Much Ado About the South and East
Dover Beach, Barbados
The meek north has its historic bounties, and the west prides itself in luxuriousness, but the southern and eastern coasts combined are a cornucopia of everything. If you take a map of the island and trace your finger along the coastline from Bridgetown to Bathsheba, the arc resembles a smile; but, as the saying goes, there is much more to this area than meets the eye. The narrative of these two coasts is a colourful one, and just like protagonists and antagonists of stories, their personalities couldn’t be more contrasting nor their intentions more sundry.
Kensington Oval, Barbados
On the trek away from the west, one of the most prolific sporting facilities appears. Considered the cricket Mecca of the Caribbean, Kensington Oval stands proudly, embellished with a statue lauding the best cricketer the world has ever seen - Sir Garfield Sobers. A stone’s throw away, on the water’s edge, the cruising class dock on the island’s shores. After disembarking at the buzzing cruise terminal, they make their way along the scenic Trevor’s Way and through Pelican Village - a craft village housed in colourful accommodation that offer delicious bites, indigenous craft, and even captivating glass- blowing demonstrations.” Further along, this path to the south traverses the most important town on the island’s map. Bridgetown unfurls before you, with invitations to explore its historic gems, splash out on gifts, recline on docile beaches and take a promenade along the city’s streets, where business is the first- and last - order of the day. When in Bridgetown, you are in a place of global, cultural recognition - a UNESCO Heritage Site - which stretches all the way to the Garrison’s signature red buildings further south. Beyond here, shores and rippling waters continue down the southern coast, and lively bars, first-class restaurants and soothing beaches advance into view. At night – particularly on weekends - this area is abuzz with people, quaking with music and bedazzled with lights, a scene which culminates at two key areas along the coast – St. Lawrence Gap and Oistins. The former, a strip of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs, and the latter, a fishing village cum town cum weekend entertainment hub for locals and visitors alike.
Crane Beach, Barbados
But when the island’s natural curve dips and hits its southern apex past the sea-faring town of Oistins, a new chapter begins - the south officially relinquishes to the east. Enter St. Philip, the largest parish on the island, where the landscape mellows but energy - and a distant echo of revving engines - fill the air. The parish is home to the island’s world-class motorsports circuit, which delights those looking for an instant surge of adrenaline. But, moving coastward, the sound of crashing waves begins to dominate the ambiance and a more boisterous Barbados comes forth. In the sheltered bays of The Crane beach, sun-seekers continue the west coast traditions on the shores beside relatively calm waters, but precisely east, the calm is broken. Sea-spray, bubbling foam on rocky shores, rugged hills and coastlines, amenable tide pools, swelling waters, quaint architecture and the noisy Atlantic all pervade the human senses. This rustic side of the island retains much of its original natural blueprint, scarce in architecture and imposing structures, but rich in hideaways, village watering holes and surfers silhouetted by the horizon.
For those who choose this path, it is a truly exhilarating journey, and all that’s promised is relaxation, excitement, fun and a smile.
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