Too disappointing sea
Sand is white and soft outside on the beach but when you enter he water, the ground immidiately becomes complete reef bed (real sharp ones). Some on beach hotels have cleaned the rocks out in front of them ( I know Sheraton), I am sure with really big and expensive costs . Also always wavy. Again, some hotels have formed artificial breakwaters to prevent the waves, forming some calm natural 'pools'. Else than such places, we really hated the sea in Barbados. You can see what i mean in this low tide picture better. In high tide, the bottom is just the same around most of the islan, just covered with some shallow water. You have to wear swimming shoes.
taking food into the country
Like most customs now, food cannot be taken into Barbados. If you simply cannot function without taking your English bacon and sausages etc., then my advice is to purchase a Meat Permit.
do not take dairy products, meat fish, fruit, etc., and do not take any back to England from Barbados, except where the flying fish etc., is sealed and stamped for you to take through customs.
I have enquired from my friend details about the meat permit, and when I do get all the information I will post it on this tip.
Ministry of Agriculture for information regarding Meat Permit.
e-mail address is:- email@example.com
Telephone :- 246 - 428 - 4150
Fax 246 - 420 - 8444
If you forget, it is helpful to have a passenger who will shout "Left LEFT!!" as the oncoming bus is about to crush you.
Because in Barbados (as in England, Japan, Bermuda and the Virgin Islands) cars drive on the LEFT.
Most of the time there isn't a problem. On the rural roads, there's no one else around to hit. On the few divided highways, the only problem is that you pass on the right instead of the left. And since the cars are RHD (right hand drive) you will be in an unfamiliar seat and it will remind you that you should stay to the left. Try to stay out of rush hour which is usually from generally from 7:00-8:30am and from 4:30-5:30pm.
There are two significant problems though. Making a left turn you may forget to allow for the majority of the car to be to your left rather than your right. And the other problem is the roundabouts.
Flow of Traffic and Navigating Roundabouts
All traffic flows around roundabouts in a clockwise direction. Upon approaching a roundabout - SLOW DOWN! Look right and wait for a break in traffic before merging with the oncoming vehicles. Leave the circle by using your indicator and turn left onto the road of your choice.
Visitors to the island are easily identifiable on the road by the 'H' number plate. Locals are usually accommodating of your confusion with directions, round abouts, road signs etc..., and make allowances!Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Is your baggage really checked through?
When I checked my baggage in in London, I got the information that it was checked through via Barbados to Antigua and, according to the baggage tag, this information was correct.. But as soon as I got to my check-in counter (my bag was checked through, but I needed to check.in my self for the onward flight), I was told that they needed the bag to check the weight. I knew it (13 kgs), but they needed the bag to check it anyway. Usually it stands on the baggage tags, but here, one of the tricky things in the world of aviation comes to the play: The piece concept.
The piece concept says that baggage is not counted by its weight, but by the number of pieces of baggage, taking a pre-defined weight for each. Under the piece concept, passengers are allowed to check-in two pieces à 32 kgs (in some cases 23 only). The exact weight is not noted on the baggage tags in this case. The piece concept is used on flights to the USA and Canada, but it is used on some other routes in the world too. For Barbados it means that flights to the USA, Canada and Europe use the piece concept. But on almost all intra-island flights the weight concept (here you are allowed a certain amount of kgs, no matter how many bags you check in) is used. So, please check your tickets when flying through Barbados. If one of your tickets says PC under baggage allowance while another has a certain amount of kgs in the place, you may face difficulties with your baggage being checked through. Even, if your airline says otherwise…
The consequence of this was that I had to go back to the baggage reclaim area, find out where they have put my bag and go back to the check-in counter. That whole procedure took me more than half an hour and can easily spoil a flight connection!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Lost in Barbados & Glorious Traffic jams
Similar to previous comments in this page, if you decide to take up some car hire time (recommended), you must acknowledge that having a road map with you basically doesn't guarantee you not getting lost.
Most of the areas of Barbados are poorly signposted (or not at all), so it is extremely easy to get lost; particularly in the rural areas. Typically there are important signposts on the opposite direction, hence you miss them if you're going the other way. I got lost trying to find North beach.. and lost on the way back.. this is the girl that's usually top notch at directions.
I found that sometimes noting the bus stops which either say 'To Town' or 'Out of Town' would give you a rough idea of where you're headed, but even that wasn't entirely reliable.
Another note to make is that the traffic jams peri-Bridgetown during peak times (usually 4pm onwards) are ridiculous. It would take me 2 hours to complete a 15 minute trip, courtesey of the new bypasses they've been constructing for years.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Don't try this !!!
This guy comes to the hotel to climb the palm trees to take down coconuts that cause a hazard for hotel guests in the grounds.
The owners let him cut them down, and take them so he can sell them to make some cash, so both parties benefit.
click on the picture to see him scale the tree. This photograph was taken from our balcony .
Watch where you are treading !!
I must share with you the hazard warning on an open manhole on one of the pavements in the Hastings area.
I like the inventiveness.
As I have said in my con's about Barbados, potholes a' plenty , well pavement hazards are there as well.
Enlarge picture to get the full impact. The pavement has now been repaired, but hazards are all too common.
