Barbados Part 2

So I can tell you that we’ve successfully been continuing from the first part of our trip: exploring, eating wonderful food, hanging out in the sand and sun (we’ve had a couple of 2 minute rain showers, nothing else!), and (mostly) enjoying ourselves.

On Friday night we went to the famous fish fry in a town called Oistins. We took the ZR bus down the road about 15 minutes and wandered around checking out vendors and the different restaurants. We went there on Wednesday night, too, which is a quiet evening, so it was completely different on Friday – there were literally hundreds of people jammed in to all the stalls and wandering all around. We started with the same yummy fishcakes we had on Wednesday night, and then stood in line for wayyyyy too long for a big shared plate of fried marlin, macaroni pie, fries, fried plantain, and salad. The lovely little Bajan man in front of us in line told us to ask for Everything and we were not disappointed. We listened to some music there and watched some dancing before we went home.

We spent the weekend hanging out at the beach, snorkeling with turtles, and oh ya, getting both our beach bags stolen on Saturday. This in itself was an adventure. We went in to Bridgetown Saturday morning to visit a local market called Cheapside. It’s in a big building and has all kinds of vendors, but mostly fruits, veggies, spices, some clothing and it also had a meats section. It reminded us a lot of the market we visited in Jakarta except there weren’t cats in the market, only big notices of their summer German roach infestation. After this we made our way to the beach – we swam with a few turtles and it seems that because of the tours that feed the turtles, they have become super docile and accustomed to getting snacks so they will swim very close to you (a little too close for my comfort – I nicknamed one Jaws). Anyway, when we got back to shore, our bags were both gone, but the super courteous thieves managed to leave my beach cover up, our sandals (I guess they didn’t think mine were as pricey as they were!), and our towels. So on the one day I decided to bring my phone to the beach to take pics, that had to happen. So began our island adventure with the police. There was a uniformed officer nearby who took our statement, and then 2 undercover cops who also took the same statement separately, and then we lamented with the one about how our plans to walk back to the house were now sabotaged, as were our plans to get a fish sandwich and Coke and then beef patties on the way. He was also impressed by our ages, but bummed out because we’re the same age as him and he looks older! We waited for about an hour at the beach after the cops called for a car (remember, they’re on island time), and it turns out we could’ve walked to the station in about 15 minutes. So once at the station, we waited again, and then each gave statements to different constables about what we remembered. I had an especially good conversation with my constable as he asked where I grew up in Canada, what Lululemon was (I had a headband in my bag), and about traveling (he’s never been outside of Barbados, and goodness knows it’s easy to see why), while d2’s constable’s dad lives in…Scarborough. After about an hour at the station we got a ride back to the condo in an unmarked detective’s car. And so was our adventure, which was followed by me trying to track my phone (no luck) and then suspending my service, but thank you Rogers, for letting me know that I still have to pay for it. Super generous of you and your awesome customer service. After that afternoon, d2 and I were now both phoneless, given that his phone decided to up and fry itself on the beach a couple of days before. I suppose it’s also funny/ironic/whatever you want to call it that we were both talking just a few days ago about upgrading to the newest iphone when we get home…did we will this to happen?!

On Sunday night after our daily beach excursion, we went to a bar just a short walk from where we’re staying that’s called Bert’s. It’s part-owned by Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, who lives near one of the beaches we visited this week. Bert’s is a classic sports bar and so we started off Bajan with some saltcod fishcakes and moved on to the second course of burgers and fries. Yum. We also watched most of the Kings/Leafs game there which was a little weird to be out in +30 and watching the game. Monday we visited a famous spot on the island called Harrison’s Caves…we traveled about an hour on public transit to get there (for a grand total of $2US each). The cave was pretty interesting and we learned about how Barbados is really the result of two plates way underwater pushing against each other, and then subsequent build ups of plankton and ‘residue’ which basically means Barbados is one big coral mass. We did a little tram ride inside the cave which felt very Disney-like compared to the rest of our time here, and it basically also had a Disney price to it, but it definitely was interesting. As you were driven through the cave, the walls dripped water on you and the calcium deposits on the walls look like ice. Super spectacular formations, and when they turned off all the lights, you really appreciated how the first people to explore those caves took huge risks. Outside of the cave we went for a lovely walk in a gully, and then made our way back to the main road to catch our bus via a stop off at a little restaurant along the way called Celestine’s. I read about this resto on Tripadvisor and we were not let down. Celestine is the sweetest lady who served us flying fish (breaded in a spicy batter), macaroni pie, salad, and then she busted out the homemade coconut bread. WOW. We got a serving of the coconut bread to go! Back to the bus station in Bridgetown, and from there we walked about 45 minutes via a cooling dip in the sea on the way back to our condo. Lastnight was roti from an island favourite chain called Chefette. Even one of the constables we met the other day told us his favourite roti is from Chefette. We also discovered the ice cream at Chefette – it’s just under $2US for the most amazing ice cream which we found out is made in Trinidad. Good thing we just discovered this – d2 claims it is ‘the best rum and raisin I’ve ever tasted.’ (p.s. Mom, I think you would agree!)

Today was just another lazy day at Rockley Beach for a morning snorkel, back to the condo for lunch, then back for an afternoon swim. We found some coconut bread at the local supermarket and indulged again. I have a feeling we will have a morning swim tomorrow, too, before we find our way to the airport and back home tomorrow night.

That’s all from this trip! It’s been a really wonderful adventure, even being phoneless. It is a bummer when things get stolen – this is now the third time I’ve had something stolen – I remember each vividly with a pitted feeling in my tummy about being vulnerable. BUT that aside, I have lots and lots to be thankful for – like the fact I can even come on this kind of vacation. Bajans are beautiful, wonderful, generous people (except for that one….), and we feel so lucky to have come here to experience their culture. Thank you, Barbados!

 

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