Monday, November 26, 2012

Barbados Blog 2

Itinerary: Saturday November 24th
Tour the island Part II – St. Nicholas Abbey
Accra Beach Boardwalk
Dinner at Café Sol

This morning we find the remnants of last night’s rain – wet chairs, a ring of clouds and a strong breeze that tosses the waves around. We have a ball in the sea. I rent a boogie board and float up and down on the gentle swells and feisty white caps. 

Originally, we planned to visit St. Nicholas Abbey, but it’s closed on Saturdays, so we have plenty to time. We decide to visit the exotic and well-known location of Nissan. That’s our car and we’re on the hunt for a hub cab. The dealer shows us the hubcap that’s supposed to fit our model, but it’s not the right one. Which is great, because they want $328 BB for one (about $170 US). Vince says we could buy a whole car for that. A tall, friendly Bajan who sat and listened to our conversations suddenly jumps up and says, “Follow me. I’ll get you a deal.” We look at each other, innately suspicious, and then figure, what the hell. Off we go behind our man’s van, through the clogged winding streets. He sometimes has to stop and wait for us. We visit two places with him, one down a dingy staircase into a basement shop, but they don’t have our style of hubcap. So he takes us to another establishment, a big, bright store that resembles Canadian Tire. Luckily, so do the prices. We pay $100 BB for FOUR hubcaps! We decide to keep them in the trunk for installation at the very end of the trip. Our guardian angel tells us his name is Charles. We give him a tip and thank him profusely. Then he leads us down toward the Boardwalk, where we want to take a walk and have lunch.  
                                                                                                                                                                  Eventually we lose Charles, but we don’t lose the beach. Along the sturdy, wooden Boardwalk, we stroll beside the ocean. It’s beautiful.
 Here’s what the Costal Zone Management company says about it: “The Barbados Boardwalk on the south coast of the island was created amid some debate. There were concerns about the environmental impact on habitat, reefs and beaches, as well as the affect on homeowners along the proposed site. Several changes were made including making the boardwalk a few hundred yards shorter than planned. The end result is admired by Bajans and visitors who enjoy the new walk by the ocean. It is the first Barbados Boardwalk by the sea, complete with panoramas, seats and retreats. All ages and abilities use it. There are joggers, fast walkers, strollers, talkers and quiet people, wheelchairs, blind people, seniors, teenagers and babies in prams. The ambiance is friendly and respectful. Blending with the natural beauty, it is a solid structure set deep into the sand and bolstered with granite rocks. It looks like it is here to stay!”

We love it. The stronger wind keeps up, along with the clouds, so it’s comfortable to walk along even in the heat of midday. We discover the Accra Beach Hotel at the end and have lunch (the food is good, but the service is incredibly slooowww…even for Bajan time). We all agree that our hotel is better. The Butterfly is small, quaint, and has no activities or pounding music going all day – and we love that!

Afterward, we spend more time at the hotel, in the ocean and by the pool. There are three whirlpools too, that are not too hot, but feel like water massages. We spend a lot of time there, since it’s shady. We listen to a whistling frog and a bird who seems to be answering him back.

For dinner we head to Café Sol. It’s located in a lively, quaint area called the St. Lawrence Gap. The restaurant is small, but decorated with authentic Mexican memorabilia, and the food is outstanding. Not to mention it’s two-for-one on the sangria tonight. Later, we walk the Gap, looking at the lights shining on the water, gazing at the local crafts. We meet a man called John, who says he’s been on Canadian TV, playing the instruments he invented with every day utensils (like spoons). He sounds exactly like a bird when he plays one of them in his mouth. The temperature is perfect, the breeze cool on our brows, and the people strolling with us are all happy and friendly. A perfect evening.

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