When I wrote part one of our trip to Barbados (Reflections on Barbados — part 1) I had no intention of splitting it into three posts. I thought I would just list all 16 days on one post but having reached 1000 words and 10 photos after just five days I thought it best to split it. So here is the second part of our Barbados trip, days 6 to 10. Funnily enough the suggestion for today’s theme on the #BEDN calendar is lists, something I talked about on Instagram this morning because I ruddy love a list. So whilst the list on Instagram bore no relation to this post, this too is a list of the places we went, and a bit more info our the middle chunk of our trip. Do shout if you want to know more about any of them!
Today was one of those days where none of us really wanted to do a huge amount. I think it is really easy on holiday, particularly when you go away to a place you know well, to arm yourself with a to do list and to not really stop. After all isn’t the whole point of a holiday to just kick back and not have a schedule? We had tried to do a lot of the visitor attractions on the island to make the most “doing things as a family” when my parents were around, and to also make sure Dan saw as much of the island as he could. So whilst everybody had a lazy day at home reading by the pool or enjoying the air conditioning, Mr B and I headed down to the beach. There is a great little stretch just near the iconic Lonestar restaurant that is actually in front of the villa Bob Monkhouse once owned. If you sit in just the right place you can connect to the free wifi of a nearby hotel and annoy your friends at home with pics of your holiday in real time.
We then skipped lunch and went to Chilly Moo’s in Rockley. Chilly Moo’s only serve ice cream, or milkshakes and are often frequented by visiting sport teams who are over on the island and staying locally (one year we met a girls hockey team who told us they went in twice a day). The service is not the best on the island, which is a shame because what should be a happy place (it’s ice cream for goodness sake) actually feels a bit mediocre. Also this year the ice cream selection was not as great as it once was but they make waffle cones on the premises which are fabulous. They also have “mix ins” which you choose, and then watch as they add those to your ice cream on a frozen slab of marble. Very different from toppings, these get mixed up in the ice cream making for an incredible flavour. I had a Mootiny on the Bounty so it was full of chocolate ice cream and coconut mix ins. Delicious. All for around £6. Definitely worth the trip from anywhere on the island at least once.
The boys and my parents were out on the golf course early this morning so we set up a plan where Mr B would call me when they were just teeing off from the 9th. This would then give me ten minutes to get down to the end of the garden with iced cold drinks, ready for them to then tee off from the tenth.
I know, I am good like that 🙂
Then it was all about Sunday lunch. Champers is down near Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, and we had always dismissed it before because we assumed it was on the road, and didn’t have a sea view. How wrong we were, it actually straddles a road, with the car park on one side, and the restaurant the other so it absolutely has a spectacular sea view.
It also serves fabulous food, with a really reasonable three courses for BDS$90 (about £30) menu. Well worth the trip for the roast chicken alone!
First stop today was the Nature Reserve.
Two things to note before you go. You will see turtles making more turtles. Everywhere. And noisily. If you have young children you might want to have your script prepared beforehand about what they are all doing, or have some diversion tactics up your sleeves if you don’t want any awkwardness.
Make sure you are there, and at the top right hand corner of the reserve at 2pm. That is feeding time and you are welcome to watch. It doesn’t matter where you sit or stand, this is not a tame experience with one keeper and a few animals, this is a wheelbarrow crammed with chopped up fruit dumped on the ground. The monkeys will appear from nowhere to dig in, even standing on the turtles that have wandered up the hill. It is a great site to watch and if you will leave really thinking you have had your fill of monkeys.
This is a small nature reserve and there are no cages, the animals are free to roam, and free to leave in all seriousness. The monkeys are often jumping and running about in the car park outside before coming back for a snack. There is also a small bar for cold drinks and snacks too.
We took a slight detour on the way back, and stopped in Speightstown. This is the other decent sized town on the west coast though it always feels very down at heel. There is a lot of development either side of it so hopefully some of that money will start to filter down to the town. There are some nicer restaurants opening up but there are no real touristy shops or attractions to entice the tourists. Little Bristol is a great bar if you find it open, with live music on a Friday night. We stopped in the Fisherman’s pub for a rum punch as the sun set.
Today was a prime example of why we should do our homework a bit better. We decided to have a day on the beach (the only one this holiday) and that we would go to the beach just beside JuJu’s as that would allow us to tick “have the amazing wedges at JuJu’s” off the menu. We arrived early to ensure we would get 8 sun loungers, with umbrellas. Job done by 9.30am we settled in for the day, feeling smug about how organised we were and how delicious lunch was going to be.
To then discover JuJ’s is actually shut until the beginning of next month.
No matter, as there is a man called Michael who delivers home made vegan rotis along the beach. All home made, they were delicious. Think tortilla wraps filled with something warm and spicy.
It is also a good place to jet ski or take a trip on an inflatable as there are several chaps along here offering their services. We always use a guy called Marvin, who will be happy to help if you give him a call or drop him a message. He will also take you out on a glass bottom boat to swim with turtles (but more of that in part 3).
Hunte’s Gardens is a place we hadn’t visited before despite coming to Barbados a dozen times and nothing I can say here will really convey just how incredible this place is. It is the brainchild and hard work of one man: Mr Anthony Hunte, and a small team of gardeners. When Mr Hunte bought the property and land there was a sinkhole in the back garden of the stable block. Rather than just leave it Mr Hunte set about planting it and turning it into a lush garden, with lots of areas of interest dotted about. Tables and chairs line the shadier areas, there are some water features whose cool spray makes for a welcome relief from the sun and there are buddhas just asking to have their tummies tickled. You are more than welcome to bring your own picnic and a book and to find a quiet place to stay for as long as you wish. You are also cordially invited to join Mr Hunte on his verandah for a chat about his home and, also to chat about what brings you to Barbados. It is a truly wonderful magical way to spend an afternoon.
Dinner this evening was at the Lone Star on the west coast of Barbados. The building was once a garage and if you look at the outside from the road you can see that from the style of the building, but once inside it’s just the most stunning beach front restaurant and bar. (There is also a hotel next door). Waiters wear boiler suits as a nod to the building’s history but the service is better than in any garage I have ever used. We arrived without a reservation, having walked out of the restaurant we were due to eat at for all sorts of reasons.
Lone Star couldn’t have been more accomodating (not easy at 7pm at night with 8 of us). After cocktails at the bar our table was ready, the food was incredible and the service faultless. We haven’t been for dinner since our honeymoon (though we have done lunch since) which in hindsight is a real shame as this really is a special place to eat. Though it is one of the pricier places on the island, it is well worth the trip.
(If you want to read the other posts about Barbados, part 1 is linked up above and part three is here