Barbados Tour Blog

Arrival

Thursday, 15 May 2014


So the Inverhaugh Cricket Club starts another tour, this time in Hastings, Barbados.  Most of us were booked into the Coconut Court Hotel and many arrived today.  The lobby was filled with folks checking in and others welcoming.  Bart said he had been there already for two days and it felt like a week.   He was handing out Banks beers to new arrivals.  There was a large crowd sunning on the beach that afternoon and  swimming.  As in St Maarten a few years ago the ocean (The Doctor) will cure what ails you.

Intersquad 10th May

Inverhaugh A beat Inverhaugh B by 4 wickets


Inverhaugh B 97 all out in 17.3 Overs

Inverhaugh A 98 for 3 in 13.2 Overs (B Singh 59)


Intersquad Scorecard as pdf and html (smaller download)

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Day 1 - Golf and Practice

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The first golf outing was in the morning and the 6 participants had fun.  In the afternoon we had a practice arranged at the Briar Hall ground.  It was inland a little and therefore elevated but it afforded a nice view of the ocean.  Practice was good as everyone got a bat, all the bowlers got a bowl and there was even some catching practice.

Dinner was on our own but we re-grouped at 8pm for the tour group meeting.  There was no obvious place to meet until we were invited by the occupants of rooms 40, 41 and 42, and in particular the ever social Griff and Merle,  opened their rooms as well as the doors between the adjoining balconies.  The meeting was fairly brief as we reviewed the itinerary  and handed out tour shirts so that left time for the party to start.  This writer left early but rumour has it that fun was had well into the night

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Day 2 - Empire Sports Club

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Our first game of the tour is at Empire Sports Club in the Bridgetown area.  The bus left at 11am for a noon game.  The ground was smallish with white walls surrounding the ground.  The pavilion was very inviting with nice facilities and some memorabilia illustrating the history and pedigree of the club.  Of particular interest was a set of photos of test players from Empire including Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Charlie Griffith.

Inverhaugh batted first against a team that was considerably younger.  We batted well reaching 222 for 4 in our 30 overs with substantial contributions from Roy, Bally, Virgil, Kumar, Nigel, Ali and Richard.  There was some suspicion that Empire had been more than sporting with their bowling and that they would bat well to make it a difficult defence.  This was the case but some tight bowling from Richard plus great support from Bally, Ali, and Bart kept us in a promising position.  That left Manuelo our ace in the hole to bowl  some of the final overs.   While Empire did hit out and deposit some balls on various surrounding roofs Inverhaugh did prevail with Manuelo being the man of the match helped by some fine catching from Nigel and Premo.  The hosts provided a meal, the presentations were well received and some made our way back for a visit to “The Doctor” for aching bodies.  Special mention should be made for the ladies and other non-cricketers who provided great support for the team.

Day 3 - Island Tour

Thursday, 15 May 2014

There was another golf outing in the morning, this time 14 participants.  For the non-golfers the beach was available and the weather good.  Merle and Albert Griffiths were frolicking in the water like a couple of teenagers.

After lunch, we all went on a tour of the island hosted by Reggie our bus driver.  He donned the headset for the tour to give us a commentary and it was very informative and enjoyable.  We did engineer a stop at the supermarket to pick up refreshments .  Fresh fishcake and other goodies were sold outside, quite a bargain at 75c Bajan each.  We went up the west coast passing many high end resorts and condos until we crossed to the east coast which is less populated because of the unstable sand terrain and unsafe swimming on the Atlantic side.  Highlights were the view from above of the Barbados version of Scotland and the stop at the village of Bathsheba.

Dinner was at the Oistens Fish Festival. It is a collection of fish fry/grill stalls near the fish market in Oistens that has a big night on a Friday.  We could order Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Snapper and other fish with two sides.  Although are service was a bit erratic the food was pretty good, especially the snapper which was a whole fish baked in foil in a spicy sauce.  The atmosphere was pretty wild with DJ music and dancers on a stage.

Day 4 - Windward

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Our second match was at the Windward club somewhere inland.  The bus drive was very relaxing and the views picturesque.  The ground itself was beautiful, with a nice wicket and a soft flat outfield and a nicely appointed pavilion.  We batted first and scored 149 for 8 off our 30 overs with Roy high scoring with 48.  We did not think that would be enough and indeed that proved correct with Windward knocking off the runs without loss.  It was a great day nonetheless and our hosts were generous and played the game in good spirit. We journeyed back to our hotel and dinner was on our own.

