Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Caribbean Queen

I've only been back from Barbados for 10 days and my fresh new tan is already fading. I was practically straight in to winter clothes and the day job with barely enough time to reminisce about my recent trip.

Stormy clouds moving away
I took so many photos of the sunsets, beaches, rocks etc. even a moon setting in the early morning over the Caribbean Sea. It was so mesmerising and tranquil and a first for me. 
Sunset Beach View

Full moon setting over the sea

I woke up early on the first morning and was enjoying my morning coffee on the balcony when I noticed a shimmering light on the sea. My view was slightly restricted by another building and a large tree but it was enough to entice me down to the beach with my trusty camera where I caught site of the full moon setting in the west in the beautiful morning light with the sound of the waves lightly breaking on the rocks.

Enjoying a cold beer at Zaccios
I have visited Barbados a number of times as you will know if you follow my travels .. there's always a familiarity about it which is the point of going back there I suppose. You know exactly what you're getting .. where to eat, shop etc. but there's always something new to discover if you look for it. This trip I discovered new beaches and places to eat and hang out.

The island is being developed along the west coast with new villas currently under construction just north of Sandy Lane so the area will be busier as time goes by. The great thing about Barbados is that the beaches are all public so you are free to go where you like. 

Bar snacks at Lime Bar
It's essentially a chill out holiday for me - to do nothing but walk, swim in the crystal clear sea, read, take photos, enjoy great food and most of all just relax in the guaranteed consistently warm climate. At this time of year you can expect temperatures between 24 - 28 degrees Celsius. Perfection in my mind.

Green monkey
I had heard of the Barbados Green monkey before but had never seen one on any of my previous visits. They arrived on the island some 350 years ago on the slave ships and have managed to thrive and adapt to their foreign tropical island habitat. This includes visiting the resorts and taking what they can - rich pickings no doubt. It's important that people do not feed these monkeys but as ever, they're viewed as 'cute' and this rule is often ignored. This means they have become more bold and unafraid to go where they please. I  spied my first monkey casually sitting in a tree above the swimming pool not at all concerned by the many people below taking photos. I then saw another a little later on roaming through the hotel grounds and sauntering towards a ground floor apartment where the door was open!

Chattel village
I love the area around Holetown on the west coast. There are so many great places to eat nearby and others within easy reach via a short bus or cab ride. There is a shopping mall, a supermarket (which is currently being renovated and upgraded) and a Chattel village selling beach gear, fashion, jewellery, souvenirs and art from singular wooden buildings all painted in different colours and adorned with fairy lights at night.

There's plenty to do during the day - water sports such as  windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling as well as fishing trips, turtle watching and trips around the island by catamaran or minibus. You'll never be bored.

The other thing (besides the food) I like about the restaurants on the west side is the ability to watch the sun go down over the horizon while you sip on cocktails or eat an early dinner. Every sunset is different which is why I and many others are so enamoured by the changing light and drama of them.

As always I recommend that if you want specific days/dates at most restaurants it's a good idea to book in advance of your trip to ensure you get a reservation. You could take a chance but you may not get the time or day you want.  This is not true of all of them but if you know where you want to go it's worth the effort, and certainly for big parties an absolute must.

Sunset The Club, Barbados

Afternoon light

The beach front at Club Barbados
Locals playing checkers
Recommended places to eat on the west coast -

Cin Cin by the Sea - for a fabulous location, cocktails, great food eaten al fresco right by the sea

The Lone Star - another great location for lunch or dinner, fab food, great wine list and laid back atmosphere

The Fish Pot - Out of the way towards the north of the Island, on the water's edge for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Relaxed atmosphere and great food.

The Tides - good food, on the waterfront behind a boardwalk, great atmosphere

The Beach House - relaxed atmosphere for lunch or dinner by the sea, also drop in for coffee or drinks

Zaccios - fab for lunch right on the beach front - best to book for dinner - known for it's pizzas. I recommend the tuna fish tacos and mac pie!

Lime Bar - open for lunch or dinner - bar till the early hours. Small menu but oh so tasty! I recommend the coconut shrimp and fishcakes!

Just Grillin' Casual no frills restaurant - great value grilled food, beer and cocktails - no need to book. Also do take away.

For more of my daily photos follow me on Instagram - @holidayqueenuk

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