Barbados Blues

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A few years ago, we went down to Barbados to watch the Cricket World Cup.
We had tickets to what would have been India Pakistan match had both team not failed miserably in the  group stage.

As I am not a big cricket fan, this meant more time on the beach for me ; albeit my husband was a bit sad.

Every April since then, I long to go back to the island. The Calypso beats, friendly Bajan people, the blue Carib water, the gentle waves, the warm sun and delicious fried fish literally make me log in to Expedia and plan a trip. I make do with looking up our trip pictures and re-reading our trip report.

Heres some virtual ‘wish you were there’ goodness from diaries of past.

April14th:

After an overnight flight from Seattle, and a connection in Miami, we reached Barbados around 1:30 pm. Our friends were all  travelling on different
flights and the plan was to meet at the Baggage Claim and then share a cab.

Due to world cup all resorts and hotels were full and what was available was out of our price reach. We stayed at Arjan apartments on Accomodation road. We reached our apartments, showered and got some groceries from nearby Popular Store.

Since this was Saturday night, we planned to go Oistins Fish Fry – a local hang out to taste the delicious fried fish. But we were too tired after all the travelling to venture out and just ordered pizza and called it a day.

April 15th:

We had rented a car before arriving. The plan was to drive north to Mullins beach. After a hearty homemade breakfast, we drove through what looked like upscale area and arrived at Mullins beach. The beach was picture perfect. Very calm water, jet skiing and rentals (banana boats, sun umbrellas and beach chairs), nice bar on the beach for drinks and snacks. We spent some time just floating in the water and then headed further north to Animal Flower Cave.

This is an interesting cave where we took a guided tour to watch a few flower shaped sea anemones. The tour was OK. But there is a great spot where the cave opening reflects in the water inside the caves. Makes for a great photo opportunity.

We had lunch at the small restaurant there.Limited choices but very tasty.Unfortunately they had only 4 bread rolls remaining, so could get only 4
sandwiches between 8 of us.

After this our group split into 2. One group went to the animal reserve to watch the green monkeys and we took the Cherry hill road to Bathsheba.The vistas from Cherry hill are amazing. We drove through sugarcane plantations and came to Bathsheba. We planned to stop for drinks and food at Round House cafe,but they closed at 3:00 pm.

Hungry,we drove further to Dina’s bar and cafe. They had the best Pina Coladas we had while in Barbados.We waited till sunset at the beach and then
drove back home to change before dinner.

St. Lawrence Gap is the place to be at night’s – the place was brimmingwith people.Very lively and fun place to be.We were going to meet few other friends at Cafe Sol for dinner in St. Lawrence Gap,but since we hadn’t made reservations, we went to Pun de  Grill.

April 16th:

We had booked a Catamaran cruise with Cool Runnings. This was the highlight of our trip. We had bought an under water camera at home, but forgot
to bring it with us, so had to buy one from the Cool Runnings office. Its thrice as expensive to buy it in on island as compared to rates in US; so be
warned.

The crew with Cool Runnings is very accommodative. Most of us are not strong swimmers,but the crew helped us in water. They helped us swim with the turtles and snorkel on ship wrecks.The turtle swim was in Paynes Bay and the ship wrecks was in Folkestone Marine Park.Feeding the fish was fun.

We were pampered as we lazed on the deck with the crew bringing us drinks ever so often.They have vegetarian food options so the lunch was enjoyable for everyone in our group.We were anchored north of Folkestone for lunch. After lunch we all jumped in the water with life jackets on to just float some more in the warm blue water.

After the cruise we headed home to laze some more.

Headed back to St Lawrence Gap for dinner. But tonight, we had made reservations at Cafe Sol and were promptly seated at 7:30. Awesome burritos and margaritas. After a 2 hour dinner,we sat at the bench across from Jambies and just enjoyed the live music while catching up with friends.

April 17th:

Since India was out of the series, this was the only day we had kept aside to watch a Cricket match. South Africa v/s England. It was a good game.I am not a cricket fan but still enjoyed watching the game.My friends who have been to matches in India claimed that the organization and facilities were top-notch. Way to go West Indies !

We had Roti for lunch at the stadium – man, it was the best Roti of our stay there.Very nicely done with a hint of crispness with a good medley of
vegetables inside. I am salivating just thinking about it.

