Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 8th – Speightstown, Barbados

Today we decided to take a trip up the west coast of Barbados, to the island's second largest town, Speighstown (pronounced Spikestown). We caught a local bus which seemed to have saved money on luxuries like a decent suspension system and air-conditioning, and invested all its cash on a sound system that would have been more suited to a nightclub.

So, we bounced along with the deafening music turned up to the max past all the luxury resorts and developments (like the famous Sandy Lane resort) on the West Coast of the island, and ended up at the working class town of Speightstown. It always amazes me that these holiday resorts with their high walls and even higher prices, coexist with the ordinary lives of the working people, but I don't feel any great sense of resentment amongst the local people, which is to their credit.

Speightstown was once one of the most important towns in the British Empire, as the main export port for Barbados's sugar – however, its trading links with Bristol brought far more wealth to Britain than it did to Barbados. Nevertheless, there were a few old colonial houses and warehouses to remind us of Speightstown's sugar-coated glory days, and it was fun to explore a town that's totally untouristy.

The only downside of our time in Speightstown was that we knew that we'd have to risk death-by-music once again on the bus ride home.