Blogging Barbados: On Caves, Beaches and Jerk Chicken

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The ‘Cave Interpretation Centre’.

I feel like I’ve come a long way in two weeks. Stepping off the plane I had positively no clue where I was 90% of the time. Now, it’s more like 70%. In spite of my persistently awful sense of direction, I’ve squeezed a lot out of this weekend, including, but not limited to: a cave, a festival, a beach, and another jerk chicken burger. Let’s start with the cave.

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The start of our windy subterranean crawl.

Harrison’s Cave is hailed by many as the number one tourist attraction of Barbados. Formed from thousands of years of slow erosion of the limestone base of the island, these lengthy caverns actually require a full-blown tram to get around on. Certain bits are wired up with lighting to let you wander around on foot, too.

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It was a beautiful and eerie sight. The caves were calm and almost serene – nothing could be heard save for the constant drips from the ceiling. I couldn’t help but wonder however what it would have been like to be crawling through here on my hands and knees, as the first explorers had. They had trailed the underground streams by torchlight in what must have been an incredibly exciting (and incredibly claustrophobic) venture.

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The stalagmite formations, formed by centuries of dripping water, are often personified by the Barbadians.
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Some kind of creature that supposedly jumps on unwitting tourists who take too many pictures. Or maybe some sort of stalactite. All I know is I’m the perfect bait!
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The gigantic height of the cavern’s ceilings made me feel like I was in a kind of subterranean cathedral.

Humbling as all this ancient rock was, our stomachs sent us back to Bridgetown. The roads had been closed off (thank god!), making it much easier to get around. That is, before bumping into a full-blown festival. This could hardly go ignored, and so we spent some time taking in the many and varied sights.

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The First Citizens festival of Bridgetown (NB: that’s my best bet of what is going on, anyway).

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The next day, we headed out to Worthing Beach, along the south coast. I felt a little tense en route with the threat of another shower (read: monsoon). Instead, the Caribbean delivered yet another impossibly picture-perfect afternoon soaking up the sun. I had thought my tan was coming along rather well, but on looking to my well-bronzed friends, I must admit I may well still be the whitest person on the island. At least I’ve got plenty of jerk chicken to numb the pain. Here’s to the next two weeks!

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