Barbados Hiking
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Hiking here is a big family affair. Everyone is welcome, including you.

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The Barbados National Trust

Since 1986 the Barbados National Trust has organized free walks on Sunday for residents and visitors alike at 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Called Hike Barbados, they've become so popular that at times as many as several hundred people may show up. About 100 different walks have been mapped out. They include everything from forest hikes to road walks through villages and past power plants.

On the longer morning hikes you have a choice of groups, based on your ability. The Stop and' Stare group strolls between 5-6 miles. The Here and There walkers do 8-10 miles. The brisk Grin & Bear pace covers 12-14 miles.

Regardless of the distance, all hikes last about 3 hours. In the afternoon, the 3:30 walks are Stop and Stare only. Moonlight walks (starting at 5:30 p.m.) can also be arranged; bring a flashlight. The hikes are listed in the local newspaper and at www.barbados.org/hikemain.htm.

For more information, contact the National Trust at 246/426-2421; fax 246/429-9055. Although the hikes are free, donations are welcome for both the National Trust and the Future Centre Trust, a co-sponsor helping Bajans work toward a sustainable, happy future.

The Arbib Nature and Heritage Trail, also sponsored by the National Trust, is walked on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. This hike includes local culture and history at Speightstown's old port and the adjacent countryside.

You can choose the longer 3.5-mile walk or the easier 2-hour hike. The walks, which cost $7.50 per person for at least two people, must be booked by 3 p.m. the day before your hike. For information, contact the National Trust.

Highland Adventure Centre

Specializes in 2-hour walks through some of the highest parts of the island, with the chance to see green monkeys.

Contact Highland Adventure Centre, Cane Field, St. Thomas, Barbados Tel: 246/431-8928   Fax: 246/438-8070  E-mail: neilhighland@hotmail.com.

Peach & Quiet

This small ocean front property on the southern tip of Barbados specializes in week-long walking vacation packages for only $199 per person. Room rates, for one or two people, range from US$79. A bargain rental car can also be included.

The hotel's 22 rooms have private baths,fans (no AC), lounge area with tea/coffee making facilities, ice box and personal safe.

Facilities include a restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner, bar with lunchtime snacks and freshwater swimming pool.

For more information: www.barbados.org/hotels/h48.htm

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