Well, we’ve been and we’re back!
We relaxed, we read our kindles, we sunned ourselves, we became addicted to Banks beer.
We were there for only ten days, which really wasn’t enough, and we did intend to spend a lot of time relaxing, which we did. So we don’t really have a great deal to tell you. Also, we did have a couple of health issues while we were there, which meant we missed out on Oistins Friday Fish Fry (yes, our tickets were wasted, which is truly criminal).
Anyway, here’s quick, brief rundown of our wonderful holiday.
Monday 12 March –
We arrived on Barbados on flight VS029, at 5.30pm. Thank goodness the hold doors DID open this week (unlike the previous Monday) so we were able to get our luggage!
Actually, the airport arrival thing went very quickly and easily, but I have to admit that this was probably due to my using a wheelchair which meant we bypassed the huge queue at Immigration and Customs. A very helpful Redcap got our luggage for us and took us to our Virgin Rep, where our transfer car was already waiting. It was all very efficient and speedy and we got to Mango Bay sooner than we expected, which was great.
Our first impressions of Mango Bay were extremely pleasant. Checking-in was easy and friendly and accompanied by a delicious rum punch. We were quickly shown to our lovely room (Oceanfront – room 312) and there was time to unpack and freshen up before we went to enjoy our first lovely dinner.
(Our review of the Mango Bay is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g946443-d150… dated 08 April 2012).
Tuesday 13 March –
We spent the day relaxing and reading on our terrace and generally acclimatising ourselves. It was lovely. Yes, some Banks was involved! We quickly realised that Mango Bay offer a fabulous breakfast, and then a fabulous lunch with some rather fabulous house wine. We’d settled into our room here very quickly, which was probably because everyone was so friendly.
I was hugely disappointed to learn that I would not be able to take advantage of the hotel’s complementary glass bottom boat trip, or of their catamaran trip, but only because these are boarded from the beach rather than a dock. What a shame. However, Candice suggested another catamaran cruise which did depart from a dock so I would be able to do it and she organised tickets for us to go on Sunday.
Wednesday 14 March –
We enjoyed another lovely relaxing day in a similar fashion as yesterday. In the evening we were collected by bus and, together with a few other guests, were taken to The Plantation to enjoy the Bajan Roots and Rhythms show. Fantastic! We loved the show and enjoyed the buffet. Sadly, the wine was terrible so we quickly changed over to a couple of Banks each! It was all very well organised and the performers were terrific. We had a great evening.
Thursday 15 March –
A repeat of the previous days. Maybe we should we be embarrassed? Heck, no – this was what we wanted to do on holiday. Unfortunately, though, my problematic legs needed medical attention and we had to call a Doctor. The Doctor arrived very promptly and treated me very efficiently; he arranged for a nurse to come and see me the following day.
That evening the entertainment at dinner at Mango Bay was especially good – an all girl group called Virgo, who were really terrific.
Friday 16 March –
As we had tickets for Oistins that evening, we used this as an excuse to spend another relaxing day mooching around Mango Bay and in particular, our terrace. During the afternoon we both fancied a refreshing Banks so we went to get one from the bar. Unfortunately, on our way back we had to once again negotiate the ramp leading to our room. Mr Batty had found that he had to get quite a run-up to get the momentum to push my chair up this ramp – on this occasion it didn’t go right and he heard a loud “snap” and thought his left leg had broken. It wasn’t his leg, though, it was his tendon.
The very kind Doctor once again arrived very promptly and he sent Mr Batty off to the very closeby medical centre for an ultrasound scan and, sure enough, he’d torn a tendon.
So, instead of enjoying the pleasures on offer at Oistins that Friday evening, Mr Batty was indisposed. The hotel were wonderful – so helpful and caring, and they made sure that we had a lovely dinner in the restaurant to make up for our missed outing.
Saturday 17 March
This was another day of relaxing and resting our injured and/or troublesome limbs. A day like that at Mango Bay is a real pleasure even if you have some discomfort.
