The rum that invented rum…
One highlight of the trip was a visit to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. My brother is a sailor, he’d been previously on one of his Caribbean jaunts, the same bartender was there. My brother tried selling me to him (thanks, Rich…)
We didn’t plan this too well, forgetting that although it was 1400 in the UK, it was in fact only 0900. We got there for the tour and were greeted with a rum punch (very civilised, why doesn’t this happen in the UK?!). The tour was really interesting and I learnt a lot about the rum making (and drinking) process, with samples, a short film and a lot of museum type pieces. We then went and sat in the cocktail bar, overlooking a beach (of course, it’s the Caribbean) and proceeded to trial almost everything on the menu between the three of us. There’s also a gift shop, where we bought a ridiculous amount of stash, and a few cheeky 2l bottles of rum, of course… It would have been rude not to.
Mount Gay has a big following in the sailing world, sponsoring a lot of famous yacht races and giving participants the famous ‘red cap’ – Richard has a number of these but wanted a jacket to match, obviously…
The Mount Gay website states:
‘Sailing vessels carried exotic trade from the colonies and introduced Caribbean flavours to Europe and the Americas. This period of shipping was an important part of Mount Gay’s Heritage. For centuries ships were the only way by which Barbadian sugar and Mount Gay Rum could meet global demand. Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados is one of the oldest seaports in the Caribbean and the port from which Mount Gay Rum sailed into the glasses and gullets of the world.’
Soaking up the rum… and sun.
One place I need to recommend to anybody visiting Barbados is a trip to see Cuz’s Fish Shack. Fish cutters, cheese and copious amounts of Bajan hot sauce, right on the beach. Best food to sober you up, and the best location… Located in Hastings, next to the Barbados Yacht Club. Unfortunately trying to make these yourself never turns out as successful.
Other things to do?
Harrison’s Cave is in the centre of the island, and well worth a visit. My camera was awful in the dark, so none of my pictures really came out, but it was breathtaking. Huge limestone caverns, full of stalactites and stalagmites. Visit the website for more information here. Also, it was surrounded by loads of these little guys >
Cherry Tree Hill
‘Legend has it that Bathsheba, wife of King David, bathed in milk to keep her skin beautiful and soft. Legend also says that the surf covered white waters of Bathsheba, Barbados rich in minerals and life is said to resemble Bathsheba’s bath in both appearance health giving value.’Bathsheba was on the Eastern side of the Island and it was absolutely gorgeous. Some of the large national and international surfing competitions are held on this part of the island. Swimming at Bathsheba is dangerous due to riptides and undertows. It’s advised that if you do swim, you ensure that you go with someone who knows the area well. Ideally, do not swim here at all, there are large coral pools you can cool off in if required.
Not only is Bathsheba rugged, but it is home to some very unique rock formations. At first glance they look like boulders, washed up on the shore. They are actually formations broken away from ancient coral reefs.