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murrayskinner Holetown - A travel report by Murray
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Holetown,  Barbados - flag Barbados -  Saint James
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murrayskinner's travel reports

Holetown - On Barbados' Platinum Coast

  11 votes
Page: 1 2
I visited Barbados in April 2008 for the first time in twenty years. Although the island has gone through major development in that timeframe, it remains an idyllic caribbean getaway destination with charming local people. Sun, Sea, and History!

Platinum Coat Sunset - Chill!
Platinum Coat Sunset - Chill!
Barbados obtained independence from Britain in 1966. It has an excellent education system and remains one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations. It lies 100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles chain making it one of the most remote islands in the Caribbean. The majority of citizens are descendants of slaves who were brought here to cultivate the sugar cane industry. Barbados is recognized as the birthplace of rum, and Mount Gay, Cockspur, and Malibu remain as the largest distillers.

The climate is fantastic year round averaging 28 degrees Celsius, with cooling trade winds even during the summer months. The climate and relaxed lifestyle likely contribute to the fact that Barbados has one of the highest percentages of residents that live to over 100 years of age. It is a great place to visit beautiful beaches, charming little villages, while feeling free to integrate with the locals. There does not to appear to be the chasm created by the outward resentment towards visitors experienced in some other island destinations.

The locals are extremely proud of their island nation that they affectionately refer to as BIM. The drinking water filtered by the limestone is one of the cleanest sources of drinking water on earth and the local cuisine with heavy emphasis on the fish is varied and tasty. On the island you can visit caves, beaches, hike, golf, fish, chill, and relax.

The capital is Bridgetown which offers excellent shopping and historic churches and a synagogue. Main tourist destinations are located on the west coast centered around Holetown and Speightstown and on the south coast with accommodations and entertainment clustered around Rockley Beach and St. Lawrence Gap in Christchurch.

The local music scene is burgeoning with Calypso, Soca, and Reggae. Rihanna is the most noteworthy local artist who has acquired international fame.

Favourite spots:
Shoreline Near Holetown
Shoreline Near Holetown
The wonderful caribbean beaches were wonderful, with soft sand, calm warm water, and wonderful shades af azure. There is great snorkelling down the entire coasts including a sunken freighter at Folkstone Marine Park. 1st and 2nd avenues in Holetown are home to a cluster of restaurants and bars. The "One Love Bar" is a great streetside spot catering to locals and visitors alike. The Sunday evening Reggae / Sing a long is a hoot with the party spilling on the street.

A visit to Welchman's Hall Gully in the interior of the island is a great place to learn about the local Bajan plants and is a good place to see the Local Green Monkey's. Animal Flower Cave at the extreme north end of the island gives a you a unique view to the powerful waves as seen through a portal from within the cave.

The local buses are very vibrant with a real party atmosphere with lound island music blaring from sunrise to way past sunset

What's really great:
Barclay Park
Barclay Park
Renting a car for a couple of days will afford you the opportunity to visit beautiful windswept beaches on the Atlantic Coast, visiting places like River Bay, Long Bay, Barclay's Park, and Bathsheba. Stop by the historic Atlantis Hotel for local Bajan cuisine and some rum punch. "Have you ever met a Coconut Loaf"?

The people of Barbados endure as my fondest memory of the island. They are extremely happy, mellow, helpful, and eager to strike up conversation with anyone. There are over 2,000 rum shacks on the island and they are great places to meet the locals and chat with some very interesting souls.

There is great food on the Island. Make sure to hit the Fish Fry every Friday at the fishing village of Oistins (Typical Island Jump-Up) from sundown until the wee hours of the morning where locals and visitors alike come to enjoy Flying Fish from the countless stalls, swish back a couple of Banks Beer and part into the night in a real relaxing atmosphere.

Sunny Rainbow - It's gonna be a great day!
Sunny Rainbow - It's gonna be a great day!
The major sights include the stunning beaches, baby green Monkeys at sunrise and sunset, brightly colored chattel houses, the street life at St. Lawrence Gap nearly every night.

The main square has a statue of admiral Nelson. Since my last visit here, they turned the statue away from the capital of Bridgetown as Nelson was an advocate of slavery.

Some key sights and activities beyond these include;

- Harrison Cave

- Bridgetown Carenage

- Baxter Road at Night

- Andomeda Gardens

- A Catamaran and Snorkelling Cruise (Cool Runnin or Heat Wave)

- A local cricket match

- Polo (open to the public)

- Horse racing at the Garrison

The Divi Heritage Resort
The Divi Heritage Resort
Divi Heritage Resort
Holetown, St James Barbados

This is a small, adult only cond complex right on the beach (the beachfront condos are amazingly close) The lapping of the ocean made for a beautiful night's sleep. There are only 22 units here and I highly recommend it.

The major restaurants and bars are clustered around Holetown and Christchurch aside from thos in the Capital of Bridgetown, St. lawrence Gap on the south coast is the party and entertainment centre with may pubs etc catering to the British tourists that appear to be in the majoarity as far as visitors are concerned.

Buying Fruit From Vendors - Delish!
Buying Fruit From Vendors - Delish!
Although the wonderful Carambola restaurant has been closed to make way for new condo development, the owner has opened up the Elbow Room in Holetown. It is a different type of experience as they present your food with a square brick at 1,200 degrees f. and you rapidly cook each bite in seconds and dip in different accompanying sauces. The Bajan version of fast food can be bought at Cheffette that is reasonably priced and sell excellent flying Fish sandwiches roti.

Local street vendors sell wnderful local fruit and veggies for picnics etc.

Other recommendations:
Ride On A Local Raggae Bus!!
Ride On A Local Raggae Bus!!
Use the local transportation. It is fun albeit a little intimidating at first. Visit some of the excellent local pottery stores for some real island treasures.

Published on Tuesday April 22th, 2008

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Sat, May 10 2008 - 06:11 AM rating by marianne

beautiful photos and well written and informative

Fri, Apr 25 2008 - 04:55 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Very useful report. Thanks

Thu, Apr 24 2008 - 03:27 PM rating by terje

Nice report

Tue, Apr 22 2008 - 08:37 PM rating by mistybleu

Ahh the Caribbean; you included some really useful facts - a joy to read.

Tue, Apr 22 2008 - 05:38 PM rating by rangutan

Wonderfully written report that makes me want to visit the Caribbean as soon as possible again [4.6]

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