It might strike you as a bit odd but last year when we visited Barbados we didn’t spend a single day on the beach. Not one. When I think about it now it does sound odd but at the time it didn’t feel odd. You see, we aren’t the “lying on the beach” type of family. We all burn. We all get bored quickly and it somehow seems just a waste of time when there is always so much else to do on the island.
That is not to say we don’t go to to the beach, we aren’t completely bonkers. Before we arrive we have already been in touch with our local friend Marvin and arranged to go out and spend the day on his boat, snorkelling above an old wreck, fishing, swimming with turtles. And drinking the obligatory rum cocktails. It’s truly one of our favourite days of the holiday.
We also make sure that we hit Enterprise Beach on a Sunday at least once. Bajan families meet up after church and have the most incredible picnics down there. Lots of natural shade from huge palm trees make it the perfect spot to spend the day. They bring everything from table cloths to sound systems to candelabras. From grandmas to tiny babies the whole family comes along to spend the day socialising and eating at the beach.
Fishing off the back of Marvin’s boat we usually catch a snapper or two and then arrange to meet up in the evening to cook it, Bajan style. Marvin refers to a little corner of the beach in Holetown as his office, and what an office it is! I can think of worst places to call the office.
He prepares the fish for us and then barbecues it alongside breadfruit and barbecued yams that are grown in his garden. You can’t get a fresher or more delicious meal. Or one with less airmiles. People might think that when you are in Barbados you have to eat at The Cliff or Lone Star but we shun those in favour of our beach barbecue. Why would you want to eat a lobster flown in from the Grenadines when you can have a snapper you caught half a mile away two hours ago?
I read an article recently by Haven about alternative beach activities and was surprised that barbecuing wasn’t on there but then I guess we do have to be a bit careful about open fires on beaches in the UK. Which is a shame really as my favourite memory of a summer in San Diego was ten of us having a proper fire on the beach at sunset and toasting marshmallows and bananas.
It didn’t surprise me though that Haven’s list had so many sporty activities on it. Maybe we are thinking about more about seeing the beach as a place to do things rather than just lie on a towel and catch some rays. And it is great to see that things like kiteboarding is becoming more mainstream now and not just done by crazy Californians.
How bonkers does Flyboarding look though?!