Barbados: Island Pleasures
Yearning for sun, sea and sand? Why not try Barbados? While it is true there are many beautiful Caribbean Islands from which to choose, Barbados ranks among the very best.
There are several reasons why you should choose Barbados. High among them are the sand, the beaches, the people, the food, the activities and the landscape.
Barbados offers you exquisite beaches. These range from the fine, soft sand of Rockley Beach to the pebbly texture of Pebble Beach. While other islands offer such a variety, few, if any, can say, the beaches are for all to use. It is true. No matter how grand the hotel or small the section of sand, everyone can stroll upon it and play in the warm caressing turquoise waters. There are public accesses everywhere.
· The People:
Barbadians (Bajans) are warm and greeting. They make you feel at home. Whether you are simply strolling along the Boardwalk at Rockley or Holetown, are asking directions or shopping at the Big B, you are treated courteously and even warmly. Bajans make you feel welcome, that it is more than just the money you bring.
While hawkers may approach you on the beach, you never feel pushed. The same applies to everywhere, with the exception, sometimes, being those in Bridgetown, the Capitol city where all the tour ships arrive.
· The Food:
The food is appealing. The variety ranges from simple traditional “Macaroni Pie” to roti and rice dishes. You can purchase an excellent fish cutter (sandwich) at Cutties near Pebble Beach or order a traditional full Bajan meal at Brown Sugar. There are café style restaurants along the Boardwalk such as Blakey’s and Tapas. At Oistins, do not miss the famous fish fry on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you really have the urge for North American fast food, the island has its own version “Chefette’s.” Kentucky Fried Chicken and Subway also have franchises. For local subs, and inexpensive meals, try Big B grocery store. They offer indoor cafeteria style food.
Barbados offers you the chance to relax. Unwind and let the sun, the sea and the sand envelope you, lull you to sleep. If you tire of this, there are lots of things you can consider. Consider the number of golf course and the quality. You can see why many golfers, including Tiger Woods, come to Barbados.
You can hike the island (Check with the Barbados National Trust), visit Harrison’s Caves, wander the various botanical gardens, go to the Animal Preserve or spend time at one of several museums. You can also take part in a variety of activities including boating, fishing, going in a submarine or glass bottom boat or, my favourite, swimming with the turtles.
Barbados is well-known for its Green Turtles. They are friendly and, when tourists are around, well fed. There are a many different ways you can interact with them. Large and small catamarans take tourists out there to snorkel with them before visiting the shipwrecks. These include El Tigre and Thriller. However, for the best experience, I recommend Cliff Sharker. Charles and his helper may not have a big boat, but they provide what most individuals want: personal service, care for your needs and those of the turtles, a relaxed atmosphere, a guarantee to see and interact with the turtles, and a feeling that you and the environment of Barbados matter.
· The Landscape:
Barbados offers you the chance to see more than calm waters and soft sandy beaches. This is an island where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. If you abandon the soft waters of the West and South side and go North and East, you will see the power of the Atlantic Ocean. Little swimming is allowed here. The current will draw you in and not give you back. Yet, the sight of the waves as they crash in on the shore is magnificent. It is a perfect for the jutting rocky outcrops to which houses cling that act as a backdrop for the powerful surf at such places as Bathsheba.
Try Barbados for a holiday. It is one of the better kept Island secrets. Once there, you will want to return again and again.