A Week in Paradise- Barbados Part One
I have been sitting here for a very long time trying to work out how to translate this trip into words. I have scrutinised my time in Barbados, looking for even a slight reason to be happy that I'm back home, but the honest truth is I've been crying inside ever since I left! This tiny little island, which is only 1/4 of the size of London, has more soul than Ray Charles, more chill than Netflix, and a seemingly endless Rum supply! I know, I know..the grass is always greener blah blah...but the ocean is more blue. Anyone who visits will be left with an infinite affection for the Island, its people, and either a fondness or sickness of Rihanna. This is the first post of many (there is just SO much), so get ready to be transported to the exquisite beauty and charm of Barbados in the daytime (you will want to scroll all the way down, trust me!)
Bridgetown is the capital city of Barbados, situated on the South West coast. It is home to the Island's historic centre, old colonial buildings, duty-free shopping (seriously) on Broad Street, and boasts an idyllic little harbour, surrounded by stunning beaches. Parts of the capital have been recognised by UNESCO for it's historical precedence. From Bridgetown, you can get a bus to anywhere on the Island. Transport in Barbados is ridiculously reliable and cheap, with one ride costing a mere $2BDS (£0.69). You will get packed into one of the minivans (white with a red stripe, called a ZR van) regardless of whether you can realistically fit or not. Don't be shy, it's really fun!
Pirate's Cove Beach Bar (Browne's Beach)
As we were walking around Bridgetown, we stumbled across this mural on the wall, of what looked like a perfectly painted paradise. It was only when we got a little closer, that we realised this was real door, not a painted one, which led to the most stunning beach. Help. At this point we were just standing there, taking it all in, when a local site worker shouted over ''you can go in!''. No need to tell me twice.
When we walked through the door, we were in a tropical dream. There is a hammock for basking in the Caribbean sun, the sand is white and the sea is a piercing blue. The beach is called Browne's Beach, and is notorious on the island. All beaches in Barbados are public, though many of the beach chairs and huts are owned by the nearest beach bar/restaurant/hotel. In this case, it is Pirate's Cove Beach Bar. This was the point that I decided I didn't want to leave (note that it was only the first day).
The Boatyard/Sharkey's Bar
Also located on Browne's Beach is The Boatyard, Barbados' liveliest year-round bar and water sports venue. They offer you a deal on arrival; $50 BDS each ($25 US, around £17), and you get $40 BDS back at the bar/restaurant, as well as access to beach chairs/umbrellas, ocean trampoline, swing rope, dive platform and more! BUT the most incredible thing about this package (aside from it already being so cheap) is that they take you on a snorkelling trip with Sea Turtles. Snorkelling with Sea Turtles is one of Barbados' most prized attractions, so to do it in the inclusive price of £17, with only about six other people is truly a magnificent experience. For me, this was the highlight of the trip!
I definitely do not describe myself as a thrill-seeker... I'm not fantastic with the sea at all, and really not that great at staying afloat. However, I would do this every day, forever (I did do it again, coming in a later post). As I mentioned before, the snorkelling is part of The Boatyard package. You have to swim out to the boat (getting my phone on the boat was a real mission, thank goodness my boyfriend is 6ft3). On the boat is the captain, and on weekends, his two little boys. They are so, so beautiful and provided us with a lot of laughter. There is no training, its really straightforward. Put on your snorkel and life jacket, and get in the bloody water! It is warm and crystal clear, so you can see the bottom very easily. I hesitantly put my head in the water and swam around the boat, and very soon, at least five, stunning brown sea turtles appeared around me. They aren't scared of humans and will come very close to you. I'm still overwhelmed by their size and beauty. It's a completely different world down there!
I've been so excited to write this section because I get to relive the day we had this beach all to ourselves! Locals will tell you that Bottom Bay is the most beautiful beach on Barbados, competing against the best beaches in the world. Discovering this gem of natural beauty was incredible. It is highly secluded, and in off-peak season, it is likely you can have it to yourself, as we did! To get there, we took a bus towards Sand Lord's Castle, and got off a stop before it terminated. We then walked down a very long road, with monkeys swinging in the trees around us, arriving here at the end...
Contrary to popular belief, the Atlantic Ocean completely surrounds Barbados' coast line, despite it being a Caribbean Island. Therefore, the east and north coast can be quite rough, and at Bottom Bay the waves were crashing against the rocks.
So folks, we've come to the end of the first Barbados post, but there's lots more to look forward to! This was the most incredible trip of my life, and you're probably wondering, 'where can I sign up'? The answer is here, on British Airways Holiday Finder. Here, you can find all-inclusive deals for the Caribbean for as little as £500, which you can secure with a deposit of £150*. I have already decided that I will be returning every two years, so let me know if you're coming :)
* prices are based on two people sharing- subject to change