My first week in Barbados has been amazing for so many reasons! Mostly because it is so nice to be reunited with my bestie, but also because she is like a local Bajan (what they call people from Barbados) now, so she knows exactly what to do and where to go!
I arrived Friday afternoon and we hit the ground running. After freaking out at the airport over her driving on the left side of the road (still getting used to that one), we headed for cappuccinos at an adorable beach cafe. Afterwards we went to the local fish fry for dinner, followed by an evening historical walking tour of the old British garrison (remember we are both history nerds).
The next day we got up early for a local farmers market (yum!) and then headed to the hash! What is a hash you ask? Well, it is a really fun imperial tradition that they still do every Saturday. Apparently bored imperial army officers stationed in far off places, like Barbados, invented the hash to pass the time (it mimics hunting, runners are called hounds and the person who sets the race is the hare).
It is like a running scavenger hunt (they actually call themselves a drinking club with a running problem). Basically you have to follow clues as you run around Barbados. I'll be honest, the running wasn't my favorite part, but seeing the "real" Barbados, places the average tourist would miss, was. Since it is an old imperial tradition, there are lots of funny rituals that go along with it. Like if it's your first hash, you have to get on your knees in front of the "religious advisor" and take a shot of rum at the post run "down-down."
As if the 11km hash wasn't enough torture, we got up early the next morning (at 4:45, eek!) for a 3 hour and 45 minute hike. I feel like I need to preface this by saying I don't nor can I hike! We had no idea that this hike (which are never easy but not always this hilly) was going to be so difficult!
We started from the interior of the island and scaled cliffs (yes, cliffs!) to reach the ocean. Don't get me wrong the views were incredible, but (for me) it was really scary! At one point in the hike we had to cross this huge crevice. Thank god some lovely local expert hikers helped us all across. I wasn't tall enough to reach over the crevice on my own, so one of the guys actually made himself into a human bridge and I walked across his back! I have a photo of this (notice the guy below me):
If you are wondering how I got a photo of this…
one of the expert hikers scaled the cliff to take these amazing shots!
Crazy right? I was proud of myself for completing it (it ended up being an 11 mile hike) but I'm not sure if I ever want to scale or descend cliffs again! Check out these amazing views though:
Brittany (a.k.a. the bestie) rewarded my hiking hard work with a relaxing Sunday afternoon on the beach!
After my physically intense weekend (I am still sore) we spent Monday lying on the beach and then had an impromptu trivia night with our new Australian friends (Have you played quiz up? It's amazing!), Tuesday swimming with sea turtles (more on that later), and Wednesday visiting the monkeys at the wildlife reserve. Today we are headed to Bottom Bay on the southern most point of the island!