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Barbados: Why I could totally live here, Part 2

Given the recent turmoil in the world (see Mali, Paris, Colorado, and Beirut), it feels careless and trivial to write cheery travel updates on a blog.  But then… It dawned on me that sharing smiles, good times, and inspiring pictures is perhaps a welcome distraction from all that is wrong and rotten in the world at the moment.  And so here I am, with another post about beautiful Barbados.

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Now, you may remember that a while back I wrote gushingly about Bim and how it made me want to take off my shoes and stay a while (see my post here if you didn’t catch it the first time). We began our four day stay in the quiet western part of the island, in the parish of St. James, where our to-do list consisted primarily of spending low-key days sampling local cuisine and taking long languid walks on the near empty beaches. Tough life, right? IMG_4134

However, after two days of very laid back exploration, we decided to shake things up a little and head to the parish of Christchurch, located on the southern part of the island. Guidebooks will tell you that the south is more touristy and lively, and honestly, I can’t say that they are wrong. The part I saw has a decidedly more “urban” feel to it: there is more traffic, and pedestrian thoroughfares are more densely packed. A huge contributor to this, of course, are the resorts lining the vibrant South Coast; their white sand beaches are rife with vacationers thirsty for sun, surf, and hopping nightlife!

Our digs: Bougainvillea Beach Resort

Our home away from home this time was Bougainvillea Beach Resort, the sprawling hotel and entertainment complex we were invited to stay at for two nights in exchange for a review.  Now, if I’m completely honest, the best things about the Bougainvillea are its grounds and location. The property stretches the length of picturesque Maxwell Beach, and is but a short cab ride from major points of interests like Bridgetown (the historic center and capital), St. Lawrence Gap (good for nightlife), and Oistins Fish Fry (an institution on which I will elaborate a bit later!) The airport is also nearby though you’ll have such a good time in Bim that you might just *accidentally* miss your flight.

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The grounds of the resort are a dream; Jamal, the darling Marketing Manager who gave us a tour of the property, told us the Bougainvillea is quite popular for destination weddings.  After walking around we can see why:

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Our room, a junior suite, was also very nice. Colourful and large, it had a beautiful balcony that overlooked the deep blue of the Caribbean sea, as well as a small, fully-stocked kitchen corner where we could prepare meals if we wanted. While the fixtures could use some updating, everything was extremely clean and well maintained. All in all, we were very happy with our lair and the friendly staff went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home.

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IMG_4269  However, to be honest with you, we spent very little time in our room.  Instead, we parked ourselves in two loungers on the beach, fruity drink in one hand, Kindle in the other. We sat, and snoozed, and sat some more, enjoying each other’s company, the stunning natural surroundings, and quiet purring of the waves as they lapped the shore.  In the rare moments I was able to muster up the energy to leave my chair, I frolicked in the sea, though not too much, since a freak Caribbean-wide invasion of smelly sargassum seaweed made the water on this part of the island a bit murky.  

 

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Oistin’s Fish Fry

  In my first post about Barbados, I cited the nice weather, gorgeous surroundings, and good food as reasons I could stay there on a longer term basis. But I often think that the ability to easily “plug in” to the greater local community also plays a large role in whether or not migrants like me can see themselves putting down roots somewhere new.  While many of my experiences in Bimshire felt familiar after growing up in a black/Caribbean household, I also attribute the “homey feeling” I had to how easy it felt to take part in local culture and events, like Oistins Fish Fry, the island’s long-standing weekend street party.  Oistins is actually a fishing town by day, but by night, especially on Fridays, it is *the* place to be! The Fish Fry is essentially a huge outdoor cookout turned social event, with music, dancing, and vendors smoking, grilling, and frying seafood on massive barbecues right in front of you.

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Rows and rows of long tables covered in plastic tablecloths seat crowds of patrons who struggle to eat the very generous plates sea-dwelling fare on offer. The atmosphere is festive and the crowd seemed to be an equal mix of locals and tourists the night I was there; with so many people out and having a good time it feels impossible to leave without at least making a new acquaintance! IMG_4379IMG_4392IMG_4401

So once again, another long-ish post on why I dug Barbados! What do you think of it? Stay tuned for more words and pictures about this lovely island paradise.

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Andreas
    December 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I love Barbados. I just reminded me when I read the story. Thanks for the Reminder 🙂

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Time to go back!

  • Reply
    Victoria@ The British Berliner
    December 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    ‘Really lovely description of that old British island! I especially like the people, the homely atmsophere, the food and the cocktails lol! I wouldn’t particularly like to live there I’m afraid, ‘cos I like the ice and cold (being a December child) but for a nice visit to stretch my limbs and get into a pampering mood, why not? 🙂 🙂

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      You like the ice and the cold! Sounds like you’re a born and bred Canadian 🙂 … Somehow I never grew to love the harsh winters! I’m a daughter of the islands all the way… 🙂

  • Reply
    Danielle Desir
    December 11, 2015 at 3:07 am

    I just came back last week – loving my tan and memories. Can’t wait to get back!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Lucky!!

  • Reply
    Sondra Jackson
    December 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Good Afternoon, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I have been fortunate to have traveled to many countries so far such as England, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and throughout the Caribbean. I am now researching retiring abroad. I am looking at Morocco, I plan to take my first “Look See” trip there in 2017 and take it from there.

    I really admire your spirit, I truly believe that one should see as much of the world as possible before you leave it. My family has never understood my “Itchy Feet” and I have never understood people who have no interest in traveling. May your feet continue to “Itch”. Happy Travels

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 18, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Sondra, thank you for your lovely comment! Itchy feet are the best kind to have… 😉

  • Reply
    Daniel @ Path Finder City
    December 18, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Amazing photos and write up. You must have spent a lot of effort on the photos and the entire write up. Your posts shows you are having so much fun it makes the other frequent travelers looked so mediocre. Will be subscribing to your blog 🙂

    Best regards,
    Daniel
    http://pathfindercity.com

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 18, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks Daniel!

  • Reply
    Deecreative
    December 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Yesssssssss! I visited just on a cruise and I thought the same thing, I definitely have to go back to Barbados.

  • Reply
    Celinda
    April 13, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Great post. I ‘m confronting a couple of these
    problems.

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