Number of tortoises: 1
Number of opportunities for rum: 4
Number of very lovely happy people: Everyone, basically
Number of times I accidentally tried my key at the wrong hotel door: 1
Scroll to the bottom for a picture gallery…
Day three. I awoke to the sound of exercise. No, not Paul. For clarification, he’s in staying a different room and was almost certainly in the hotel gym. Also for clarification: if you win, you definitely don’t have to share with him either.
Exercise was in the form of the ladies of the Accra Beach Hotel’s aqua aerobics class. If you win, it’s something you could be doing too.
“Up, and out, and turn round…”. (Save the blue noodle for me if you bring me in the suitcase?)
Their voices travel up to the rooms despite the sound of the (man-made) waterfalls (yes, really) and the waves on the shore.
On Sunday, I saw an poster for yoga on THAT beautiful beach.
Basically, you need never leave the complex BUT you will want to. You might want to walk across the road and check out the many local shops that make this area of the island a thriving community.
Maybe you will leave to go swimming with turtles (see yesterday).
Maybe you will leave to see the many faces of Barbados (all have rum, before you start to panic).
On the Isle of Wight, Ryde, Cowes, Newport and the West Wight each offer uniquely different experiences (and sometimes they’re even connected by the floating bridge). This Caribbean island (which is about the same size as ours) offers a wide variety of vistas and atmospheres across its different parishes.
Today we headed north by minibus, past increasingly verdant and lush greenery.
Our destination was St Nicholas Abbey in Saint Peter. Some important things to remember here: It’s never been an abbey; Father Christmas doesn’t live here; there is rum.
We may be more than 4100 miles away, but the former sugar plantation of St Nicholas Abbey has some strong Isle of Wight links. It was once owned by the ancestors of the friend-of-the-Isle-of-Wight, actor Benedict Cumberbatch. He married in Mottistone and has been rumoured to be buying.
Notice any likeness in the family portrait on the walls of the historic home?
A once difficult past now leaves us with a house that boasts a rainforest in its back garden (think Eden Project without the dome) and its own rum distillery (natch).
I would like to recommend the rum punch, made to their special recipe. Judging by his face when we tried it, I know that Paul will recommend the 12 year old vintage, which you can buy at the onsite shop. Hang on. Will he even make it to work tomorrow…?
The St Nicholas Abbey also has tortoises. This one looked particularly happy to see us.
Getting to the house is easy, if you win. There are minibuses and taxis up and down the main road, past the Accra Hotel.
Sandwiched between the Isle of Wight Radio breakfast show and St Nicholas Abbey was the opportunity to meet some of the leading lights of Barbados. The Mighty Gabby is know for outspoken songs and an ability to improvise. See him here.
The suave Stedson Wiltshire (aka Red Plastic Bag) is a Calypsonion. He’s an ambassador for Caribbean entertainment and he’s been crowned Pic o’ de’ Crop winner seven times. And he has a song about potholes, which I know will resonate with you.
Today we’re off on Island safari. I wish Paul would take that stupid safari hat off. He’s already had to change once because you’re not allowed to wear camouflage in Barbados. I think he thinks he’s Lara Croft but in reality…