We were lucky to have been able to complete our PADI Open Water course in a place so beautiful like Barbados. From the first dive we were able to see shipwrecks which were in the marine park right off the shore from Barbados Blue, the company we chose. Our final dive was very special as we saw 2 green turtles and 2 hawksbill turtles (one so large it was definitely bigger than me!), a southern sting ray, angel fish, trumpet fish, pillar corals and more.
Barbados undoubtedly has beautiful beaches. The famous ones where most people stay at are in the west where Bridgetown, the capital is situated.
We decided to do an island tour on our final day so we could see what the rest of the island looked like. The eastern beaches were equally beautiful but had bigger waves – surfers flock here.
We stopped at a windmill on the way to the highest point of one of the hills for a view of the island.
An unexpected stop was to what once was a college. The landscape was beautiful as was the architecture of the building.
Next stop was a cove.
We took pictures at the northern most point where the cliffs were.
During this entire time, we kept chatting to our driver who once worked on a cruise ship and wondered to ourselves if Geography is taught in schools here as he made the strangest comments. Here are some:
“ Is Malaysia in India?”
“The closest I’ve been to Malaysia is Panama Canal” (but he later said he’d been to India)
“The closest I’ve been to Switzerland is Alaska or Canada” (Barbados however is closer)
He later said he has been to Berlin but never been to Europe.
We had the most frustrating experience when we stopped for lunch in Holetown. The service was infuriatingly slow – it took 40 minutes for our food to arrive when no one else there ordered food. When I asked how long more it would take, instead of going to the kitchen to check, the waitress just answered “soon”. What was worse was how long they took to return our change after we paid. This was not the only place where the pace in this island almost killed us – KFC which is supposed to be a fast-food joint, was the same. The fries are right there, why did it take the person an entire minute to give it to me?!
We always took the local van to go up and down the stretch where the dive centre was and where we stayed – Oistins. These vans which always blasted loud music would always pack people in like sardines – at one point I counted 23 passengers!
We attended the Oistin Fish Fry as we were there that one night of the week when it actually happens. It was however a huge let down. The food was expensive (50usd for a lobster when you’re sitting outside) and it was the exact same thing as any other night apart from the sudden increase in number of visitors.
Another important thing we learnt was when locals say they are eating dolphin, they don’t mean the Flipper cute mammal we think of that everyone loves, instead they mean the dolphin fish also known as mahi-mahi! When we finally found out, we tucked into as much dolphin fish as we could which was delicious.
We also had sushi, flying fish, lots of ice cream and a special guava and coconut brulee on our last night there.