Second Chances

Every new day offers a new start, new chances, reasons to begin, reasons to continue, reasons to persevere.

Each sunset is a reminder of this.

No two sunsets look the same, just as no two days are the same, we shape and mould each one in a unique way, never to be replied twice.

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Photographs taken in Barbados

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Contemplating Tomorrow

Seize moments, grab opportunities, have faith, be courageous, pursue your goals, live your dreams……

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Photographs taken in Barbados.

Reflecting On Today, Heading for Tomorrow

Start now, today, why wait until tomorrow to start as you mean to go on?

A quote I came across sums it up with ” excuses will always be there for, opportunities will not”

Make that change, take those steps, build that momentum and keep it going.

You will thank yourself someday.

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Photographs taken in Barbados

Dover Beach

Literally on the lower end of St Lawrence Gap, more nice blue seas and soft sand, and plenty of shade.

Dover beach seemed a bit more relaxed and quieter than Accra beach (which is off a busier main road).

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Naughty but nice!

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Down Town: Bridge Town, Barbados

The capital of Barbados, a hub of busy hustle and bustle, compared to a lot of other caribbean islands, Barbados seemed to have very big ‘town centre’ with lots of little back streets and shops.

The bus from St Lawrence Gap took roughly 15 mins into Bridgetown…not long.

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Bridgetown’s shopping area is pretty big with lots of connecting shop lined streets and little back streets

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Locals

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It was really really hot, even some of the locals were saying it was unusually hot. Seeing people with umbrellas and T shirts on their heads is not uncommon, my skin peeled for the first time on any tropical holiday!
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Plain and simple
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If only all customer facing staff followed this principle!

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Out and About Barbados #1

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Stay grounded

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Rolling hills make beautiful views

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Like life, you don’t quite know what lays ahead

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Decisions, decisions!
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Interesting

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Collision!

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Hi there!
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Chattel House, these used to be plantation homes for the poor – designed so that they could be moved easily when required
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A few seconds before I took this it was beautifully bright and sunny with a washing line up  – pegged with colourful clothes – I didn’t get a chance to capture it before the rain came….

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When your drinks match the table
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Fishermen

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St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Abbey, one of Barbados’ oldest plantations, was built in 1658.

Woodlands and plantation (including Cherry Tree Hill) sugar cane fields, the plantation house, rum tasting, the boiling house  for rum and sugar  – all form part of this heritage site and popular tourist attraction.

I’d recommend visiting via a ‘Glory Tours’ package.

 

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On The Buses, Barbados

From large blue government owned buses to small privately run white mini buses, you won’t be waiting long for a ride.

Mini bus drivers will often beep at you and call out to see if you ned a ride if they see you walking (no chance of that back at home lol!).

A few short clips below:

Music at the beginning of the video: Barbados Carnival by Mighty Panther

Go West! Barbados

Out and about around Holetown….

If you’re looking for high end designer brands head over to Limegrove, plus a little shopping village known as Chattel Village, for souvenirs and touristy shopping.

Holetown is on the quieter side of the island where more of the big hotel/resorts are lined.

Also, the waters are generally calmer on the west coast beaches.

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Accra Beach

ravelNot far from St Lawrence Gap, Accra Beach.

Walking is fine but the pavements sometimes become really narrow or disappear so you end up criss crossing across the road to stay safe – it’s on a busy main road!

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Why do I get so obsessed with trees whenever I’m on holiday! There’s something fascinating and artistic about them……

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Barbados: Yellow Bird Hotel

I’m a stickler for reviews, Trip Adviser etc…and was really impressed with the overwhelming positive feedback on this hotel.

Furthermore, it’s very reasonably priced in comparison to the big east/west coast, all-inclusive resorts.

If you’re on a tight budget, or want to claw back more money for spending, you could easily spend your entire holiday using this (or similar) hotel as your base.

Alternatively, mix it up to get a taste different parts of the island.

Whether you can afford it or not, all inclusive deals do not always give you best value for money. If you’re in an area with plenty of local places to eat, why not put more of your money in the hands of local businesses and sample more of the culture, cuisine and community of the country you are visiting?

This was my first time ‘not’ staying in a big ‘all inclusive’ style hotel and, well, sometimes less really is more!

St Lawrence Gap isn’t short of restaurants and street food vendors every evening so – if you’re planning to self-cater/cook I’d avoid the main mini market in the Gap (pretty overpriced)  – there are bigger and better priced supermarkets a bus ride away toward Bridgetown.

Anyway, back to the Yellow Bird.

My top things about this hotel

  1. Location, location, location!!  Right at the start of St Lawrence Gap
  2. A short bus ride into Bridgetown
  3. A short drive from Oistins
  4. Great for people watching!
  5. Beautiful balcony views, and stunning sunsets
  6. Small and family run (a nice contrast from being in a giant hotel with hundreds of people)
  7. Fully equipped kitchen and clean modern decor
  8. Relatively more affordable than the bigger hotels on the west coast

Tip: if you’re planning on self catering – head up to one of the bigger supermarkets (rather than the small one’s in St Lawrence Gap, the bigger supermarkets will give you more for your money!

