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A Night Out at Harbour Lights, Barbados

SmarterTravel

Author: Andrea MacEachern
Date of Trip: December 2014

Since this was my second-last full day in Barbados, I spent it at the beach, naturally. On this day, I opted to relax on my little “private” beach where I would be least likely to cross paths with my “salesman” friend and any other shady characters trying to sell me “jewelry”. I was right, I had the entire beach to myself and it was perfect!

Some hours later, I headed back to my apartment to get ready for the evening. I put on some makeup for the first time all week, carefully straightened my hair and changed into the one outfit I always take with me for that night spent on the town in the Caribbean – a fun, little, strappy sundress. In under an hour, I transformed myself from straggly beach bum to chic party girl.

A van picked me up at my hotel at 6:30. It took about a half hour to get to Harbour Lights and the show didn’t start until about 7:30 so I had a little bit of time to wander around and mingle before the show started. The young man who was helping people to their seats seemed concerned that I was alone. “Well, we can’t have you sitting alone! Do you mind if I find a group of people for you to sit with for the evening?” he asked. “Sure, I’d love that!” He led me to the top level overlooking the stage and beach and asked a couple of girls from England if they minded if I sat with them. “Sure, of course!” I was surprised by how delighted they were to have a total stranger joining them. I was delighted as well. At home, the rare times that I do go to a bar or club alone to watch a band, I usually spend the night sitting at a table alone. No one approaches me and if I ask someone if I can join them at their table, they look at me like I have ten heads as if they still follow that rule their mother taught them as children “don’t talk to strangers”. A lot of people at home think this rule still applies after the after the age of 12 and well into adulthood. Mingling and meeting new people is a little taboo at home, so it seems.

After introductions and Pina Coladas, we were called to the buffet table to get our meal and once again, like every other meal I had on my trip, it was delicious! Salads, macaroni pie, rice and some other things I’m not really sure what they were but they were equally delicious.

Not long after everyone had a meal in front of them, the show started and for about two hours, we were entertained by a steel band, fire eaters, limbo dancers and singers. It was quite entertaining but the only thing I didn’t like about it was the band and singers performed pop songs….songs by Rihanna and popular American singers. I would have liked to hear a more local sound. Yes, I know Rihanna is from Barbados but she hardly has a traditional Bajan sound to her music!

The other thing I didn’t really like about the show was I had to leave earlier than I wanted to because the shuttle back to Derricks left at 11:00…but the party continued for a few more hours. I could have stayed longer but that would mean a very expensive cab back to my apartment or finding another way home which could be dangerous for a young woman, late at night in a strange place by herself. By 12:00, I was back at my hotel. An early night for a night on the town but I suppose that was a good thing because my last day in Barbados was reserved for a long hike to Holtown and I planned to be up bright and early to try to make it there before the heat of mid-day.

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