Barbados - Walk On The Wild Side
A Trip up the West Coast to The Animal Flower Caves
Barbados is famous for its pristine coral sand beaches. People love its clear, turquoise blue water. The people are inevitably friendly, the food is wonderful and the sun shines down and warms up the spirits of frost bitten visitors. Even the vegetation is lush and plentiful. Truly, Barbados is an Island Paradise.
Yet, there is life beyond the island’s south and west coasts. Far beyond the beaches of the warm Caribbean waters; far beyond the bustle of Bridgetown and Speightstown is a whole different world. This is where the fuzzy edges and the soft life disappear. Here are jagged coastline and the roar of unforgiving waters. This is the North and East coast of Barbados.
Buses and the infamous ZRs (I call them Zoom-Zooms) are the mainstay of public transportation on the Island. Riding on a bus is one way of getting to know the real Barbados. Taking a ZR is an experience all on its own. The music wails as these vans pick you up, and drop you off. Sometimes, they are packed, allowing you to really get to know the personal space limitations of your fellow riders.
If this does not suit you, consider either renting a vehicle or hiring a cab. The former is easy enough to do if you have an international license. Just remember, that Barbados roads are under European/British road rules. You drive on the left-side of the road not the right.
If you decide to hire a cab, shop around. Many cabs come together near Rockley Beach. You can ask individual drivers the price for a 4-hour tour of the island. You can also phone for a cab. Steve and his daughter Kelly provide excellent tours. This allows you to dictate where you want to go. Put some trust in the guide as well. He or she can often show you places where the usual adventure tours do not go.
If you want, you can opt for another choice. There are plenty of tour guide services on the island. They promise you both traditional and so-called adventure tours. Some operate in conjunction with their best customers – tour ships. They offer you comfortable rides in air-conditioned buses to specific popular sites around the island. One group ferries its clients in open jeeps. They dash relentlessly from place-to-place. Personal preference and time allowances will dictate what works best for you.
Although where you are staying will dictate your starting point, make sure you head up the West Coast beyond Bridgetown. Make your way along the Spring Garden Highway through little Prospect once the place everyone wanted to live, Lower Prospect, Sandy Lane and Holetown. Wander past St. James Parish Church and Mullins Beach into Speightstown.
From here, head north and make your way through the more rural areas. Drive past chattel houses and old slave huts. Look for cotton growing in the fields and root crops as well as the plentiful sugar cane. Here you will see Egrets (locally known as Cowbirds) flocking in the fields. There are also chicken farms as well as the occasional goat or cow.
Drive until you finally embrace where North Coast touches the Atlantic Ocean on the East. This is the true starting point of your East Coast walk on the wild side.
A trip to Barbados should go beyond the sun, sea sand experience of any tourist. Explore the Island. Begin your fact-finding and fun adventure by driving up the East Coast. Leave Rockley,Worthing or any other Beach behind. Explore beyond the towns of Bridgetown, Holetown and Speightstown. Make for the Parish of St. Lucy. Go North, but do not stop at the Animal Flower Caves. See what the East Coast has to offer. We can being with River Bay.
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