Day 5 - Boat Trip

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The bus picked us up at 9am for the boat trip which most tour party participants attended.  We drove into Bridgetown and then to the docks to board the catamaran.  We embarked at about 9:45 and within 5 minutes the bar was in full swing!  The first stop was for snorkelling over a shipwreck.  Snorkel equipment and life-vests were provided.  There were many fish around the wreck and therefore the snorkelers.  The second stop was where sea turtles were known to be and sure enough they were there to greet us.  Sea turtles are mammals and need to come up for air so there was plenty of action for all.  It was quite an experience.  We then put the sails up and sailed north up the coast.  And then the dancing started!  We stopped and anchored off a beach and then were served a very nice lunch.  On the trip back down the coast the dancing continued.  Did I mention there was an open bar?  We finally docked at around 2:30 and met our bus having had a wonderful day.  Again, dinner was on our own.

Day 6 - Sightseeing and Jerry & Angela’s

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Monday was another golf day with the golfers departing early.  Bart also arranged a tour of the Kensington Oval that ten of the group enjoyed.  The tour included the media centre, changing and treatment rooms and the various stands as well as the pitch.  It was very enjoyable.  And what do you know, afterwards, the taxi driver was persuaded to drop the participants at a rum shop run by a Guyanese fellow.  Beers were four for 10 Bajan dollars (5US).  A good time was had by all.  Following that some of the group went to a Chinese restaurant and then saw a horse race at the track (both on the walk home)  For Virgil this was part of quite a day, his walk in the morning getting him thoroughly lost and at the mercy of a local Bajan to give him directions back to the hotel.

Our evening was spent at Angela and Jerry’s wonderful home.  We had a fantastic meal with chicken, steaks cooked by Roy, butternut squash  and salads as well as some tasty desserts.  Following dinner the dancing started and many were up on the dance floor showing off their grooves to the Calypso, Reggae and Bollywood sounds. Thanks Angela and Jerry, for a great evening.

Day 7 - Pickwick and Tour Dinner

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The golfers were out again and joined us at the ground for our third and final match.  This was against the Pickwick club.  As with Empire and Windward, Pickwick is an old time Barbados club and in each facility we have enjoyed viewing their old photos and memorabilia while also marvelling at the West Indian Test players that have been members of the club.  Bart successfully negotiated for Inverhaugh to bat first.  Despite the ‘guru’ making a very nice and quick 35, the bowling was accurate and difficult to score off and so we ended up making 122 for six wickets.  The opposition made pretty short work of the run chase led by 45 from the opening bat who is currently playing for the Barbados team.  He hit some pretty impressive sixes.  Following our match and presentations the Pickwick guys set up nets for their weekly practice.  It was then that we realized that they only bowled their spinners against us.  Some of their bowlers practising were plenty quick.

The team dinner was held that night at the Ackee Tree West Indian restaurant.  A special menu had been arranged and the restaurant was closed so that we could have a private party.  The food was very good, lamb and chicken curries, spinach, okra, Dahl and rice with Bread Pudding and/or ice cream for dessert.  After dinner, the traditional session in which everyone commented on the trip was held.  The response, as always, was very positive with a number of comments on wanting to continue the tradition (Grenada was suggested).  Some that had previously toured in Barbados had stated that previous experiences were not always positive and that this trip was quite different.  Everyone was very appreciative of the efforts of Angela and Jerry in organizing so many of the activities as well as for entertaining us at their lovely home.

Lastly, a few words about our driver Reggie.  He was very prompt, helpful  and responsible throughout the trip.  But what is more interesting is how he warmed to us and us to him over the week.  We learned much about Reggie on the island tour when he gave us a commentary over the stereo in the bus.  He was apt to add his own personal comments relating to politicians, work ethic in the Caribbean and other subjects.  Anyway, Fazal invited him to our final team dinner and presented him with an additional gratuity that had been collected that day.  During dinner Reggie told us a lot more of his life story including further details of his 14 children (most ‘unofficially’ adopted) and his long years as a merchant seaman working on British ships around the world.  These included an interesting tale relating to a visit to 1980s apartheid Johannesburg.   My point is, he is a shy man who came out of his shell.  His final words of gratitude as we left the bus that night were heartfelt and emotional.  

Day 8 - Homeward Bound

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wednesday was a travel day for many of the group (some stayed on an extra day) and as each traveller arrived home they issued the traditional email indicating their safe arrival and hopes for another trip next year.

Ashwani’s Album contains many more pictures than could be included in this blog:

http://www.getsimpleprints.com/book/1008711/?source=email