Around this time every year, I start to feel burnt out so I try and schedule some time off and go on holiday. This year, my first quarter destination was Barbados solely for the reason that my cousin (Mandy) who you will see in the photos below, is studying Medicine out there and. who doesn’t like the idea of a Caribbean holiday?!.
To give both of us a much needed break, I booked a week’s stay at the South Gap Hotel in St. Lawrence and honestly, I cannot say enough good things about it. The hotel is clean and modern and the location is perfect if you want an eventful and lively holiday. There is no shortage of bars and restaurants on the hotel’s doorstep and the nightlife is great too (sidenote: Bajan beauties take whinning to a whole ‘nother level, my gahd!) .
The one thing I didn’t expect was the daily rain showers and just how windy the island is. Although temperatures stayed above 27°C during the day, it rained every single day for about an hour. It bothered me for the first couple of days, but I soon got over it once I realised that it wouldn’t rain for more than an hour on each day.
One of the highlights of my trip was the Reggae On The Hill Festival. It’s an annual event held on a hill, in the northern part of the island, about 45 minutes away from Bridgetown. I found out about the event online, while looking for ‘things to do in Barbados in May’, only a few days before flying out. Tickets were available online so I booked in advance, and saved having to pay more on the day. I was pretty surprised to know that people fly in from all over especially for the festival and having experienced it, I completely understand why; it’s a vibe! I got to see some of my favourite Raggae artists perform, especially Jah Cure, who was one go the headline acts. I’d highly recommend it to anyone going to Barbados around April/May.
Although I was supposed to be lazying around, my cousin and I ended up visiting The Animal Flower Cave on the northern tip of the island and the National Museum. The former is pretty interesting if you are into your geography and rock formations, and the latter if you’re a history buff. The rest of my time was spent on the beach, soaking up as much sun as possible.
There were some surprising parallels between home (Zimbabwe) and Barbados, which I didn’t expect, for example the bougainvilleas. I remember seeing them when I sent to Morrocco and feeling a little bit of home from there too. Another thing we have in common are the Cola-Cola-branded ‘bottle stores’. I was starkly reminded of my childhood and just how much time I spent in them with my father. Oh, and the Fanta! The Fanta tastes just like Zimbabwean Fanta, which also tastes like Nigerian Fanta.
The race relations are another thing I took note of and instantly related to. You don’t come across many white folk in areas frequented by locals, which is very similar to how things are back home. On a brighter note, the locals are incredibly friendly and always say hello, although I found it difficult to understand some of the speech because of the accent. The food is obviously great, but because most things is imported onto the island, eating out can be quite expensive.
a big downside of Barbados and probably why I wouldn’t jump to recommend it is the cost, accommodation being the most expensive part of the trip. Everything else (i.e., eating out and drinks) is pretty much on par with UK prices. Things get ridiculous when you step into a supermarket. I would only go back for Mandy’s graduation but, that’s about it. A good alternative for a similar trip (i.e., great weather, beaches, food) would be Cape Verde, which is a lot easier on the pocket.
I would’ve loved to do more in terms of activities, but I convinced myself that this holiday was really about getting some rest. I often wear myself out on holiday, trying to fit in as many activities as possible and I was trying to void that this time. I had to cancel a boat cruise because of the weather and in hindsight, it was probably for the best. After all, there will be more island destinations to come.