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.