Barbados trip report, things to do and see in Barbados

 

Barbados




Barbados is a former British colony in the Caribbean, which Britain used mainly for sugar plantations. Nowadays, it's a popular tourist destination, especially for honeymoons.

When I landed at Bridgetown airport, they had a big sign "Relax. You're in Barbados". A statement that was reinforced when I tried to take a taxi outside:
"Hi, I want to go to this address"
"Relax, you're in Barbados"
"But I want to go here"
"I said relax, it's Barbados"
"Ok, let's just sit in the car and chill then"
"Show me that address again".

 

No monday morning blues, just turquoise blues

Being in the Caribbean, the major draw of Barbados are the clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. There's the more secluded Pebbles and Miami beaches, but ended up spending most of the time in Carlysle Bay which is the most popular one. Besides a postcard perfect beach, Carlysle Bay is a great spot for watersports or to swim with turtles, who were not shy (one even gave me a hug). There are also six shipwrecks between 3 and 25 meters deep, so great for snorkelling.


 

Around the island

Barbados is a fairly small island. Holetown on the west coast is a nice area. East coast is more quiet and rustic. Carlysle area is a nice mix of south & west. There are regular and cheap buses that go to the main spots. There's the yellow 'reggae buses', which pump out reggae music and seem to bounce down the street, and the more sedate (but reportedly safer) government run blue buses.
There's also mini-vans called ZR. These vans are known for their high speed, loud music, sudden stops and packing in as many passengers as possible. I took it a few times, it got so crowded at one point, people were sitting on each other's lap, but maybe that's the best way to make new friends.


 

Bajans

The people of Barbados are called Bajans. The Bajans approach to life is very rhytmic and laid back. They use all kind of cool expressions like "keep the sun shining" or "it's carnival on a sunny day" to express their enjoyment. "Cheese on bread!" is when they are surprised. Bajans call every stranger either "boss man", "rudeboy" or "skipper". If a Bajan describes someone as "real ignorant" it is a compliment apparently..
Byron, the only Bajan I met who has been to Morocco did so whilst working on a cargo ship. "How did you find Morocco?" I enquired. "You guys have some strong sh1t", "I've smoked a lot of things in my life, but nothing was as strong as what you have in Morocco. It almost knocked me out".


 

Oistins

On Friday/Saturday night, Oistins Fish market was recommended as the place to be. They grill fresh fish, and everyone eats at communal tables, tourists mixed with locals. The fish was nice and prices reasonable but I could not understand why everyone was hyping it up. It hit me when some hidden loudspeakers started pumping reggae music and the whole place became a huge outdoor dancefloor.
If you're a married guy, I don't recommend going there unless you're prepared to stand your ground. Bajan men brazenly grabbed women for a dance right in front of their husbands, they were grinding like they were trying to open an oyster, whilst the husband haplessly and nervously looked on, usually clutching a beer in his hand. The women were clearly enjoying it, the husbands very much less so.
Probably the most comical moment was when light drizzle started falling, all the Bajans panicked and rushed indoors, rain was clearly their kryptonite.


 

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