We are back in Barbados for the very start of yet another Caribbean Season, the first days for the Azura in 2017 – A732. We know Barbados well, not just because it is the home port for this ship and others but because we have visited it many times. Our first time was many years ago when we met cricketer Darren Gough who was there with a broken leg and the late Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee. Paul kept the children continuously engaged and developed our son’s love for magic, while I had a joint tennis lesson each morning with Debbie – which is why she was our tip for a top place on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing if you took it and got long odds- remember the Azura is a Strictly Come Dancing ship. Both Stuart and I had worked on the Paul Daniels’ Magic show on TV a few times, he was a lovely man. The Hotel we were staying in was a newish owners’ resort then called Club Rockley, and although it has now ceased to be a hotel resort the beach bar is still there and independently owned. It was then known as Club Rockley Beach, now it is the Tiki Bar on Rockley Beach and that is where we are taking you.
You will have seen in our other films how easy it is to walk into Barbados and find either of the two bus garages. The hardest part is walking past the taxi drivers at the cruise terminal! The bus garage just a few hundred years down the road takes you north to Speighttown, Holetown and Mullens Bay and the famous (and expensive) Sandy Lane Hotel where Cliff and Cilla used to frequent. Walk through the town, past the first bridge and onto the second Green bridge. If you are water side you will see you cannot cross the road just before the bridge due to road railings and traffic, so cross the bridge and come back. You are going to walk further along the waterside to the bus station where you want bus 11. Choose the one with the most people in as that will leave first. Here is where you will travel with the locals and they are keen to chat. We question a young mother about Crop Over because we have old footage of that we will post. The driver will tell you the stop for Rockley, you pay on exit, 2 Barbadian dollars, or one dollar US – less than a pound. The bus goes further on to Oistins which has a fish barbeque and party evening on a Friday from about 6opm which is not to be missed. See our other film. Both of these resorts show you the real Barbados.
As you step onto the beach there will be coconuts for sale, massages will be on offer and the jet ski sellers will be circling the bay looking for your interest. With the sea in front of you, turn left and walk to the Tiki Bar which will greet you with soft reggae music. Ask for two sunbeds and check the deal but it normally is 30 US dollars (or 60 Barbadian dollars) for two beds and a parasol and service! They give you tokens to that value to spend in the Tiki bar so it is like the bed and the service is free. For that you can grab a local beer for $7 BBD or a cocktail of your choice for $16 BBD. You can get a snack and stay in token budget but the grilled chicken will remind you of what chicken used to taste like before factory farming and the local catch is what Barbados is famous for.
Going home is as easy, just jump on the number 11 back to Bridge Town and walk to your ship taking in the town as it comes to life selling on the street side against the breath taking sunset. Now that is another Doris Visits save your money tip, but a little extra is you could walk to the other end of the beach and find the new Boardwalk and stroll beach side for a while before you catch the number 11. That is on anther of our many films on how to get round Barbados and enjoy it like a local for the same price as they pay.
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