« Caribbean - Sixteen Days Itinerary

Barbados (Days 13 & 14)


Morning flight from Grenada landed at Grantley Adams Airport in the south-east of Barbados, about 18km from the capital city of Bridgetown. We rented a car from the airport and it takes about 30 mins to reach the hotel in Kingstown. After a quick check-in at the hotel, we set out to explore Barbados!

Day 13 – Bridgetown, Bathsheba

Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados, and it has a very quaint past-colonial look to it. First stop for the day was Rihanna Drive. This one-way street away from the downtown has two lines of colorful houses, and the green-and-yellow one located three quarters of the way down the road is what brings the pilgrims! Before the Grammys and Platinum records, Rihanna used to live here. This has given the old Westbury New Road its current name – Rihanna Drive.

Willmar’s Bar is an important stop on the journey to Rihanna Drive. It’s on this very street in the parish of St Michael where one of the most impactful music careers of this century began. Visit the two rum shops at the end of the road and you are sure to find a neighbor who was there in the beginning!

Rihanna's birth home
[Rihanna’s birth home]
Sign outside Rihanna's birth home
[Sign outside Rihanna’s birth home]

 

Willmar's Bar on Rihanna Drive
[Willmar’s Bar on Rihanna Drive]
Inside Willmar's Bar on Rihanna Drive
[Inside Willmar’s Bar on Rihanna Drive]

 

A short drive from here is the Parliament Building of Barbados. Built in 1874, this is a former site of Colonial administration of Barbados. It consists of two buildings in the neo-Gothic architectural style, and are reminiscent of the Victorian era of Great Britain. A prominent feature of the coral-limestone structures is the clock tower attached to the west-wing. The Tower located in the west wing can be seen from several vantage points around Bridgetown and is complemented by a four faced clock on each side.


[Parliament building of Barbados]


[Parliament building of Barbados]
 

From here, we drove to the site of Harp Supergun, but on the way we stopped by some other sites – The Bussa Emancipation Statue is a public sculpture of a slave rebellion leader in Barbados. The statue was created 1985 by Bajan sculptor Karl Broodhagen 169 years after the rebellion. The statue symbolizes the “Breaking Of Chains”.

Bussa Emancipation Statue
[Bussa Emancipation Statue]
 

The most touristy place for clubs and upscale restaurants in Bridgetown is at St. Lawrence Gap – with its vibrant culture and clean beaches (mostly owned privately by hotels), this place is ideal for lunch before moving east.

St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados

St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados
 

The abandoned site of Harp Supergun is accessible by car via the unpaved road next to the international airport. Google Maps will show the end of road as “Harp Parking” (13.083492816043929, -59.47282876786603), but you can follow the road all the way to the site of the supergun.

Project HARP (High Altitude Research Project) was a joint initiative between the United States and Canada to research the use of ballistics to deliver objects into the upper atmosphere and beyond. The HARP project was established to create a large gun to shoot things into space! The gun itself was originally built from a 65-foot long, 16” naval cannon, the kind that might be seen on a battleship. The cannon was later joined to another barrel, extending the length of the gun to 130 feet and making it too big for effective military application, but (seemingly) perfect for satellite delivery. At its apex, the gun was able to fire an object a staggering 112 miles into the sky, setting the 1963 world record for gun-launched altitude at 93 KM.

Abandoned tanks at Harp Supergun, Barbados
[Abandoned tanks at Harp Supergun site]

Abandoned Harp Supergun, Barbados
[Abandoned Harp Supergun]

Sign indicating Abandoned Harp Supergun in use, Barbados
[Sign indicating Abandoned Harp Supergun in use. This is an old sign and the supergun is no longer in use!]

 

From the Harp Supergun site, it was a beautiful drive north-east along the coastline, and we stopped by two churches, of which one was abandoned.

St. John's Parish church, Barbados
[St. John’s Parish church, Barbados]
Inside St. John's Parish church, Barbados
[Inside St. John’s Parish church, Barbados]

 

Abandoned church in Barbados
[Abandoned church in Barbados]

 

A few kms drive along the east coast lies Bathsheba beach – blue waters with striking mushroom-shaped rock formations against which the Atlantic rollers break in cascades of foam. What at first glance look like huge boulders washed up on the beach are actually rock formations broken away from ancient coral reef!

Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach
[Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach]

Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach
[Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach]

Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach
[Mushroom shaped rock formations at Bathsheba beach]

Bathsheba beach, Barbados
[Signs at Bathsheba village]

[Gorgeous palm trees at Bathsheba beach]

 

We spent some time navigating through this small village and stopping for late evening coffee, before heading back to Bridgetown.

Day 14 – North & West Barbados

Ideally, you can drive around the island and visit all the sights mentioned here in one day, but taking it easy is the key and experiencing the beauty of Barbados at a slow pace gives you perspective in the daily lives of the amazing people of this island nation.

Day two in Barbados was focused on the north and west side of the island. Having our base in Bridgetown, after breakfast at the hotel we drove along the west coast to Harrison’s Point Lighthouse – Built in 1925, Harrison Point is the youngest of Barbados’ four lighthouses. Standing at 26m (85 ft) tall, this is no longer in use but this cylindrical, majestic structure is a perfect place for phenomenal views. The main door is always open for visitors to climb to the top and it’s free!


[Harrison’s Point Lighthouse]

[View from top of Harrison’s Point Lighthouse]

 


[View from top of Harrison’s Point Lighthouse]

[Staircase of Harrison’s Point Lighthouse]

 

From here, we drove up north to the northern-most point of Barbados, Animal Flower Cave – the location where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, this cave is accessible in a tour provided by the owners of the restaurant. The path leading to the cave is a set of steep coral steps, you have the option to swim inside the cave. The cave gets its name from the sea anemones, what Barbadians call “animal flowers,” that live in the cave’s shallower pools.

The cave boasts breathtaking views of a wild ocean landscape whose colors change at the whim of the intermingling clouds and sunshine.

 

After lunch at the cliff-side restaurant here, we headed south to Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill Windmill – the largest and only functional sugar mill in Barbados. It was under repairs during our visit so we were unable to climb the mill and see it function.

Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill Windmill
[Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill Windmill]

Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill Windmill
[Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill Windmill]

 
The highlight of this day was a ‘ride in the past’ in the St. Nicholas Abbey and Steam Railway. A colonial-era railway line offering travelers what it was back then to take the train along the island of Barbados. Now, this train line is a 1.5km, narrow gauge railway with a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge taking 45-minutes including stops. The highlight is the stop at Cherry Tree Hill with its magnificent views of the Scotland District countryside and eastern coastline.

You will get a fantastic experience through the hills and the woods, at the end of which an opportunity to help the train guard to turn the engine for a return journey. See the website for timings and costs.

St. Nicholas Abbey and Steam Railway
[St. Nicholas Abbey and Steam Railway]

Steam Railway at Cherry Tree Hill Station
[Steam Railway at Cherry Tree Hill Station]

Station for the St. Nicholas Abbey Railway
[Station for the St. Nicholas Abbey Railway]
Station for the St. Nicholas Abbey Railway
[Station for the St. Nicholas Abbey Railway]

 

St. Nicholas Abbey Railway
[St. Nicholas Abbey Railway]
St. Nicholas Abbey Railway
[St. Nicholas Abbey Railway]

 

Last stop for the day was Mount Gay. Unfortunately, the tours for the distillery were full for the day so we were not able to visit the factory. Make sure to book the tours in advance!

We drove back to Bridgetown and called it a day!

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. The exchange rate at the time of publishing is assumed to be USD 1 = BBD 2.
 

What Cost Notes
Lunch on day one $10.20 Restaurant at St. Lawrence Gap.
Coffee $1.40 At Bathsheba.
St. Nicholas Abbey Railway $30 Entrance Fees. BBD 60 Per person.
Dinner on day one $18.20 At St. Lawrence Gap restaurant.
Groceries $5 Snacks, water.
Lunch on day two $31.50 Animal Flower restaurant.
Groceries $7 Snacks, Water.
Dinner on day two $8 Pizza hut.
Total Costs $111.30 Per person
Overall Costs $2,487.29 Per person

 

Planning

Planning & Information

Tips, information and planning for the sixteen days around the Caribbean island nations.

Days 15 & 16

Trinidad & Tobago (North)

Eighth country in the trip.

 

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