I’m a last-minute kind of guy. I procrastinate until the time is well within the realm of the unreasonable. This past weekend, on my trip to Barbados, I woke up four hours before my flight without even having packed yet. I managed to get to the airport on time, but with more than enough anxiety to go around. Then, upon arrival at Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport, I went through immigration and when asked where I was going to stay, I told them that I hadn’t booked a place, that I would find one when I got there. The immigration guy looked at me like I was some kind of idiot, and in fact, I was; I can’t even pull that stunt in the United States, so why did I think that I could do something like that here?
Actually, that was the problem – I didn’t think. I didn’t come with the intention that I would just slide by, but that’s what I did, because I am bad at making preparations. So, he told me to go find a place, and come back with an address to write on my inbound customs form while he held my passport. I went over to the Barbadian Tourism Board’s kiosk, and I got an address for a hostel, one that I was sure that I was not going to use. The guy just wanted an address, so I got the first one I could find written down to satisfy protocol.
It worked, my passport was stamped, and I was free to go. I immediately went into the food court area of the airport, where they have WiFi, and I proceeded to find a real place to stay. Searches for hostels came up with guesthouses, which seem to be the popular economical option for travelers. These guesthouses are basically cottages where you rent a room within for a nightly price. Since I was booking for the night of, most places were already fully-booked, but I finally came across a room at Cleverdale Guesthouse in Worthing, on Barbados’ southern shore.
My room had two beds, for which they charge $17.50 USD per bed per night, or $35 USD per night for the room. It was a tiny room, with few features. It had two twin-size beds, mosquito netting hanging from the ceiling, a lamp, a trash can, a ceiling fan (which couldn’t possibly spin fast enough in the hot, humid climate), a small safe, and a rack space with clothes hangers and a few drawers for storage. My room also came with its own private little bathroom, which was located across the hallway, and I was given a bath towel and a hand towel for my use. Every other room in Cleverdale seemed to have private bathrooms within each room, and one room even had its own kitchenette.
My room was quite stuffy, though that is the general nature of the country. There is a little bit of fencing on the windows to protect against your random miscreant, and a screen so you can safely let some air in. Sheets on the bed are mainly to cover the mattress, as I doubt you’d want to get under the top sheet since it’s so hot. I slept in my birthday suit and still wanted to take off more. At night, sleeping can get a bit tough for those used to cooler environments, as the heat and humidity barely seem to go down. During my stay, the temperature was about 89°F (32°C) during the day, and it dropped down to about 81°F (27.2°C) at night, with humidity constant at about 90% during my entire stay, day and night. Water in Barbados is said to be some of the purest in the world, even straight from the tap, though the water in Cleverdale wasn’t that great; I drank it, and it was fine to drink, but the taste wasn’t so great, probably due to the house and its pipes within being quite old. Showers were quite difficult, since the water was the hardest of any water I’ve ever taken a shower under; I could never build up a lather with the soap, and my hair took days to recover from its brutality.
More on my stay at Cleverdale, including location, layout, and more photos, on the