For our last full day on Barbados, we jumped into one of the many minibuses headed to the airport, and from there got a cab to the Sunbury Plantation House, better known on Barbados as The Great House. The plantation house being a bit off the main roads, our chances of getting the $1 minibus all the way to the plantation were small. We had asked our 82 year old cab driver Jack to drop us at the plantation house, but he had nothing better to do he said, so waited for us and then drove us around for more sightseeing afterwards.
The Sunbury Plantation House is over 300 years old and had been a working sugar estate in the 18th and 19th Centuries. When Thomas Daniel bought it in 1835, there were 244 slaves working the land. Slavery was abolished in Barbados in 1834, but it took another two years for them to get their freedom, and were then referred to as slave apprentices.
We asked many questions of our guide, which she answered as we toured the house. The house is full of antiques, but the original furniture was destroyed in a fire in 1995. The house was meticulously restored and re-opened in 1996.
Only the house and the basement full of carriages and horse tack are available for touring. With the current interest in retelling historical stories from all perspectives (not just the privileged white ruling class) it would be nice to see some representation of the lives of the slaves that worked the land for so long.
After touring the plantation home, Jack drove us out to Crane Beach. We had a fruit smoothie at the very posh Crane Resort (which reminded us of Disneyland) and then drove to the public access road to the Crane Beach. The Crane Resort is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the beach, and we could have made our way to the beach through the resort if we had known about the stairs, but we reached it anyway from the opposite end via a more scenic series of stepping stones.
Jack drove us back to our hotel entertaining us with local stories and history, and dropped us at Turtle Beach. He charged $50 US for the three hours of driving, touring, and story telling.
It was Friday night in Oistins, which means one thing; Friday Night Fish Fry. Another $1 minibus hop of just a few minutes brought us to the very popular food and entertainment venue. It was a pretty even mix of tourists and locals, plus the ever present roosters.
We walked through the fish market, along the beach and cruised the little stalls. We found a spot at the crowded picnic tables at the vendor recommended earlier by Jack, and ordered grilled flying fish, the island specialty. It was delicious.