Getting into a higher holiday gear. Went on an Island Safari today in a 4×4 which took us to places you wouldn’t normally get to in an ordinary car. I was expecting to be taken into the forests and up on the hills (such that they are in Barbados) and all my expectations were more than met on that score. What I wasn’t expecting was to be supplied with gallons of rum punch on the trip. My other 8 travel companions began drinking at 9 a.m. and continued almost non-stop till our lunch stop at 2 p.m. Not happy with the strength of the punch supplied they asked the driver to stop and buy a bottle of Mount Gay to top it up. They were pretty sozzled by lunchtime and one became particlarly abnoxious. Trust me to be sitting beside him.
Lest you be put off taking such a tour if you come to Barbados – let me say that there were lots of other jeeps whose passengers drank responsibly. Some of them felt sorry for me. It felt like being the driver on a drinking night out, the sober one who. I have every admiration for the driver and tour guide who navigated his way around them with professional aplomb. Just the right amount of humour and gentle steering (especially one of them back to his seat after each stop).
Lunch at the splendid Sunbury Plantation House was a dream Caribbean buffet which three people from our party felt the need to complain about. I felt duty bound to put a different point of view to the manager who offered me a free visit for my trouble. Not sure if I’ll have time to get back up there. The journey back was a pretty straight drive for which I was really grateful. I asked to be dropped of at the beach. I don’t think I could get complacent about the beauty of the waves as they gather and then release their power over the sand; the way the sun sets slowly into the sea and the translucent air as day slowly turns to night. Everything is perfect then.
I asked my friend “What am I supposed to have learned from today?”
“Tolerance” she answered.