Sunday, 16 September 2012

Barbados! An island with everything....

It must seem that all I do is go on holiday... but last year I had one week and although I know that some people would love even that (and I should count myself lucky), one week is just not enough when you are working and juggling a family. Even one with kids as old as mine...

So last year I saved every spare penny so that we could have a couple of breaks in the summer when it was quieter. This was the first year we managed to avoid the school holidays as youngest left after completing A levels - and the shocking truth is that our Turkey budget during school holidays almost stretched to somewhere far more exotic. So that's what we did and on 3rd September when all the school aged students were returning to school, we found ourselves at Heathrow Airport awaiting a flight for BARBADOS!

We have been before about 8 years ago - and apart from a bit more development along the coast (and a lot of properties on the market due to the recession in the States) nothing much has changed. It is still beautiful. The people (on the whole, like everywhere else you can get some who just don't understand the words 'no thank you' and will keep on pestering) are very friendly and helpful, the scenery is dramatically different across the island, the hotels are great and the food is pretty good too. And as for the rum? Well the cocktails are plentiful and fabulous in the hot weather days.

Don't be put off by going in the rainy season either. It was hot every day, and if it did rain it lasted no more than an hour then instantly dried off... It was cloudy, but you still got an amazing tan and it really didn't bother us. There is so much to do on Barbados - we snorkelled and swam with turtles - even seeing some emerge from their nests and scuttle to the waves from our beach, Turtle Beach! It's a great place for keen divers or for those who just want to hire a car and explore the island. Visit a rum shack or two along the way for a real Barbados experience. We entered virgin forest and monkeys came out of the trees to say hello. We stayed at the Turtle Beach in St Lawrence Gap (which in high season is livelier than other parts of the island) but has rougher seas - perfect for body boarding but hopeless for snorkeling. Get on down to Oisin's on a Friday night where the locals eat fish and rice and peas and everyone gets to dance until 1am...

It's a fab island not just the preserve of the rich and famous - but if you go in high season and as all the beaches are public you may well find yourself swimming alongside Rhianna (who comes from the island).

We booked our holiday with Virgin Holidays and I can't recommend them highly enough...









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