How to Have the Barbados Island Experience
Barbados Island experience is a giftBarbados feels like a wonderful adventure and an incredible gift. My body feels like it’s now partly salt water, sunshine, and sand. I’ve swam and walked the beach. I’ve eaten at delicious restaurants and made new friends. And through it all, I’ve come to feel that wherever I am, I am home.
Where to stay in BarbadosAfter the first two nights in the Radisson, I moved to a little airbnb nearby. It is located in Hart’s Gap, about a 3 minute drive down the road from the Radisson and Hilton Hotel, and a 3 minute walk from the Coconut Court Hotel with beach access. It was just what I was looking for: 2 bedrooms, so my colleague and I were comfortable, a nice kitchen, washer and dryer, and a decent sized living room for holding a few planning meetings with our local contacts. The price was also right, coming it at about $75 a night. We don’t have air conditioning in the little house, but with the windows open and fans on, and two daily trips to the beach, we are staying cool enough. I am starting to think that after a few weeks our bodies do acclimate a bit to extreme temperatures. In this case, I don’t think I feel the heat as much as I first did.
Exploring the Island – Island Drive in the Tropical DepressionShortly after we moved to our Airbnb, our local contact offered to organize a tour for us. The many who arrived turned out to be the contact’s assistant’s 29 year old son, Jonathan. We quickly realized that is how it works here: everyone knows everyone else. As we started out towards the east coast (Atlantic side), the sky went dark gray and sheets of rain began to pour. The roads began to gather a foot or more of water in several places. We perserveared, driving past Oistin’s famous fish market, through St. Lawrence Gap, known for it’s night life and clubs, and towards the east coast.
HurricanesBut the storm became stronger, with palm trees bending in the wind and the sugarcane bending under the combined weight of wind and rain. So we decided to drive in whichever direction looked clear, in hopes of getting out of the storm.
Chattel Houses of BarbadosSecure their houses, you ask? Jonathan also explained that small wooden houses, called chattel houses, were the traditional houses of those living and working on plantations when Barbados was a plantation-based society, and that many in Barbados still prefer these houses. Traditional chattel houses were wooden structures that could be picked up and moved on the back of a truck, so if someone went to work for a new plantation, they moved their house with them. Now, people put the chattel houses on firm cement foundations so they are not mobile.
St. JamesAs we drove out of the storm in the direction of the west coast, we went to visit St. James, known for its affluent clientele and large beachfront villas. Rhianna stays at Sandy Lane, the most exclusive resort on the island, when she visits. It looked gorgeous! Even from the road the sweeping architecture and lush gardens set against the Caribbean sea were so beautiful.
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