Photo by joanj
Trying to find Bathsheba!!!
We decided to visit the Soup Bowl at Bathsheba on a Sunday morning in our hire car...and it was impossible to find. After probably 3 or 4 hours of driving round in circles along bumpy and secluded 'roads' we gave up and headed back to St Lawrence Gap.
Even after two sets of instructions from a vicar and some petrol station workers, we were still none the wiser.
The roads are not named, not signposted and most do not have any lines so it can be very difficult to know where you're going, or even if you're driving the right way down a road!
Best to stay under the safety of your trusty beach umbrella I'd say.
I got robbed
I got robbed at gun point on the beach. I went on the pirate booze cruise, in the middle of the cruse we went to a beach. At the beach I met a local named Chucky. He said met me at (forget name, very popular bar for cruse shippers) ^&*#$* bar tonight. I met him at the bar, had more drinks and took a walk down the beach. We sat down and talked but when we got up to go back up there where two guys with guns and they robbed ME. They took Chucky’s stuff but threw it back on the beach. I think he was involved but who knows. Horrible experience, stay off the beach at night!!!!!Related to:
The last time I was in Barbados, Nov 06, there was a hugh discussion on the way locals handle fish. The local markets and fish markets do the cleaning if you ask. The problem is, unless you are watching how it is done, problems occur. The main discussion was the fisherman cleaning fish and sometimes the barbs from the fins puncture the hands of the person cleaning the fish. Many locals are becoming aware of the possible transmisions of bllod borne deseases. You must insist that the person cleaning the fish wear gloves. Unless you are there as the fish are being cleaned, they simply wash off any blood after cleaning, and see no problem with that.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Danger of Falling Coconuts Sea Urchin Spines
DANGER OF STTING UNDER COCONUT TREES
I have noted a warning on this site about sitting beneath coconut trees. Yes, it is true that a falling coconut landing on you can hurt a lot. However, it's not enough to say just that. A coconut falling from sufficient height can KILL. Folks commonly sit under coconut palms that are bearing GREEN coconuts--not likely to fall except in squally storms. Those that are loaded with the brown, dry outer shells can and do drop off at any time. However, this distinction doesn't make it any safer to sit (or worse yet) shelter beneath bunches of green coconuts.
SEA URCHIN SPINES
The same contributor mentioned the futility of attemting to remove sea urchin spines by pulling them (as for a sliver or bee sting). Effort is futile simply because they break off and remain embedded. The literally centuries-old antidote is to rub the areas of penetrationwith plenty of fresh lime juice (so abundant in Barbados) which will in fairly short order DISSOLVE the needles. Do not get hasty and attempt to hurry the juice along by digging with a pin. Since urchins are often found in shallow costal beach waters, it would be very unusual for any near-by beach bar to be without fresh lime juice or unwilling to administer the same.
I have resided in Barbados for 37 years.
No Shoulders, Restricted Sight Lines, No Lights
Not only does Barbados drive on the LEFT (and in a RHD car you will have to shift with your left hand - you may find yourself trying to shift the window winder), but the roads in Barbados are narrow and have no shoulders. Many of them have no road markings.
As you can see, the sugar cane grows right up to the edge of the road and that restricts what you can see 'around the corner'. In the daytime, drivers will often honk as they approach an uncontrolled intersection. Of course they also honk and wave to their friends.
Buses and vans and small buses are often crowded and tend to travel at high rates of speed and take their half out of the middle.
Some of the rural roads are not very well maintained and deep in the country there are no street lights so it is really pitch black dark. The only advantage to this is that people usually use their headlights at night, so you can see the glow of another car before you get to a corner. Of course this does not help you to see pedestrian or bicycle traffic.
The route signs and directional signs are often missing or misleading. We found one sign to the Edgewater Inn which pointed in the opposite direction to where the Inn was. We asked them, and they said, "The last sign we had to put up needed to point right, and we only had one that pointed left, so we just used that one."
So if you arrive in Barbados at night or late in the day, it will be better to get a taxi and rent a car the next day. And be sure to get a good map if you intend to drive out into the country.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
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Alright... everyone knows that the sun is harsher in the Caribbean, but it's always good to be reminded. Walking thru the crowds and seeing all the sunburnt bodies... I could feel their pain! Apply sunscreen and reapply generously and multiple times!
Dont go out alone
In the evenings its best to stay in and around the Hotel. Dont venture to far even in the day alone and always be aware of whats going on around you. I didnt feel threatened walking around the shops in Bridgetown but was sometimes uneasy as i knew i was being watched.
Drugs were also been sold in the open.
Watch out for this con artist
Whilst in St. Lawrence Gap, this 'Cheeky Chap' approached me and my wife in a very friendly manner and asked if he could have his photo taken with me, which I did. After this he asked for money "to buy a beer" When I refused, he started following us still asking for money. and after a few minutes of pestering he eventually cleared off.
I must say he was the exeption as almost all the local people in Barbados were extremely friendly and helpful, and I can't wait to visit the island again.
Enterprise Coast Rd, , Barbados, Caribbean
Good for: Business
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Good for: Solo
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Good for: Business
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