Monday, March 24, 2008

Cruise Part Three

Antigua was the one island where we had a set tour plan for the day. We got off the ship and were met by our tour guide, who took us to another part of the island where we were going to kayak/paddle boat through a mangrove. Bri and I chose paddleboating, and so did most everyone else, but the guide try to scare everyone about how hard it is to paddleboat, and so everyone except for the two of us wussed out and kayaked instead. Which is weird to say since kayaking is harder, but whatever. Here's Bri in our awesome paddleboat.

And here's Chris in his kayak, with some random guy who was on our tour. They were the only two guys so they got paired up (there were only six of us total, the other two were two girls on vacation in Antigua for a week. One of the girls was really nice, and one was super obnoxious and annoying).

Here we are going through the mangroves.

Once we made it through the mangroves, we took a small boat out a bit away from the shore to go snorkel at a reef. Here's the view from the boat.

And here we are on it! It was really pretty underwater, I saw some cool fishies. I bought a disposable underwater camera and took some pictures but I haven't developed them yet (not that I'd be able to show them to you without scanning them or something, seeing as they're real live hard copies).

After snorkeling for a while, we went to a little restaurant for lunch. We got to try some of the local beer, Wadadli. Here is Chris drinking his beer and getting ready to dance this dance we were taught by the band singing (the restaurant was pretty much just for big tour groups coming through). I do have video of him dancing, but I'm not putting it up for now.

And after that we headed back to the boat! Antigua was nice, but it didn't seem like there was a ton to do. The next day we went to Barbados, which I think was my favorite of our stops. It had a very European feel, Bri and I both agreed. This is the Barbados Parliament building.

Barbados was actually the only place we went to where we didn't go to some sort of water (beach or waterfall). Our first stop was to a rum distillery for a tour.

It was actually a surprisingly detailed tour. We got to hear the history of the company, of course, and check out some historical-type rum things. Here are Bri and I at the pot still that the distillery originally used in the 1800s.

And here is Chris outside of what looks like a Barbadian rum shop (it's actually the front of their theater where we watched a video of Mount Gay Rum being made).

We got to try a couple of their rums at the end of the tour, and one of them tasted like scotch, which was unexpected. That's what happens when you let your rum age a lot, apparently.

After that we went to the Barbados museum and got to see lots of old Barbados stuff. It was more museum than I was expecting, given other less than awesome museums I've seen in various places.

They had some other places that sounded like they could have been neat, like George Washington's house on Barbados, but we elected to skip that and head to Ocean Park, an aquarium. Here we are at the entrance! And yes, the seahorses do shoot water.

It was interesting being there because it was run very differently. For example, most aquariums have a touch pool (see picture) where you can hold some of the little sea creatures. In the USA, they have an employee monitoring you and making sure you don't do anything improper. In Barbados, there's no one around so you end up with obnoxious women (not us) poking sea stars with sticks and taking them out of the water.

Another difference? In Barbados, you an actually wade into the Stingray Pool. And again, there was no one around to monitor (although we didn't go in until we saw someone who worked there and were able to ask them if it was ok, because we weren't sure if maybe we were misinterpreting the name "wading pool" somehow...seeing as, again, there were stingrays in there, it just seemed not right).

And that was our whole day in Barbados! When we got back to the ship, our favorite housekeeping guy had left us yet another surprise, this one actually identifiable.

What a red-letter day! Ok, that was long so I'll save St. Lucia for another post.


CAC Attack said...

It looks like an elephant-turtle.

CAC Attack said...

When you're a group fitness instructor you can go on vacation to Jamaica really cheap by teaching a step class on the cruise. That's what my favorite instructor from the gym did this year.

Reva said...

That's what one of my step instructors here suggested too!