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Show MapBarbados - January 2004


We dropped anchor in Carlisle Bay just after the sun had gone down around 6.30pm on Hogmanay. We had spoken to our friends Alistair and Margot of Copihue II on the radio and been invited to a party on another Scottish boat, Mostaza. Well, we're all for experiencing local festivities but when it comes to New Year you need to be in Scotland, or pretend to be! When the fireworks went off at midnight, it was a great finale to a long trip. We certainly slept soundly (eventually!) that night.

Happy New Year!


Oh put it away, Alistair!

Next day (quite late on!) we went ashore in the dinghy and although most places were shut, found somewhere to phone home. We spoke to the McNaughtan "clan", who were all gathered for New Year at Tom's brother John's house in Johnstone near Glasgow. We missed being there, but didn't miss the cold, wet and windy weather they were having.

Bridgetown is a mix of old British colonial buildings, typical Barbadian wooden houses and modern duty-free stores that cater for the frequent cruise ships. In fact, in the centre of town there is a statue of Nelson, probably feeling a wee bit lost since independence.


Bridgetown, Capital of Barbados.

Typical Barbadian house.


What we noticed most about Barbados was how welcoming and friendly the people are. And they speak English - a nice change after struggling with our dodgy language skills for the past few months.

We stayed in Barbados for two weeks and as well as catching up on our washing and various other jobs, we visted a few of the tourist sights like Harrison's cave, The National Museum, the Mount Gay Rum distillery and Welchman Hall Gully. But we got most fun when we just did what Barbadians do - like spend a day at the cricket!

Rum is made from fermenting molasses and then distilling it. The distillation and aging is very similar to how whisky is made, including the copper pot stills. And you can mix it with fruit juice, a slice of lime and some nutmeg to make rum punches!


Limestone formations in Harrison's Cave and Mount Gay Rum sniffing.

Lunch from a local place - spicy chicken with plantain, sweet potato, breadfruit, yam and other yummy stuff!

So, where do you get nutmeg for your rum punches? - well it grows on trees. Sue managed to find one while going through Welchmans Hall Gully and while looking a guy came over and gave us another two. Inside the fruit you find a brown nut partially covered in a red layer of mace (another spice). To get the nutmeg, you remove the mace and dry the brown nut in the sun for a few weeks until it rattles, then crack it open and the inner nut is what we grate into our rum punches.

Sue under a nutmeg tree and the results.


The cricket match we saw was at Kensington Oval and Barbados beat Guyana with ease. It was very civilised as Carib Beer sponsors the cricket and you can drink it while watching the game! Cricket is the national game and the crowd was lively and opinionated but more good-natured than British sports fans tend to be. In fact, I think Barbadians are generally friendlier and more polite than we are.


Barbados v. Guyana.

After two weeks, we were ready to move on to one of the other Caribbean islands - Martinique, just over a hundred miles north-west...


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