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Published: December 10th 2014
We had decided to take the overnight bus to Gatwick as we had to be there 4hrs before the flight ie 5.45am and it didn’t seem worth getting a hotel for half a nights sleep! Arrived at Gatwick at the unearthly hour of 4.10am and after checking our bags in, were rewarded with window seats on Thomson’s new Dreamliner plane! It was about an hour late leaving as it needed de-icing but we made up time on the way and arrived in Barbados (8 1/4hrs flight) at 2.00pm. Barbados is 4hrs ahead of UK!
Off the plane, onto coaches to the Port, a very easy check-in and onto the ship, Ventura (P & O Cruises!) Went to our cabin (B311) but as our cases hadn’t caught up with us yet decided to have a little wander around the Port area and look at the sea! It would have been fine, but the heavens opened and it poured down and within three minutes we looked like drowned rats....and to top it all when we got back to the cabin our suitcases still were not there!!
Anyway, we dried off, suitcases duly arrived and we unpacked before the Safety Muster and
had our dinner before collapsing in bed about 9.00pm!!
The next day we were at sea, so a relaxing day exploring the ship and cruising past St Vincent and St Lucia on the way to Grenada. A slight hiccup, (well a four hour detour!!) when we had to about turn and head back to St Lucia to drop off a passenger who had become ill, but other than that, just chilled in the sunshine, watching the shoals of flying fish and the sea birds (Brown Boobies?) trying to catch them!
Ok – this was our first island in the Winward Islands, so off the ship at 8.15am and avoided all the offers of a taxi and made our way to the bus station (turn left out of ferry port!) and boarded the bus to Grand Etang from Dock No 6. We had to wait until the mini bus was full so duly packed with seventeen passengers crammed in, we made our way along the narrow streets, through the villages and up into the interior of the island that was basically a massive rain forest or jungle!! The narrow roads were quite steep in places and the
some of the houses looked as though they would be taken over by the rainforest sometime soon!!
Off the bus at Grand Etang and up to the visitor centre where we had a view of the lake! Nothing too special, other than being a volcanic crater lake at 1902ft above sea level! Had a walk to the lakeside edge and a 15 minute walk to a look out point over the island but as it was quite wet and muddy we didn’t do the hour trek around the lake as planned!
Decided to get the bus back down to St Georges town, and as we got off the driver offered to do a taxi tour for us! Coincidentally another couple from the cruise ship arrived and wanted to go to Gouyave and the nutmeg facory so for US$50 we had a trip up the west coast of the island, past Halifax Harbour, that is used to shelter boats if hurricanes threaten to Gouyave.
Got dropped off at the Nutmeg Factory where for US$1 we had a guided tour of the factory that showed how the nutmeg is dried, sorted, cracked open, used for oils or cosmetics and
graded! Very interesting and quite fascinating! Had a quick wander around Gouyave and onto the beach before returning back to St Georges town!
Caught the water taxi to Grand Anse Beach (US$4 each person, each way!) It was only supposed to be a 10 minute ride but our boat ran out of petrol – good job they had a spare bottle of petrol stored underneath the seat!! Had a wander along the beach and managed to avoid the cafes offering burgers and chips and actually had a local dish of rice, lentils, potatoes, chicken and curry sauce for lunch!
Back to St Georges Town again and a walk up the steps to Fort George (US$2) Quite a small fort first built in 1660, but a very important historical structure in Genada as it has played a part in all the political and military changes in the last 300 years. It has fantastic views of the harbour and town but not a lot else as we failed to find the dungeons or the underground passages!
Walked back down, past the ruined church (probably hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 as this hurricane destroyed a lot of
the island) and on to the Carenage – a very picturesque harbour. A quick walk round then back through Sendall Tunnel into the shopping mall to pick up some bits and pieces and then back to the ship by about 4.00pm.
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