Bish, Bash, Barbados!
If you’ve read my post on Island Hopping, you don’t need the back drop to how we came to be thinking about popping across to Barbados. To cut a long story short, we already had a holiday planned in Antigua and decided to bolt on some extra days prior in Barbados and after in St Lucia. We chose Barbados initially as we had 4 nights free to use, knowing from my previous travels that Barbados is very much a fun, vibrant island, St Lawrence Gap in particular being very entertaining, I was bringing party time! I wanted my partner to experience it too, knew the kids would love it and knew 4 nights, 5 days could just about be done before moving on to the next one. The fact we secured much of our flights and accommodation through deals or bids online was exciting. The flights out were on sale with Virgin Atlantic, so we knew we were in good hands.
It sounds complicated to some, but it really was very easy. I looked around online, compared the usual suspects in terms of booking sites and deals, but chose to book through the VRBO website as we really liked the look of St Lawrence Beach Condominiums. We chose an alternative apartment to the one we ended up with, but the owner, Jane contacted us and recommended Sea Glass as it was a bigger apartment, more spacious, both bedrooms faced the pool and sea and she thought we’d prefer it from what I’d written as it was set over 2 floors providing plenty of space for a family of four.
The apartment, Sea Glass is amazing. After booking we looked at the images on the website Jane recommended. It looked amazing, but nothing actually prepared us for arriving and stepping inside, it was jaw dropping in terms of space, style and being just feet away from the ocean! We were met by the apartment block manager, Ricardo, who gave us some simple instructions and the code to the door, lots of information about the area and facilities had already been sent to us via email and more, including maps had been left inside for our perusal. If stepping inside the apartment was impressive, stepping outside of it once opening the sliding doors was awesome on a whole new level, breath-taking beauty, the pounding of the sea against the nearby rocks, the little beach below with it’s gorgeous powder sand, the pool right in front of our accommodation, just everything we could have hoped for.
The kitchen was fully stocked with all the utensils I could only wish for in my own kitchen let alone on holiday. Having the washer and dryer were so handy for the constant changes of swim-wear.
We loved every moment of being at the condo, but we actually did venture outside too when not enjoying the fabulous beach below. St Lawrence Gap is a great place in terms of restaurants and bars, we particularly enjoyed a casual meal and great breakfast at Sharkeys. The fact they also showed the football was very well received by some members of our party. In addition to the restaurants and bars, take time to stop of and buy coconuts from the locals, usually for around $1 a time, They cut them open for you there and then and you drink the lovely refreshing coconut water, no need for the trendy re-packaging of the moment sold around the globe, this is the real deal. Also, real souvenirs, made by locals, real crafts which help the local economy are best buys to bring home. Or favourite were little figures made from string , rope and wool into all shapes and colours. but there are many things if you take the time to look.
At night the place comes alive with music and vibrancy, We had cocktails in bar called Cove with live music, also one of our best meals was at Harlequin Restaurant, now they serve a mean margarita, just how I like it. The food was very much fine dining at it’s best but even the children’s meals were fantastic quality, matched by the excellent service and very knowledgeable staff happy to talk you through any and every dish, this is one I highly recommend.
Bearing in mind we had only four nights, five days, we were quite choosy about which excursions we did, not wishing to cross over activities we might do elsewhere. we enjoyed the lights of dinner and a show at Harbour Lights, very fun, family friendly music and entertainment along with a good meal and all drinks included. We booked it with one the tour agents in St Lawrence Gap, were picked up from our accommodation and transported back at the end of the night. Total, stressless, Caribbean fun. The most low key, down to earth way to sample local nightlife is a visit to Oistins on a Friday night to enjoy the delicious food straight from the barbecues and join in the massive street party, a must for any visit to Barbados. The fish is super fresh and fantastic, but basically all the food is good, simple, delicious. Sip a local beer and “Lime” (party) with the locals.
We also took a dive with the Atlantis Submarine, now that was something so different from anything we had done before. We were again picked up from our accommodation and taken to the dock, given welcome drinks, talked through the process and taken to the submarine. It was a truly amazing experience sitting there reaching a depth on our dive of 147ft! As you descend deeper and deeper lights are put on outside of the vessel so you can see all that surrounds you. the amazing coral, the variety of fish and sea life including turtles and small sharks, you even get to explore an old ship wreck below the surface. Upon returning to the reception you receive a certificate of your dive and the option to purchase your photo’s. An experience you will never forget.
We also hired Michael, a local taxi driver to give us a day tour which was total fun, we encompassed a visit to Crane Beach, passing through the grounds of the Crane to go down and visit their beautiful beach briefly. We also visited many areas of interest churches, historical sites, we visited Harrison’s Caves where we went inside for a tour of the caves and were shown a movie about the history and then driven down in a cart to a depth of around 152 ft looking at all the stallactites and stalagmites, fascinating.
Then on to my personal favourite, the Rum distillery for Mount Gay rum. Now that was fascinating, even our 6 year old took in the history of the rum, it’s relation to slavery and sugar cane etc, he even quotes to me now the length of time different rums take to be distilled! Our guide was phenomenal, patient, spoke with gentle ease, talked us through the history, left us to watch a brief movie, then took us through for some rum tasting and educated us on the differences. We then had a tour of the factory itself before proceeding to the bar…let the fun begin! There’s also a great little gift shop on site, many souvenirs purchased here.
There is so much to do in Barbados in addition to the obvious beautiful beaches. There was only so much we wanted to cram into our few day and allow us enough time to also enjoy the beach life. As they say at Mount Gay: “There’s a time and a Place.” The time is now, the place is Barbados, do it. This one was easy to book, easy to enjoy, bish, bash Barbados!