The Barbados airport was several times the size of any one I had encountered yet on this trip, which meant I actually had to wait for my baggage a good bit…but it was an air conditioned area with “modern” baggage belts….unlike some of the previous islands whose baggage reclaim areas cum customs cum immigration areas felt like you’d traveled back in time many decades. The Barbados airport felt modern, efficient, and decidedly different…aka everything the average tourist loves.
While waiting for baggage, I chatted a bit more with the guy who’d been sitting near me. He was from Barbados, home for a month to visit during the summer, and would return to Canada for university in the fall. He’d been in Grenada for business, so was back home now to enjoy the rest of his vacation. I was offered (and accepted) a ride to the hotel, “as long as you don’t mind a few stops along the way.” Hmmm, I was going to save a $25 taxi and have a fun adventure…why not? In retrospect, yeah, it’s everything you’re advised not to do…but once again, taking a chance paid off! After a quick, very bumpy, and bat-out-of-hell style ride in a jacked-up old Hummer, we were at his house where he swapped clothes and dropped off luggage while I waited. Was nice being in an actual neighbourhood far away from what any tourist ever see, and to see how the locals actually live.
The next part I hadn’t expected. It was a series of at least four or five stops to pick up friend after friend who was joining him at the beach party. It was especially cool to get a real view into the diversity of Barbados. People had come from everywhere, and everyone was some mix of different cultures that blended into something truly local and unique. Eventually, there were seven of us in the car, and we were off to the hotel. Right before dropping me off, I was told if I could hurry I should join them for the beach party. Um, sure, why not! Luggage dropped off, checked in quickly, and a quick photo from the room:
Back downstairs, and we were off for a five minute drive to the party on the beach. I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever been to a sunset Sunday night party on the beach before. It was a completely local crowd, everyone seemed to know everyone, and it was lots of dancing, rum, and just enjoying a Sunday evening. I checked out after a couple of hours, because I had dinner plans at the Brown Sugar Restaurant near the Hilton.
It was a date for one….me, a good book on my iPad, and a delicious dinner. Brown Sugar gets very mixed reviews online, but due to location I decided to give it a go. It was exactly what I expected – not superb, but fun, somewhat local, and good food…even if I did have to sit next to a family from Jersey who kept complaining about things instead of focusing on the things they were liking about their vacation. Enough said! After multiple drinks on the beach, I was starving, so went with the Caribbean Jerk Porn appetizer. Nothing fantastic, but it was tasty, and went well with the rum punch. (Sensing a theme here? I mean, I really had to compare how each island did them!)
Then, it was time for the main course. I decided to go all out and get the Martin’s Choice, described as “A bountiful seafood platter with fried flying fish, grilled Mahi-Mahi Dolphin, breaded shrimps & a crab cake.” It was rather tasty, but also rather more fried than I would have expected. I still don’t know what “Mahi-Mahi Dolphin” is, but I’m gonna hope it wasn’t really dolphin. It tasted like Mahi Mahi so I’m going with that.
Then, we got in trouble. Big trouble. I have a weakness for dessert, and there was a bread pudding with “rum-plumped” raisins….and local rum sauce. This really had to be explored.
Seriously, who could say no to this:
Fat, more than a little buzzed, and happy, it was back to the Hilton, where I crashed for a solid 8 or more hours. Woke up, however, in time to catch a great sunrise shot of the beach from my balcony.
It was time then to check out the executive lounge for breakfast. I’ll just offer a few thoughts, since there are other extensive reviews of this property online. The breakfast was more than ample for a lounge. Plenty of coffee, lots of pastries, cream of wheat, lots of fruit, bacon and sausage…pretty much anything you could want short of cooked-up carbs like pancakes/etc. The only downside is the lounge was filled with families. This is clearly a family vacation destination, and I’d say half the lounge was under the age of 15 at breakfast. Mostly well-behaved, but if I never see another small British child with dreadlocks again I’ll be perfectly content 😉
On the way back from the lounge to my room to pick up my bags, snapped this shot of the beach and pool area. The blue was just amazing!
Hilton flagged me a taxi in literally 10 seconds, never discussed price with the driver and he didn’t have a meter, but when I offered him the US$22 I’d seen as the going rate online he was perfectly ok with it, so things worked well. Into the airport, where once again check-in with LIAT was a breeze. This was all too easy!
After checking in, my bag and I hauled next door to the Concorde Museum. Honestly, it was kinda cool, but after less than 30 minutes I was totally bored with it. Having already seen Concorde at the Udvar-Hazy Museum in D.C., it was nothing special. Was a great way to kill 30 minutes at the airport, but beyond that….
Back to the airport, through security, and elevator up to the Priority Pass lounge where I was the only one there. Several munchie options on offer, but nothing that looked tasty enough to be interesting. Made a rum punch instead, used the WiFi, and soon it was time to board. Short walk to the boarding area, followed by a short walk out to the plane.
LIAT flight 364
Barbados (BGI) to Dominica (DOM)
Depart 13:10, Arrive 14:10, Flight Time 1 Hour
DeHavilland Dash-8, Registration V2-LFV, Manufactured 1991
Can’t honestly say much about this flight. Everyone had told me how bad LIAT was, but once again this was another flawless experience. Maybe 60-70% full, friendly flight attendant. No food or beverage, but honestly who cares? I was in the exit/extra legroom row again, and everything went just fine. Just under an hour in flight, and I was descending to country #121 visited: Dominica!