Tuesday, 21 October 2014

My Time in Barbados

Last week I was in Barbados, so I would like to apologise for my perpetual absence, but I was sunbathing in literal paradise. I was away for my grandparent's golden anniversary with them, my Dad, Stepmum, Brother, Sister and Uncle and stayed at the glorious Sandy Lane hotel. Keep reading to find out more about my experience there and some awesome things to do on the stunning island!

Day 1: Travelling

I started off at Glasgow airport before travelling onto London Gatwick, then onto Bridgetown in Barbados. Obviously, at Gatwick there was a little bit of duty free shopping which resulted in me purchasing MAC's beautiful Pinkluxe Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow and iconic Strobe Cream. I then went for a short trip to the British Airways lounge, where I had a quick drink and breakfast before shooting off to the gate.

I was travelling in business class which meant it was an absolute delight to go on the eight hour flight. The seat stretches completely out to create a bed of sorts, there's plenty of room for luggage (three hold pieces weighing 23kg each and two pieces of hand luggage!) and the food is super delicious. I had smoked salmon, roast beef and a couple cheeky glasses of champers! The movie selection was amazing too: I got to watch Bad Neighbours (a little Zac Efron at 36000ft is just what the doctor ordered), Maleficent and The Fault in Our Stars (sobbing over TFIOS at 36000ft is also what the doctor ordered), you can imagine that the time just flew by.

We arrived at Bridgetown at about four o'clock and got picked up from the airport in a Rolls Royce by a lovely welcome team. If there's one thing I noticed about this country, is the happy and all round friendly natives. They showed us some points of interest on the commute like the sugar cane fields, flash showers and gave us an idea of what was on offer to do during our stay.

Arriving at the hotel we were greeted by another lot of friendly Bajans who presented us with smoothies and a cool towel, which was greatly appreciated as I stood in skinny jeans in a 30c humid heat. The rooms were amazing: giant tv, even more giant bed and a fab mini bar, a girl doesn't need much more than that!

Day 2: Jet skiing

So I went jet skiing for the first time, and it was terrifying to say the least. Amazing... but terrifying. I had the duty of driving my six year-old sister who had a habit of pushing down on the accelerator causing us to go over 35mph. You may also know that there was a hurricane around the Caribbean, so the water was choppy.

Despite all that it was an amazing experience, something to tick off my bucket list, and got an obligatory selfie. 
I chilled out on the beautiful Sandy Lane beach for the rest of the day. But don't let the name fool you; there are rocks a the shore that will bruise and cut your feet while trying to get in and out of the sea!

Day 4: Afternoon tea

It was my sister's seventh birthday, so we had arranged afternoon tea. They hotel set the table up so beautifully, with pink everywhere, confetti and banners. Really all a little girl needs! The food was absolutely delicious, personally my favourite cake was a strawberry covered in marshmallow, which was then blowtorched to create a mini meringue. We ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for the sheer amount we ate at afternoon tea. It's definitely something you need to do if you're ever visiting this glorious island!

A photo posted by jennux (@jennux) on

Day 6: Catamaran

I think that the catamaran was the best experience I've taken from this holiday. We took our butts off the beach and onto the Caribbean sea, sailing on a catamaran which took us along the west coast. The boat was captained by four rather attractive locals, who took my family, along with a few others from the hotel, to a bay that was famous for swimming with turtles and fish, along with being home to several shipwrecks.
Me being prepared, and aware of the opportunity to do this before I went away, I purchased two underwater Kodak cameras with a great buy one get one free offer at Boots. This ensured I captured this amazing memory and will have something tangable forever!

After going swimming we went up to the north west of the island, passing One Sandy Lane, home of Rihanna, and another large villa that Simon Cowell frequently rents. There we sat and had our lunch which had been cooked by one of the staff... I couldn't quite believe it had been cooked on a boat it was that good.
We then had a little time to relax and swim again, before being taken back down to Sandy Lane Hotel
A photo posted by jennux (@jennux) on

Day 7: Harrison's Caves

So I did it: I knocked another 'to do' off my bucket list! We decided to rent a car and take a trip to one of Barbados' most popular attractions, Harrison's Caves. It was a real eye opener getting to view more of the island and getting out of the tourist hotspots. The roads were small and windy, and the houses were small and wooden. However, I wouldn't say it was a sad site: there is so much life everywhere, and the people seem so alive.
We soon arrived at the caves (after a little issue with lack of GPS) and we decided to go on the tram tour which was guided, as opposed to the walk through. I managed to get some stunning pictures from not only inside, but also once we got outside to the valley the caves are situated in. There were even monkeys there!

I also got a couple of souvenirs to take home including some rum, banana jam (that is tasting amazing on pancakes back home!) and hot sauce.

We then left the caves and passed a small restaurant called Sand Dunes, so decided to give it a shot. We were not disappointed and the food was so cheap for what you got.

Day 8: Going home

My last day was on Saturday, but luckily my flight wasn't until 5pm, so had most of the day to chill out on the beach one last time. Me and my brother and sister had been watching a disc shaped banana boat during our stay, and were itching to give it a go. So we finally did it, and I'm so glad I did. Even though I now am paying for pulling a muscle in my arm, from holding onto for dear life it was amazing fun and would beyond recommend it if you get the chance to.

But the day came to an end and I said goodbye to the rest of my family who are staying for another week. I got a little upset leaving it all behind, but as a constellation prize I got to travel back home first class. I initially found the flapping over me a little overwhelming, but I'm sure I could get used to it!

Now I'm back home and back at university, it all feels like a dream with nothing but pictures to make sense of it.

If you have any questions about what to do while there let me know below!

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