The staff here were all very helpful and friendly – though I must point out the lovely ‘Sonia’ who maintained our rooms with smiles and helpful advice along the way, never too busy to stop and say hello  – even when she was tired and working beyond her normal hours in order to support the business and guests during an unexpected ‘water cut’ – carrying large heavy containers of water up to guests rooms…..that’s another story, anyway – a huge and heartfelt thank you Sonia.

Any downsides – not really 😊

Rooms are on three  upper floors but there are no lifts – the hotel staff were strong enough to carry my baggage up the stairs, but I still felt bad because my cases normally feel like they’re full of bricks!

I would highly recommend Yellow Bird and would certainly stay there again.

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Delicious breakfasts, flying fish is always on the menu!

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We booked on to all our excursions from the very friendly reception desk staff – they’re also really good at recommending things to do, as they’ve sampled most it themselves! The staff were very honest  – e.g. about new excursions that they hadn’t tried yet – rather than just trying in vain to get you to book – much appreciated.

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Early in the morning seemed like the best time to go for a swim here, as the tide is out and you can wade quite far out in the shallow waters.
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10 days straight and I never once grew tired of the view from my room and the sunsets are priceless.

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Sheraton Shopping Mall, Barbados

If souvenir shopping hasn’t satisfied your retail therapy needs, head over to the Sheraton  Mall.

If you’re not driving, just agree a pick up time with your taxi driver, a couple of hours should be enough!

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Quick Supermarket Trip, Barbados

A short walk from St Lawrence Gap…..

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‘Mark Down Madness!!!’

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I drank endless amounts of Sorrel and was a bit disappointed that in most of the restaurant/eateries we went to, they didn’t have and mauby.
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I never knew there was any such thing as coconut flour until I saw this!
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Didn’t really fancy walking back to the Gap in the heat with bags to carry!

Wild Thing! Barbados

At one with nature

It was like walking through a scene in a fairytale.

Monkey’s swinging all over the place, various animals wandering around you as you take in everything the reserve has to offer.

Please watch your step, and don’t tread on any passing turtles like I almost did, they are everywhere, and will gladly walk up to you and nudge your nice white pumps before stepping right onto them, leaving you with a lovely muddy footprint as they go off on their merry way.

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What about snakes?

Yes there are snakes.

No they do not roam around freely, they are kept in sealed enclosures,  along with the crocodiles so relax!

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Posh peacock

Freedom

Sadly, there were some beautiful birds locked in cages for our viewing, unable to fly freely.

Feeding time

This was the most memorable part of this visit.

You absolutely must make your way to the feeding point for the allocated time, 2pm to be exact – this is the main highlight.

Now as far as I know, animals don’t wear watches or read clocks, but they all instinctively knew when it was feeding time and began to make their way through the reserve and congregate around the designated feeding spot in anticipation.

Diners included, deer, tortoise, turkeys, monkeys, hens, peacocks and a few other species – quite a gathering.

It was like so sort of non-discriminatory animal food convention.

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Enjoy the show

There are benches dotted around the feeding area, so you can sit and observe at close range. You may even find a monkey decides to sit beside you, assuming the seat isn’t already taken.

Again, if you don’t manage to get a seat, please be careful not to step on anyone (animal or human) around you and don’t touch the monkey’s tails – they hate that.

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Dinner is served

Once the food is dropped off by wheelbarrow, a surreal feeding frenzy begins.

All the animals, despite their differences, dine together peacefully in a remarkably civilised and unified way.

Well almost.

Mind your table manners

The monkeys can be a bit cheeky, scratching at the deer to get them to move out of the way when they ‘unintentionally’ block the monkey’s access to the food. The monkeys just want to get at the buffet – they don’t scratch maliciously to draw blood, just enough to make the deer jump and move out of the way.

Monkeys also like to use the tortoise shells as a dinner table seat.

The deer have a habit of stuffing way too much food in their mouths and then struggle to chew, as may well be the case with some of humankind!

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Serenity

As I watch this dinning experience, I can’t help but notice the silence, except for the sounds of food being chewed before me.

This was definitely one of the highlights of my stay in Barbados, and is one not to be missed. I’d recommend doing this visit through ‘Glory Tours’, which will cover a range of attractions in one round trip.

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Video clips 🎥

Catch Of The Day: Friday Night at Oistins Fish Fry

Oistins is a fishing village in Christ Church, Barbados (not far from St Lawrence Gap).

Oistins fish fry is an absolute must, especially when you’re in Barbados for the first time.

The food may not be free but you pay nothing for the music and atmosphere.

The vibe here is buzzing, with music and smells of cooked food in the air.

Locals and tourists flock down for a night out.

Just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain, as deep/broad puddles and sloppy sand pathways will surely follow.

The main stage is the largest, (where lots of people ran for shelter during the downpour) and attracts street dancers and the larger crowds.

There are smaller stage/dance areas, such as the line dancing calypso set, which spilled outside with dancers and spectators alike.

You will find rows of huts all serving a range of cooked fish dishes for you to choose from.

