings all over the place.

Street view just outside the harbour

Due to the storm in Canada & the States there were a number of students who had flight delays which resulted in them arriving over the course of 5 days, including the day after we were due to depart.  We still departed on time but instead of setting sail for Curacao we motored for about half an hour and then anchored within tendering distance of Barbados. We hung out in sight of where we had been docked for a day and a half.

Palm trees everywhere!
In Barbados I had an afternoon off and used it to go exploring.  First of all a walk around Bridgetown including some streets that were definitely off the usual tourist path. 

Lots of discount stores and variety stores.  A couple fabric stores and little stalls selling produce on most corners.  

I found myself at a bus terminal and decided to take a bus along the south shore as that had been recommended by a local as a good way to spend a day off.  I wasn’t sure exactly where I was headed but figured I’d get off when I saw something that looked interesting.  The south shore was beautiful but unfortunately it was raining so decided to wait for the rain to finish before getting off.  By that time the bus had turned away from the coast but I continued to ride it for about an hour total and saw parts of the country that I wouldn’t have otherwise! 

I’m not sure where I ended up but when I got there I walked back along the bus route a little and then went into a small shop and bought a banana while I waited for the return bus. 

It was a cheap way to spend the afternoon!  A bus ride costs 2 Barbados Dollars which is equivalent to $1 US.  Perhaps not the outing I had planned but it was enjoyable.  I got to see some countryside I wouldn’t have otherwise and to be out in the country, where all is calm and quiet was nice after the hustle and bustle of the city.  On the trip back to town the bus was filled with school kids who had got off for the day. They were all in uniform and it was fun to see the variety of colours that the schools use.

Neat flowering plant I found.

That was my big shore leave adventure in Barbados.  The other bits of shore leave I got I spent at the cruise ship terminal at the end of the dock where there was free wifi and an ice cream shop that was open sporadically.

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