Yes, I know I’ve been slack. The internet connection in my hotel has been dreadful since I arrived back from Christmas, so I haven’t really been able to get a post done. Plus, I’ve been working on a case study that I might need to present in Singapore later this year. As always with such things, it took way way longer than I thought
I promised you more about my adventure drive around Barbados. Barbados is certainly one of the most developed islands in the Caribbean. I wouldn’t call the place “rich” but its 300,000 polulation lives pretty well, and it has a fiersome tourist reputation (go on, admit it: it’s one of the places in the Caribbean you’ve heard of), so would probably be one of the islands that suffers least when there is a drop-off.
When in Barbados, I stayed on the South Coast. Skip, the IMF dude I worked with last year, lives there and he kindly booked me accommodation. The hotel was in tourist central, which is not my usual thing. I decided to embrace it, and discovered that it was across the road from a rather yummy place called The Pastry Box where they sell handmade cakes, owned by what is obviously a very talented French pastry chef (the cannoli are to die for).
I drove around the island, heading to Bridgetown first and then up the very exclusive west coast. Barbados’ west coast is where the cashed-up crowd can be found. No surprise, really – it’s lined with gorgeous beaches and calm waters.
The middle of the island is green and, unlike the rest of Barbados, green and hilly. Unlike most other places in the Caribbean, sugar cane still grows here. The east coast is another thing entirely: sheer cliffs confront angry waves on the Atlantic side of the island. Tiny towns with names like Bathsheba dot along the otherwise abandoned coast. There are stories of people going swimming here and washing up in Africa, but I’m not sure I buy them.
As beautiful as it is, I’d say that the two big downsides of Barbados are the traffic and the prices. It’s a sky-high place to live. Skip quotes some prices: try US$9 for a pineapple. He reckons that, being careful, he spends US$200-300 on groceries each week, just for one person. Yikes! No wonder the locals favour rice and beans…