I’ve been struggling where to begin and how I wanted to format these Barbados posts but I’ve decided enough waffling about it and just do it. We’ve been home for a month tomorrow and I can hardly believe it. Memories have been created to last a lifetime and if that’s not enough, they are memories to tide us over until we return again next time. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself so I don’t go into a deep depression. *lol*
Barbados is a special place — it is the place I call my second home. Something about being there, the people, the salt in the air, the food, the sun, the ocean and sand… it’s incredible. It’s a small enough island you can traverse it north to south, east to west in one day alone, but of all the times I’ve travelled there, we always find places we’ve never been before and that are off the beaten path (read: not any places a tour bus will take you).
You may enjoy reading about my travels to Barbados, or perhaps you may not. Ultimately this is for me and for my memories and if you enjoy what I’m going to share with you, great, please stick around. If this is not your cup of tea, please feel free to click X on the top right hand corner. I won’t be offended.
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But first, let’s back up a bit …
Our friends Frank and Alex were staying with the dogs while we went away — they’re our ‘go to’ peeps for when we go away. We need not worry for a second because the boys love them and they love them. They move into our condo for the stay and life continues as though it were normal for them.
The night before our trip, we usually make things easier on the dogs and head over to my mom’s for the night so they aren’t stressed seeing suitcases being wheeled out at some ungodly hour of the morning. Plus, it’s less disruptive for Alex and Frank if we just leave them to settle in and we’re not rushing around …. And in these posts, I’ll share pictures hat Alex sent to me so you can see what I’m talking about when I say that the boys adore them.
Wednesday, July 6 – Day 1
I set my alarm to wake up at 4:10 am as the car that was coming to get us was scheduled to arrive at 5:30 but they always show up early, but ended up hitting snooze until 4:30 and then hopped out of bed to have a shower. Showered, got dressed and made myself look somewhat civil and had a turbo quick coffee before our ride showed up (early, yes).
We always get to the airport with plenty of time for error and today was no exception. We waited until it was boarding time…
At the airport and ready to go!
See the level of excitement? I can’t contain myself. lol And Toronto just after taking off.
We took off just after 9:45 am, full of smiles and eager to get on to our destination where fun and adventure awaits us. We lucked out on this flight in that it wasn’t full and Jeff and I were able to split 3 seats between us, which was nice because we didn’t quite feel like sardines AND Jeff and I aren’t small people – he’s 6 foot and I’m 5’9. I spent most of the flight reading and made a note that to watch ‘Eye in the Sky’ with Helen Mirren on the plane ride home. I went through my iPhone and deleted a ton of pictures and Jeff watched Curb Your Enthusiasm and napped briefly.
It wasn’t long before this came into view:
We landed around 2:45 and we were out of the airport an hour later, bags in tow and ready to be on our merry way. On this trip, we rented a car for the entire duration of our stay and to make things easy and more simple, we arranged to get a car from the airport so that we could easily drop it off when we were returning home. Only thing was, my step-dad got a smaller car, which was fine for the four of us but when you factor in 4 large suitcases and carry-on luggage, yeah that wasn’t going to fit in one trip. Luckily, the hotel where we stay is about a 10-20 minute drive down the road, depending on the time of day and traffic. So I offered to stay back with most of the luggage while Jeff drove my mom, step-dad and some of the luggage to the hotel. Thirty minutes later and I was in the car with Jeff, on our way to the place we would call home for the next fourteen days.
Just outside of the airport while waiting for Jeff to come back and retrieve me.
The first picture (above) I took when I got to the hotel after saying hello to all of the hotel staff (they’re like family – when my family comes as often as they do, the staff is your family)
We unpacked quickly and then noted the time — it was happy hour and we absolutely could not miss our very first happy hour in Barbados, so off to the bar we went. Afterwards, we went down to the grocery to get some provisions and then had a quiet dinner across the road from our hotel and we were in bed by 11.
Thursday, July 7 – Day 2
I tossed and turned all night and finally decided to get my butt out of bed when I heard my mom knock on our door at 7. We got dressed and went to the gym together for an hour and then came back, showered and had a light breakfast. The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent walking the beach, snorkelling in the ocean, hanging out by the pool afternoon and having a late lunch.
It rained off and on all day, which is normal for Barbados. They often have sun showers very briefly and not 10 minutes later, the sun is out shining. This time of year, though, is Hurricane Season, which may sound a bit scary but it’s not. It just means there’s a bit more rain AND there are much less tourists — makes for quiet times at the hotel, which is nice. Barbados hasn’t been hit by a Hurricane in years so we weren’t worried about travelling down south in July.