Open fire grills are flaming brightly while smokey barbecue aromas waft through the air.

Craft and souvenir stalls are also dotted around in case you fancy a bit of shopping, and there will be a spot for the domino players, who play with the kind of enthusiasm I would expect to be reserved for an Olympic feat or world cup final!

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Grab a fish supper
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The crowd starts to build around the main stage
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Some serious dominos action going on in this section

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Officers grabbing some dinner
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There’s a calypso party going on in here!

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Deep puddles after the rain

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Lively Nights at Harbour Lights!

Harbour Lights is a well known nightclub in Barbados – frequented by a number of well known celebrity guests.

The main evening consists of a live show, live music a meal and as many drinks as you like from the bar.

The evening is a mixture of live singing, fire eaters, limbo dancers, stilt performers and more.

There is so much variety packed into the evening, very impressive!

After the main show, the night goes onto until the early hours  – like a normal nightclub.

If you’re looking for a lively night – head for Harbour Lights.

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My plate, I tried but couldn’t eat it all!

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An Underground Grotto, Harrison’s Cave

Sometimes you just get a feeling about something, someone or somewhere. There is no logic to the feeling, you only know the feeling is real and strong.

For me, the grounds leading to Harrison’s Cave felt like a scene from a James Bond film; I’m not sure which film but I could just picture Bond running around firing shots or being chased by one of the bad guys from the franchise.

The caves themselves are stunning, mesmerising and very much like something that would inspire a science fiction or fantasy film.

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Something about these lifts feels like a film set….

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We started off looking around the museum dedicated to the caves, then sat and watched a shot video in a small theatre before boarding trailer type trams to wheel us through the labyrinth of underground caves below.

It’s a very interesting place and well worth seeing.

I’d recommend doing this as part of an all day island tour (Glory Tours) to get value for money!

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Now for the science bit

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Watching a short film in a theatre before boarding the trams for the tour
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Moonraker springs to mind…….

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Yellow Submarine, well not quite!

Since I’d never been on a submarine before, and I adore tropical fish – this seemed like really good excursion to cross off the list whilst in Barbados.

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Now we cross over from our boat to the submarine

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Down the hatch (not for the claustrophobic)

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Know your fish.

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At this point or commentator starts to suggest some appropriate conversation starters for the moment (depending on who you’re with of course!)

“How deep is your love?”

“I really think we’re starting to form a deeper connection”

“I’m looking for a deeper love”

“I really enjoy our deep conversations”

“So now you can see I’m not a shallow person”

“Our love is deeper than ever right now”

I think you get the picture…….

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You’ll find a short video down below…..

I’ll be honest, I didn’t realise the water might be a bit cloudy down there and not quite like the clear/vibrant views we see in an aquarium, and no sharks.

It was still an interesting experience, but unless you ‘really’ want to go on a submarine, or have a lot of spending money to spare, I’d leave this until the end of your trip.

Anyway….the deeper under water  you go the more colours fade into a pale murky version of the real colour – including colours of your clothing whilst in the submarine.

A few people said they felt a bit dizzy and tired when we got back up to the surface – apparently this is quite normal – though I didn’t really notice anything myself, plus the rum punch on the way back to land probably obscured and funny feelings!

We met a woman who had docked in Barbados that morning on a cruise ship for one day, she’d never been to Barbados or the caribbean before – and had chosen to spend half the day (her one and only day) on this trip. I felt a little sad for her, thinking of how much of the island she probably wouldn’t experience, St Lawrence Gap, Wild Life Reserve, Harrison’s Cave, Oistins etc…if you’re only on the island for one day – go and see Barbados!

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Barbados: St Lawrence Gap is Where it’s at?

Anyone who knows anything about Barbados will be familiar with all the hype surrounding St Lawrence Gap.

Party scene

Clubs

Bars

Restaurants

Nightlife

Street vendors

All things touristy

Down to earth

Affordable hotels

Lively vibe

Dover beach

Close to Oistins and Bridgetown

It just wouldn’t be right not to spend at least a few nights in the thick of St Lawrence Gap, it’s the opposite of the quiet (expensive) resort laden west coast.

The Gap is most lively on a Saturday night.

Taxis never cease to drop off revellers at the top of the Gap each evening.

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If you want a quiet night with a cup of cocoa, don’t go to St Lawrence Gap!

That said, before holidaying in Barbados I had read a lot of reviews/comments about St Lawrence Gap from various websites and social media. A lot of people seemed to be saying the Gap isn’t as lively as it was in its hay day.

However, it is still lively enough!

While we staying up on the West coast for a while, a beach seller (who claimed to be a distant relative of Rihanna) warned us to be careful when going to St Lawrence Gap; she talked about the rise in crime and how she didn’t think it was as safe as it used to be.

Thankfully, we encountered no trouble whilst staying at St Lawrence Gap, and I guess trouble can happen anywhere these days.

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The calm before the crowd

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At the top of the Gap, opposite the Yellow Bird Hotel, you will see a lovely ocean front dotted with fishing boats, and frequented by fishermen – who clean and sell their catch on a morning (and evening).

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