Now, I thought I lived on a small island, but it turns out Barbados is approximately 567 times smaller than the UK! For all my British friends, it’s roughly the same size as the Isle of Wight. Part of a group of Caribbean Islands known as the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is an ‘itty bitty country’, with heaps of beauty and charm.
When you ask for directions in Barbados, you’ll likely hear “Walk to the end of the road, turn left, and just hop on the bus!” And it really is that simple! Catching a bus in Barbados is an experience in itself – the world and his uncle seem to squeeze on – and there’s normally a fair bit of reggae music being played! But if the bus isn’t for you, there are also plenty of taxi drivers willing to take you places if you’re prepared to negotiate a price.
We took a taxi to ‘The Boatyard,’ in Carlisle Bay, an incredible crescent-shaped stretch of beach, close to Bridgetown. Despite it’s calm surf, there are said to be six shipwrecks located in these waters, and so it’s a popular place for scuba diving, plus windsurfing and other watersports.
The Boatyard charges an entrance fee, in exchange for use of lockers, sunloungers, beach towels, trampolines, jet skis, and a turtle-spotting boat trip.
The teenagers enjoyed their day jet skiing, sunbathing, trampolining and swinging off the side of the jetty, straight into the sea, from a large rope swing. The younger kids enjoyed paddling, spotting little fish in the crystal clear waters. The highlight for Emily was a trip out on a boat, and the chance to see a beautiful Green Turtle emerging out of the water. It was a fantastic day out.
Friday Night Fish Fry
Turtle Beach offers its guests a chance to experience an authentic bit of Barbados, with Shuttle Buses running at the weekends to the Oistins Fish Fry. It takes around 15-20 mins to get there.
The setting is something akin to a large market-place, lined with dozens of rustic stalls, some of them with only tiny little kitchens, where street vendors cook up an absolute storm! Specialities are Malin, Shrimp, Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Flying Fish and Tuna, as well as Fried Chicken, if you’re not a fish lover. It is definitely not a fine-dining experience – so don’t expect wine glasses, tablecloths and candles. It’s spit and sawdust, wooden benches and rickety tables and chairs! But it’s also the most amazing fresh fish, served with plenty of Bajun charm and a good dollup of carnival atmosphere.
There are also stalls serving local crafts, such as jewellery and pottery. It’s a buzz of an atmosphere, with street performers, steel bands and music playing. We also heard that Turtles can be spotted and fed here with leftover fish scraps, but as Emily, our six year old, had practically fallen asleep in her delicious fried chicken, we decided to head back before we had the opportunity. (I don’t know what they put on that chicken, but it was so tasty!)
Polpular with both locals and tourists, the fish fry can get extremely packed, which can feel a little bit overwhelming when you have little ones with you, and at peak times, you may need to wait to be seated and served. But the Fish Fry is definitely an experience not to be missed.
Categories: Barbados, 2018