Later in the evening, we called our friend and Divemaster, David to ensure that everything was in place for our first day of diving the following day and it was. We then went for a drive to make sure we knew where we were going, found the shop and then headed back to the hotel and got all of our dive gear together and packed for the morning.
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Meanwhile, Alex and Frank were keeping in touch with us on the regular to let us know that Charlie and Baxter were just fine. You be the judge, what do you think? Do you think they were comfortable, relaxed and feeling themselves?
I don’t think they missed us for one second. lol
Friday, July 8 – Day 3
We woke up on Friday around 6:45 because we knew that we had a big day ahead of us and plus, we had to make it to the dive shop/beach by 9 am latest but we never like to push it and have to race to make it on time somewhere. There’s nothing worse than a boat full of people waiting on your ass to get your ish together.
We also had this guy Welsh-Canadian tag along with us that we met at our hotel and ironically we had come in on the same flight but didn’t realise it until afterwards. Well, what a mistake that was, but I’ll get into that a bit later on.
We didn’t take too many pictures on our first dive, mostly just video on our GoPro, which I will be sharing once Jeff is done putting something together.
The dive we went out was just something easy and light, a reef called ‘Pieces of Eight’, We only dove about 47 feet deep, with 41 minutes of bottom time (which means the minute you get in the water to descend and the time stops counting when you reach the surface).
Back to our tag-along scuba ‘pal’ and I use the term ‘pal’ lightly. LOL So on our dive this day, a chef from The Cliff was joining us, along with his newly certified 16 year-old daughter and there was a solo woman from the U.S. as well. In scuba diving, it is a best practice to dive with a buddy. Buddy diving is the use of the buddy system and is a set of safety procedures that are intended to improve divers’ chances of avoiding or surviving accidents in or under water by diving in a group of two or sometimes three divers. When using the buddy system, the group dives together and co-operate with each other, so that they can help or rescue each other in the event of an emergency. The system is likely to be effective in mitigating out-of-air emergencies, as well as non-diving medical emergencies.
So, Jeff and I are, naturally, paired together. The chef and his daughter were paired together and then the twit from our hotel was paired with the single woman diver. Fairly straightforward, yes? Yes. We immediately observed this guy trailing way ahead of the woman and not even so much as trying to stay with her or looking for her. Mistake number uno. Then this guy proceeds to try and grab onto a HUGE green sea turtle, which any reasonable and smart diver knows, you just don’t touch stuff in the water. Leave it how you found it. Nevermind, turtles will dive with you if you try and attach yourself to their shells and risk killing themselves to get you off of their backs. They are not dumb, people are. They will dive and try to make you run out of air! Not to mention it stresses the crap out of them.
This is the turtle the man tried to grab a hold of – she was HUGE. [crappy photo but you get the gist]
The woman behind her was the American diver and for size comparison, she was almost 6 feet tall so you can see that the female turtle was just MASSIVE.
It can be tempting to reach out and grab or touch what you see underwater, but just don’t. LOOK with your eyes, take photos, but please do not touch. This is prime reason why when I see any diver with gloves on, you just know that they’re going to be all over and touching every single bloody thing they see. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worn gloves before but that’s when I’ve been diving in COLD, lake water up here in Canada and I’m wearing them to conserve as much heat as possible.
Seeing what we saw in such a short time made us really weary of the man from our hotel and frankly, it turned us off of him. He was also one of those types that likes to brag and showboat about everything he was talking about just to seem cool and we just weren’t jiving it. Jeff and I both are laid back and low-key, no need to shout it from the rooftops that you saw this and that and it was SO COOL. We get it, now chill out.
(Spoiler – Foreshadowing future dives: we were grateful that this twit only dove with us another day and we didn’t have to stress at all.)
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After we came back from our dive, it was early in the day so we decided to go for a walk down the road to the grocery store and boy was it a HOT one! We spent the remainder of our afternoon snorkeling, at the pool and getting my sun burn on (like you didn’t know that wasn’t going to happen, me being the token ginger).
That evening, we headed up to Oistens, the local fish market that happens to be poppin’ every Friday and Saturday night. Might seem like a strange thing to go to but they have dancing, food, souvenirs. It’s just an all around good time. 🙂
Stay tuned for more! Xo!
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Next up in the Barbados 2016 series – A day at the horse track and Adventuring around the island – Day 4 & 5.
Days 6 to 10 will be covered in one giant scuba diving post, as we did ten of our eleven dives during the week of July 11th so I think that makes most sense.