I woke to see the sun rising over Bridgetown, as we approached the island of Barbados after three days at sea.
After we made fast on the main berth, I noticed a large crane bearing the name LIEBHERR and was reminded of Nicola Cortese’s fallout with Katharina Liebherr a few hours earlier. Southampton Football Club appeared to have achieved stability but in hindsight I suppose it was inevitable that the owner of a multi million pound business could not allow the existing regime to continue to run it as their private fiefdom. But I digress! Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas followed us in and moored against the harbour wall. She was on a 7 day voyage from Puerto Rico around the Caribbean.
My favourite place for watching us arrive and depart is just above the bridge. Few passengers know of it or how to access it. I regard it as my private deck and tell very few people how to find it!
Once ashore, our plan was to find a taxi and head off to the Orchid Farm that we had not visited before. Outside the terminal building a driver spotted the wheelchair, said that he had a 12 seater and 2 spare places and a wheelchair lift. He agreed to take in the Orchids as part of the tour. Perfect. Once we were loaded in we headed north, up the West side of the island, past the Kensington Oval, out of the Parish of St Michael and into the Parish of St James. We passed the luxury hotels where many of you will have stayed and arrived in Holetown. Jane and I remember it because we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there at the Glitter Bay and Royal Pavilion both of which have apparently seen better days, according to a local lady.
The first settlers landed at what is now Holetown in 1626 and a wooden church was built there almost immediately. It was replaced by a coral-stone building in the early 1680’s and it is still there today as the Parish Church of St James. We then headed inland through lush farmland and rose up to one of the highest points on the island. From Highland we had magnificent views of the east coast, known as the Atlantic Coast. The cattle in the fields around us looked to be very well fed beasts in terrific shape. The roads were steep and narrow and we passed sugar plantations – sadly no longer a major source of revenue for the island. Although we did not visit it on this occasion, we were near to the Francia Plantation owned at one time by our friends the Sisnett family.
We then travelled south to Orchid World. Set on a hill, it was not easy to negotiate with a wheelchair, and to put it mildly, the orchids were not very impressive. The display at Asda, Chandlers Ford is always better than this! Jane will report separately in her blog on accessibility.
We then headed south to Bridgetown and back to the ship to hear the Captain announce that we had 1735 nautical miles to cover before reaching our next port Fortaleza, Brazil.
Apologies for the lack of photos, but the internet is very, very slow today and it is impossible to download the Barbados photos which will follow in time!