The little island nation of Barbados is the most south easterly of the Caribbean chain and is the only Caribbean Island to have had only a Britain as the colonial master and it shows. This is a much more orderly little country with a relaxed and less frenetic pace. It is a stark contrast to some of the traffic and people madness of Jamaica. The result is also that this place is the de facto “head” of West Indian cricket. Barbados has the oldest national cricket team here and Kensington cricket stadium in Barbados was the obvious choice for the cricket world cup final in 2007.
Driving around little towns on a Saturday afternoon we see local cricket matches played on village greens, the dark skins of the Barbadians contrasting with their dazzling bleached whites. We stop and watch. The nearest fielder engages in conversation and there is a natural rapport present.
You can drive around the island in 3 hours and it has more than its fair share of golden beaches that invite one to swim and relax. This is not an island with lavish and garish resorts it is much more restrained but no less beautiful for it. Apart from the obvious cricket heritage it also boasts a couple of more quirky attractions. Firstly there is the George Washington house. Sensitively refurbished this house accommodated the 19 year old future first president of the USA who moved here for a short time with his brother Laurence who was suffering from TB. It was thought that the milder climate would be good for him. Sadly Laurence succumbed to the consumption a year later but George of course goes on to become the inaugural POTUS,
In the heart of Barbados is the beautiful Harrison cave. Now I am a “sucker” for caves, love them. I was a bit put off with the idea that we would be driven around in a tram. Well it worked and the caves are beautiful. Interestingly it is the most active cave I have seen with the walls of a shaft dug 20 years ago already glistening with a limestone coating.
Great little island, for me as a cricket buff what a shame the decline of the West Indian team means that test matches are rarely played here. I could very easily get used to coming back here!