After the match,lot of locals stopped and asked us if we enjoyed the match, they stopped a bus for us to take home so we didn’t have to walk back in the sun and a lot of them shared our disappointment over India not making it to the group stage.Everyone we met was very friendly.

In the evening some of us headed to Boatyard to watch the sunset and then to Cave Shepherd for some shopping. Before dinner we stopped at Limelight cafe for drinks. Pablo the bar tender was cool. We did a mini rum tasting event of all his favorite rums.He showed us which rum to buy on the island and we all had a round of ‘unkown fire’- extra proof rum + Peach Schnapps on fire.

That evening we had dinner reservations at Michaels Bar and Grill in Worthing as it was recommended to us by the Cool Runnings crew. Reasonably priced Bajan food and strong drinks. All that rum and few more drinks later, us girls were ready to dance on tables!Oh, the memories!!

After dinner we walked from Worthing to St Lawrence Gap as we had friends staying in a hotel there.We just lazed on the hotels lounges, watching the waves till it started raining. We then scrambled to find a taxi to go home which was a good sobering run.

April 18th:

We had made reservations with Atlantis submarine in the morning. We got a group discount as we were 6 ppl in the group.The sea was very choppy from the previous nights rains, so a lot of people on the boat were sick. They dont have sea sickness tablets on the boat or in the submarine so it was a very rough trip. This ended up being a ‘been there done than’.We didnt enjoy it as much for the price we paid for it.We saw better fish/ turtles/ wrecks on the cruise than down in the submarine.

A couple of friends had opted out of the submarine and went to Pelican Crafts and we all later thought that would have been a better trip than the submarine one.After the submarine tour, we went to Brandons beach for lunch. I don’t remember the name but it seemed to be the only place around there. Lunch was good though the portions were large.

After lunch, we walked for about 5 mins to make it to the 3:30 tour of the Rum Factory. As it was the last tour of the day, the bottling plant had already closed for the day, but we were more interested in the tastings than the factory.

Had some fruit flavored rum and extra aged one. We bought some rum bottles here as some one mentioned they have the best prices on the island.We girls, had some more shopping in mind and headed to Bridgetown with the guys in tow.

In the evening we headed to Bajan Roots and Rhythms. We had dinner there, in spite of reviews on Tripadvisor about bad food. Food is lame and pricey. The show is worth it. A couple of my friends went on stage to try limbo dancing and had a good time.The show is a must see. I just loved all the acts and dances and music and costumes…I can probably see it again

St Lawrence Gap had live music night with one entry fee to enter all places. We spent some time there after the Bajan Roots before heading back home.

April 19th:

In the morning we went to the Boatyard. Jumped on the trampolines, jet skied and lazed under the umbrellas. Lunch was at the cafe there. Very nice club sandwiches. Drinks were lame, but included in the entry fee. I wanted to go back to Mullins Bay instead of Boatyard  as there are far less ppl on
Mullins bay and the water is calmer, but everyone wanted to check it out, so there we were.

We had rented a car for the day to go to Harrison Cave and Crane Resort. I liked Harrison Caves tour  – very nicely laid out in the trams. Then we headed to Crane Resort. Crane Resort’s beach is breathtaking white sands with a coconut trees lining it along the shore. Almost all promotional pictures of Barbados feature this beach. We walked up from the beach to the restaurant. The views from the restaurant are magnificent. We had afternoon tea at the restaurant to just soak in the vista. Being a former english colony, the high tea was ‘propuh’- complete with petit sandwiches, scones and jam.

The water here is more rough compared to Mullins Beach and Boatyard, so we didn’t really go in though we saw some surfers practising their art.

From Crane beach we headed back to St Lawrence Gap one last time. We went to Pisces for dinner. Perfect place for a great meal with friends. Great ambience, good wine and food.They could make some vegetarian dishes for friends so it worked out perfectly.A long dinner and it was time to say good-bye to friends and Barbados as we were all flying out next day at various times.

It was a short but sweet vacation. Caught up with friends, enjoyed the sunshine, Bajan food, rum and the beaches.Very relaxing indeed.The locals are so warm and friendly. We got lost many a time, but were always pointed to the right direction by the locals.

Just reading this makes me want to go back ; especially on rainy Seattle days.We hope to make another trip someday.

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About rutujak

A travel addict, self confessed foodie and a mom trying to make SFO my home after a decade in Seattle and a stint in Hyderabad, India.

Posted on April 14, 2011, in Barbados, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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