Royal Clipper Barbados 2013

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Thurs 7th March. Just packed suitcases and left room 105, our home for the last 2 weeks. Long lunch will fill in time until we go to the airport at 3 to catch the plane flight VS 30 to Gatwick, arriving at 5.50 Friday morning. Just looked at weather at home – rain!  We certainly need some rain in New Zealand. REALITY CHECK!!!!

Interesting trivia – in Barbados there are 8 women to every man!

Suddenly it’s Tuesday (March 5th) and only 2 more days to go. Weather still perfect, if a little hot!  Got a full walk in this morning – the tide times here are a bit like the buses – it’s high tide when it arrives! Sunday morning we took the  bus early to Sandy Lane and walked round the golf course and up to the top to view the enormous houses. The stars like Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Wayne Rooney, etc. live nearby but their mansions are not accessible to the public. We are extremely pleased with this hotel – the Crystal Cove – rooms, food, service and facilities are all excellent and everyone is very friendly. There is entertainment in the evenings which is good if a little loud at times. BBQ on beach:

b'dos more 001Fri March 1st. Beach walk slightly curtailed due to high tide. After breakfast we took the bus up to Holetown to meet Brian and Monica who are staying at the Club (where we used to stay). Great to see them again and catch up with the developments at the Club. Very hot today – need occasional dips in the sea to cool off. Sea temp is 80! Now retreated out of sun for a while to do the blog. Below shows approaching the hotel by boat:

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Thurs 28th Feb.  After our usual beach walk we decided to visit the sister hotel in our group called the Turtle Beach. Went for the local bus which took 20 mins to arrive and then 50 mins to get there, as it is on the South Coast of the island. Interesting route as we went through parts of Bridgetown that tourists do not often visit. Loud reggae music sped us along! and I mean speeds. The roads here are mostly full of potholes and the drivers constantly test their suspension to the limit. Have to hang on even if you get a seat. The hotel is on the beach but too rough for swimming in the sea. Great swimming pool though, and met some people we knew on the Royal Clipper whose main interest is cricket. Had lunch and decided the Turtle Beach was not as good as the Crystal Cove – fantastic beach but too rough to swim. Then waited 30 mins for the bus – no-one seems to know what time they run – if you ask the locals they say ‘when it comes’! Same route back but we hit rush hour through Bridgetown and the hopper sized bus was absolutely packed. We were lucky to get the last 2 seats because at one point I counted 28 standing – a seething mass of humanity in the 80+ degree heat. Took an hour to get back and were we pleased to enter our air-conditioned room. The first gin and tonic tasted good too at bar below.

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Wed 27th Feb. Started with our 3 mile beach walk before breakfast – either sets you up or finishes you for the day depending on how much free drink you have consumed the night before. Just waiting for the boat to take us up the coast for a while. Had dinner last night with a nice couple, and the man played high standard rugby for Cheshire and Surrey, and also played for a couple of years for Streatham – what a coincidence. Entrance to room:

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25th Feb. Settling in nicely into our all inclusive hotel – trying not too eat or drink too much. Great location right on the beach with excellent facilities and swimming. Even bring round drinks and fruit as we lounge around. Sunsets are sensational. Very hot today (waiter thought it was the hottest day for a while). Got into our routine of long beach walks before breakfast. Pic of tonight’s sunset (by Jean)

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Sun 24th Feb. Docked in Bridgetown yesterday morning after another memorable trip on the Clipper. On Thursday we anchored off Isles des Saintes – one of many small islands off the coast of Guadaloupe and part of France. We had our usual walk around in the heat and then took the tender to another small island for a swim and beach laze. Jean snorkelled. Still in France on Friday in Martinique – a very busy European style port (Port de France) lots of traffic and driving on the right. We took a trip to some topical gardens which were superb. The island seems to be one giant rainforest – a botanists dream.

Anchored off Dominica

Anchored off Dominica

Earlier in the trip we met up with the sister sailing ship ‘Star Clipper’ – a rare occurrence and the captains had a race in the open sea. It was choppy and our captain won by gaining the windward side and then closing in to block the Star Clipper’s wind. Bit like Ben Ainslie only in a 5 masted schooner. It would seem that there are only 50 of these tall ships left working so it was a unique occasion.

Star Clipper

Star Clipper

Docking in St Johns Antigua

Docking in St Johns Antigua

Wed Feb 20th. Internet at last and now we are just leaving the island of St Kitts. We are finding out the difference between Leeward and Windward as they are totally different here in the Caribbean. Between Islands we are windward and the wind is certainly strong and sea quite choppy – force 7 wind is not uncommon. We usually anchor on the leeward side of the islands we visit so the days are not so affected. We were unable to visit Falmouth in Antigua because of the strength of the wind so we went to St Johns the capital which was interesting but not so scenic.  Each day the small tender boats take us ashore and we often visit the beach or walk around the local area. We had a trip around St Kitts today and found it to be very interesting (C Columbus first landed here in 1493! so they can claim to be the oldest colony)

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Saturday Feb 16th.  After beach activities and swim in pool we’re now checked out of hotel and waiting for transport to the Royal Clipper. We can see her in the harbour about 2 miles away – hopefully getting cleaned up and restocking the bar! Plenty of wind today so we think the 42 sails should be enough to get us around the Caribbean next week.  Could be limited entries in the blog as the sailing boat’s internet connection is not too reliable.

tonight's sunset

Feb 15th Quiet day around hotel and beach. Good beach walk before breakfast then took up good position under palm tree, until…it rained – saved us from burning anyway. Lots of reading and another beachwalk finished the daylight hours. Now in bar enjoying drink.

Feb 14th.  Arrived in Barbados after really good Virgin flight. Like an oven when we stepped off the plane. Unfortunately it took an hour in a queue to get through immigration but we made it to the Hilton Hotel by 5 and so we dumped our things in the room and went for a short beach walk before sunset which is always about 6.07 each night. Pic of sunset from position lying on the beach! Great facilities here and its right on the beDSCF5835ach. Other pic shows view  from our room balcony. Feel a rum punch coming on! When we got to the dining room it was a Valentines Buffet with  a free glass of champers – romance is not lost…yet.

Welcome to our new holiday page – we are travelling to Barbados to board The Royal Clipper to sail around some of the Caribbean Islands. 5 masts, 42 sails seen anchored off St Lucia, five years ago on our last trip.

The Royal Clipper

The Royal Clipper

4 Responses to “Royal Clipper Barbados 2013”

  1. Hello Granny and Grandpa
    Nice picture of the ship please post more soon. School finished for half term hooray! Whoop man gangnam style from Alfie the runner xx

  2. Loving the sunny pictures! Hope your trip continues to be fantastic xx

  3. Jim & Paulette Says:

    Hi Folks. Delighted to learn of your adventure on The Clipper. Brilliant pics. We leave home on Wednesday to fly out to Egypt. Back home on the 12th of March. Weather very cold here but no rain – a lot of blue skies. See you when we get back.

  4. Looks fabulous! Glad you’re having such a lovely time. Bring some of that sunshine back here please! Jxx

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