Barbados St Lucia
Last time we were in Barbados I was not impressed but this time we loved it. Our hotel Accra Bay was everything that you expect a Barbados resort to be like. There was also a boardwalk and boy what a great walk in the late afternoon. My first aid came in handy as that night at dinner one of the waitresses fell and injured her knee so teacher mode in me took over.
This island is what you expect a Caribbean Island to be, with its verdant forests and the skyline dominated by mountains volcanic –like scenery. Last time we were here we “did” the island but this time took a jeep ride around to a few panoramic spots, through the Castries and finally onto a plantation, mainly bananas but had lots of the local plants, bushes flowers, trees etc. – nutmeg, cashews, kalabash ( can’t spell it ). Then we walked to a swimming hole and had a dip and sat under a waterfall to cool off.
Went for a swim at Eden’s beach a couple of kms out from the port.The beach was covered with broken coral and shells and so I put on my rubber thongs to get in. There was beautiful fish swimming around and you felt you could touch them. You did not need your snorkelling gear. The island is under-developed which is in itself an attraction in itself. $2 to share a mini-bus to and from the ship. They take 10 people at a time.
Aruba had talcum –soft beaches -2 of them - real long–Eagle Beach and Palm Beach- very beautiful. It is grossly over-commercialised with all the famous hotels vying for business, American-style. We went to the Holiday Inn to catch a catamaran out to the semi-submersible boat that took us.
Around an old German wreck and then further on to see what they call a reef. Just goes to show how good our Barrier Reef is. We are 18 miles off the Venezuelan coast-line.
After we got back to the ship I went for a walk around Oranjestad –capital of this Dutch Antilles and quite Americanised but also cosmopolitan with a cultural mix of people and foods etc. Delft china,
Dutch cheese, Danish silver for sale. Took a photo of Schooner Harbour with our ship the “Oceana” in the background.
Won’t go into the history as you can look that up on the internet if you are truly interested. It has been a big day and we’ve been up since 6am so we wouldn’t miss a thing.We went through the 3 Gatun locks finally at 7.30am and then we went across Gatun kake for 4 hours before we arrived at the Calebra Cut and then shortly after the Pedro Miguel Locks. After that there was another little lake to cross before we came to the Miraflores Lochs – the last three which take you down to the Pacific Ocean. We saw where they are building another string of lochs on the Panama end. There was a queue up at both ends so a duplication is badly needed. This lot is due for completion in 2014. The total length from the Caribbean side to the Pacific side is only 51 miles but is took us 10 hours to traverse. Only a week to go and we will be homeward bound from Los Angeles.We passed beneath the “Bridge of the Americas” which links North America and South America.