WHAT TO DO

Friday - - Travel -

TAKE A HIKE

Bar­ba­dos doesn’t have soar­ing peaks, wa­ter­falls, rivers or trop­i­cal rain­forests like some of its neigh­bours. Nev­er­the­less, its veg­e­ta­tion can be breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful. Hike Bar­ba­dos con­ducts free hikes through less ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas. Its three-hour hikes run through­out the year, with morn­ing walks start­ing at 6am, af­ter­noon walks at 3.30pm, and moon­light walks at 5.30pm.

bar­ba­dos.org/hike.htm

WATCH THE SUN­RISE AT FAR­LEY HILL

At least once dur­ing ev­ery visit to Bar­ba­dos, we get up 45 min­utes be­fore dawn and drive to Far­ley Hill na­tional park to watch the sun­rise (be­low). Far­ley Hill, a ru­ined plan­ta­tion house, is worth a visit on its own mer­its, but try sit­ting atop the hill in its grounds over­look­ing the At­lantic one cool morn­ing, and watch the sky grad­u­ally lighten be­fore the sun fi­nally makes its dra­matic ap­pear­ance. All the while, black­birds and wood doves lend their ap­proval to this feat of na­ture, as the wind whis­tles through the large ca­sua­r­ina trees along the hill­top’s ridge. It’s an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence. And although it’s an iso­lated spot, it’s quite safe. On our last visit we no­ticed the park has added an overnight se­cu­rity guard at the en­trance.

bar­ba­dos.org/fhill.htm

CATCH A DRIVE-IN MOVIE

I grew up go­ing to open-air, drive-in cin­e­mas, so was sur­prised to find they’re not the norm ev­ery­where. There’s still one in Bar­ba­dos, the Globe Drive-In in Vaux­hall, and I al­ways go when I’m home be­cause it’s a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. Tick­ets are £6 (Dh28.) If your ac­com­mo­da­tion will per­mit it, take blan­kets and pil­lows for a pic­nic un­der the stars while you watch your flick. You’ll be al­most en­tirely among lo­cals, and when the film reaches a dra­matic mo­ment be ready for the cho­rus of car horns beep­ing their ap­proval.

globedrivein.mobi

At least once dur­ing ev­ery visit to Bar­ba­dos, we get up 45 min­utes be­fore DAWN and drive to Far­ley Hill na­tional park to WATCH the sun­rise. A ru­ined plan­ta­tion house, it’s worth a VISIT on its own mer­its

SEE THE CHRIST­MAS PA­RADE

If you have the good for­tune to be in Bar­ba­dos in the fes­tive sea­son, head to Queen’s Park in the cap­i­tal, Bridgetown, on Christ­mas morn­ing, where dressed-up peo­ple prom­e­nade in a rit­ual go­ing back over 100 years. The park, for­merly the grounds of the com­man­der of the Bri­tish troops in the West In­dies, was ac­quired by the gov­ern­ment in the early 1900s. In 1907 it com­mis­sioned the Royal Bar­ba­dos Po­lice Band to hold free morn­ing Christ­mas con­certs to es­tab­lish it as a peo­ple’s park. Walk­ing around in 30C heat caught up in the fes­tiv­ity of a trop­i­cal Christ­mas sums up for me the mean­ing of peace on Earth and good­will to all men.

There’s plenty to see and be a part of in­clud­ing the Christ­mas pa­rade, a rit­ual that goes back 100 years

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