Sunday, March 27, 2011

Driving tour of Barbados

Yes, you drive on the opposite side of the road


Yes, you drive on the opposite side of the car

But, where's your sense of adventure? If you're a cautious driver, you can do just about anything. Although, it is funny when you go to turn on the blinker and suddenly the windshield wipers and going. And, yes, Chuck managed to do this quite a few times over the course of the 2 day car rental.

A bit about the roads...
The main highways are fine. The secondary roads are ok, dabbled with potholes, construction work, and people (few sidewalks). The local roads...yikes! There's a reason why the speed limit is 35mph. Just remember to drive're on holiday, so what's the rush? And, getting lost is half the fun!

We rented a car on two separate days. Rather than book in advance, because I wasn't sure what our mood and/or weather was going to entail, I decided to wait and book at the hotel. If you book in advance, a daily rental is about $110USD. If you wait and deal with the hotel convenience, the price is more like $125USD. Longer rentals (4 days or more) will bring the price down to just under $100USD a day. There are tons of rental car companies (no US based ones). Stoutes comes highly recommended from other travelers; however the one located at the Hilton was Drive a matic, which was just fine.

The island of Barbados isn't very big (21 miles long and 14 miles wide) but the road network isn't very developed, so it takes some time to get from place to place. For example, we drove from Needham Point (lower left of the map) and to Fish Pot in Good Little Harbour (14 miles), in roughly 35-40 minutes.

Our tour included stops at...
Bathsheba Beach - We actually stopped here 3 times. The first time, a storm was just coming in and I wanted sunny pictures, so we looped back and tried again. I still wasn't happy with the pictures, so we came back a third time!

Bath Beach - This is a lovely spot to picnic. The beach has plenty of tall trees swaying in the wind and the beach is relatively calm.

Crane Beach - Crane hotel is up on the hill. In order to get to this beach, you drive down a really narrow public access path and park. Then walk on those round disks and 2x4 pieces of wood to make your way over to the beach.

Sand Dunes Lunch Shack - This was the start of my cold. We ordered the chicken and macaroni pie. A piece of the dry chicken went down the wrong pipe and I have been coughing ever since. So either my lungs are trying to rid me of the chicken or it was the start of my cold / allergies. The short's a popular spot with the locals, the prices are reasonable, it's real Bajan food, the staff are friendly, but it wasn't my 'thing,' so I wouldn't recommend it.

St. Nicholas Abbey - This was definitely worth the drive. The entrance fee ($17.50USD) includes a tour of the property (some guided, some on your own), rum punch, and a little rum tasting, too.

Cherry Tree Hill - This is the highest point on the island and is located just a few meters away from St. Nicholas Abbey. From here, you can see the beaches of the east coast.

Shopping in Holetown -

Earthworks Pottery - I HAD to go here. It was a little hard to find, but the signage was pretty good, so as long as you trusted your gut and looked for the signs, you will eventually find finding your way back to the main road...there's the problem!

Payne's Bay - This is a popular place for the locals and is just south of Bridgetown. If you swim out a bit, you can easily find sea turtles.

Needham Point Old Fort - On the Hilton property is an old fort.

1 comment:

  1. great post! makes me want to go back to Barbados! i am actually posting about Barbados on my new travel blog in a few days, check it out!