The year begins, and I can’t think of a better place to have your passport stamped, and unwind than the relaxed island of Barbados. This will be the luxury, before we tail off to ‘roughing it’ in Africa, before gradually building up again in the Far East. Of course, there are other stops in between, but we’ll deal with those as they arise.
Its fair to say that this 12 month voyage didn’t start as I imagined. Having had a moderately bumpy eight hour flight, we arrived in Bridgetown. i was immediately struck by how early the sun set. Yes, it is in the northern hemisphere. But by six o’clock it is as dark as a very dark place (acknowledgement to Mr Baldrick, former employee of Lord Blackadder).
The hotel looked like most hotels in the dark, I.e. bewildering. Many passages and steps leading you uphill and down dale; was the room second turning on the left or was that the deep end! The room however was fashionably large with a bed that would easily accommodate all those who wished to travel with me! The verandah was suitably furnished…with of course my private access to the pool.
i then had the misfortune to meet a young man who; well let’s say had a face that any mother would love. He smiled in a manner of the most ruthless of assassins. He was ‘the barman’! Rum sours, particularly smooth and soothing brandy sours, and then a tipple that I think he called Old Mother’s Something Or Other…don’t ask because I have not a clue what was in it; even after several attempts at sampling. Anyway at midnight I gave in, only realising at this point it was really 4am and I had my first drink at 11am the previous day in Manchester Airport Lounge.
This morning was not a joyous awakening, but cooked breakfast beckoned and I am on holiday.
I don’t know if I mentioned this or not but the hotel, although on a hill hence the steps, is actually beachside (know I haven’t mentioned this but an opportunity to develop jealousy in the reader). A walk along deep golden sand seemed a good idea, but legs were inexplicably weak so decided to start reading a Stephen Fry novel. Temperance for food and drink throughout the day was observed as my blood was probably still above forty percent volume! And then dinner happened; a journey around the Caribbean in several tasty mouthfuls! Having friends who are gourmands I repeat the menu here:
North Point – breadfruit and cheese soup served in a salt bread bowl
Moon Town – spiced rubbed pork, sweet potato pudding and cucumber salsa
Six Mens – herb crusted flying fish and plantain lollipop served with tomato orange smoothie
? – herb infused oven roasted black belly lamb and sweet potato dumpling with a tamarind jam
Garrison Savannah – guava cheese, cheese cake cutter, passion fruit sauce and petite fours (those who know my preference for savoury over sweet will understand that this was my least favourite course, but it flavour all the same)
Bay leaf tea
Now…here’s the rub. Temperance is easy until every course is accompanied with a cocktail. However, these were sample shot sized cocktails and I walked away steady of foot and feeling rather virtuous!