Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dean's birthday trip - Barbados and Southern Windstar cruise

We left Prescott on January 4 for an adventure in the southern Carribbean.  I wanted Dean to have a 70th birthday trip.    We spent one night in Miami and then flew to Barbados on January 5.  We had an AirBnB for two nights in Barbados before the cruise.  This was called Julie's place in Worthin, Barbados and it was very nice:  King size bed, living room, kitchen, modern bath, ac.  

We walked down to the beach but there was not much area to walk on.  Too much traffic and traffic too close to sidewalks.    We shopped at a local grocery.  Prices are high here but they have to get everything by boat.  We ate our first dinner at Mojos, expensive but good food.  Dean had barracuda and I had seafood burger.  During the evening the tree frogs were so loud I had to put in my earplugs.  

January 6:  we tried again to walk.  Found a nature preserve to walk in.  Then we went to Oistens for lunch.  Tried to wait at a bus stop but buses kept going by.  A local told us you must flag them down or they will not stop.  He also told us about the local vans that took people for $1 per ride.  We used them the rest of your our trip.  We split a swordfish lunch at Oistens and walked a little on the beach.  Went back at night for their famous fish fry.  Dean had snapper and I had the flying fish.  Meet some Canadians that had been coming to Barbados for 27 years.  Getting use to the noise of the tree frogs.

On January 7 we boarded the Windstar for a 7 day cruise.  Took a taxi to the terminal.   Taxis here are very expensive:  $20 - $30.  The little vans are a better deal but they are too crowded for luggage.  We boarded at 1 PM and after checking into our room went for lunch.  The food on the ship is wonderful.  Buffet at breakfast and lunch or you can order off the menu.

We had a nice large stateroom with lots of storage and a large bed.  

This is the formal dining room.

January 8: Our first stop was St. Lucia where we took an island tour.  We anchored at Pigeon island on the north end.   Our tour was about 4 hours and it went up into the mountains and back down into the town of Castries.  Lots of steep grades, narrow roads, and hairpin turns.  One negative part of the trip - we had to wait about an hour for the tender to come and get us and we almost missed lunch!

St. Lucia is very mountainous with windy roads.  The above shot is our boat in the distance.
Below shots are on the tour.

I bought a mask from a local artist.

We had the candlelight dinner on the deck tonight, which we had to make reservations for when we got on the boat.  Very good food and lovely ambiance.

January 9:  The next morning we left St. Lucia and motored all day.  One of the highlights of being in St. Lucia is the pitons, mountains in the water. We stood out on the deck most of the morning as we motored by and took a lot of pictures.  The pitons are located on the southern shore.

This was an all day sailing/motor trip to Grenada. There were lots of activities - galley tour, drink making, fruit carving, triva contest, line dancing.  Dean and I worked out in the gym and just relaxed and talked to people.

On January 10, we docked in St. Georges, Grenada.  Since the ship was docked we could walk off at our leisure.  Dean and I went ashore and hired a guide for the day.  We took us all over the town, up and down steep roads, peeking into churches and schools, visiting the old fort, and going by the fish market.  His name was Jimmie and he loved Americans because of our help in the Cuban offensive in the 80's.  He was a good guide but pricey.  After all his negotiating we ended up giving him $100.  These are scenes from St. George, Grenada.

Dean and tour guide Jimmie.

The women got to use the tunnel and the men had to climb over the hill.

That night we enjoyed a wonderful buffet on the deck of the Windstar.  There was all kinds of seafood, salads, meats (including a whole pig), and my favorite paella.  And,of course, the desserts were outstanding.  They had a reggae band,since we were still docked in Greneda, and we Congo danced all over the deck.  We motored all night to our next location.

January 11, we spend the day in Tobago Cays, Southern Grenadines.  The crew set up a semi private beach with various toys such as kayaks, rafts, etc.  I spent about 2 hours on the beach.  Dean did not go to the beach.  I walked around, spotted some iquanas, kayaked, laid on the beach.  Went back to the boat and had a massage at the spa.

There were some interesting critters on this island.

The next day, January 12, we traveled to Mayreau, Grenadines.  Again the crew set up the beach with music by a local reggae band and a beach barbecue.  There was not much on this island except a little town on the top of the hill with a beautiful old church.   But there was some shopping opportunities and the food was great.

I walked to the top of this island to a lovely church.

Local bar - 


This was one of the tenders - the way we traveled from Windstar to the islands:

January 13, we toured our last island - Bequia, Grenadines.  It was our favorite island - beautiful, wonderful harbor, very nice people.   Dean and I took another island tour.  We went to two overlooks and a turtle sanctuary.  Tenders had a little trouble getting people off the boat and on the island.  Seas were a little rough.  

Tour guide - 

Our last night on the boat with beautiful sunsets.

The crew was excellent and had a closing ceremony to send us on our way.

Some of the towel art and two of our favorite waiters:

January 14 we went back to Barbados and spent 4 more nights at another AirBnB called Healthy Horizons in Hastings Beach.  It was not a great place but it was on the beach.  Since we could not get into our apartment until the afternoon we took an island tour with a taxi driver, Terry.  He drove so slow that we did not get to cover much but we did see some mansions, the oldest church, and the north shore with the rugged coastline.  And he was another expensive guide!

Healthy Horizons:

Boardwalk on beach:

January 15 we took the local bus to Hunts Gardens.  Anthony Hunt redid a sinkhole on an old plantation, turning it into a tropical paradise.  Local bus did not come back so we had to take a taxi ($30) back to town.  Oh well!

January 16, we walked the beach, read, laid in the sun and then went to dinner.  We had a wonderful meal at Tapas and watched the beautiful sunset.

January 17:  we walked beach again on our boardwalk had a nice lunch at Blakelys and then packed for the flight home.

January 18 we went to the airport at 4:30 AM to catch the 7:30 flight.  Taxi was $35.  We had to do an emergency landing in Nassau because some man was having chest pains.  Went to Miami and then flew to Dallas.  Our plane was late out of Dallas so we missed our shuttle home and had to take a later shuttle.  Got home around 11:30.  Tired but we had a great trip!

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