Sunday 18 March –
This was a day of adventure, although rather difficult to negotiate with Mr Batty’s injured leg and my troublesome legs and wheelchair. We did it, though, and it was great!
We were driven down towards Bridgetown, where we joined a Tiami Catamaran Lunch Cruise. The crew were great at helping us old fogeys get onto the catamaran, which wasn’t easy for us. We had a great time and loved the day on the cruise. Such a pity we couldn’t actually take part in the swimming or snorkelling – apparently the others saw a huge number of turtles and lots of different kinds of fish. They served a lovely lunch, even barbequing chicken and fish for us all. It was a truly wonderful day.
Leaving the catamaran was a bit of a struggle as the crew had to moor alongside two other catamarans, which meant walking over a total of three vessels to reach the dock. Thank goodness for lovely young, fit and hunky, friendly and happily helpful crew members. How they hoisted me about and helped me back to real land and my wheelchair was amazing and I’m so grateful for their help, as is Mr Batty as they had to help him too.
Monday 19 March –
Before leaving home in the UK we’d organised through Virgin’s Reps in Barbados to hire a vehicle for three days, so this morning our Suzuki Vitari 4x4 was delivered to us at Mango Bay. This was booked with Drive-A-Matic Car Hire. Mr Batty enjoyed driving his (luckily it was automatic so he only needed his right foot) and we had a very pleasant time driving up and then down again to see all of the west coast. We looked around the Chattel Village and also the shopping centres.
Tuesday 20 March –
I wanted to see the green monkeys, so we set off, after another delicious Mango Bay breakfast, to the Wildlife Reserve. This was in a lovely setting but it was quickly clear to us that I couldn’t actually go into the Reserve, as we could see that the pathways were very steep and very rocky in places. The man on the gate did agree that it wouldn’t be conducive to wheelchair use. This was very disappointing, but fortunately a couple of monkeys obviously detected my disappointment as they quickly jumped onto our Vitari’s bonnet and entertained us. We could have done without one of them peeing on the windscreen, though. Oh well… :o)
We continued driving on toward the east coast, and then drove south to get to Bathsheba. I’d read about the rock formations there, and of course been advised by this Forum to visit Bathsheba. Thank you for that advice, as they vistas were incredible.
You had also advised us to have lunch at The Atlantis so we duly followed the signs to reach this fabulous restaurant. And what a glorious lunch two-hours we spent there! What glorious views over the Atlantic Ocean and what a splendid eatery! We will, of course, be posting a separate review but can tell you here that this lunch experience was tremendous and so very delicious and enjoyable. I can’t understand why there are some negative comments made in the reviews, as our experience was quite the opposite and we can only say complimentary things about the restaurant and the servers – they were friendly and helpful and the food was excellent, as were the wines.
(Our review of The Atlantis is here: tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g148422-d1… dated 08 April 2012).
So, we pootled back to Holetown in a leisurely fashion, both feeling replete and happily well-wined. Our terrace and a couple of Banks was calling us…
I feel a need to reassure you that whilst we had indeed consumed wine with our lunch, we did finish with a couple of cups of coffee before leaving the restaurant. We were both totally confident about driving. However, with this in mind we enquired and we were surprised to learn that Barbados doesn’t actually have any drink driving regulations!
Wednesday 21 March –
We drove down towards Oistins and St Lawrence Gap, intending to stay on the coast road, the H1 and then the H7, but somehow finding ourselves on the Errol Barrow Highway. Nevermind, we still managed to find our way down to the coast and drive along seeing Rockley, Worthing and Dover Beaches and The Gap. Have to say, we did find this somewhat crowded and busy and we were glad we had chosen to stay on the quieter west coast.
It was nice to meander back (a cover-up for getting a bit lost) to “home” and the comforts of Mango Bay and our terrace and a Banks or two.
Thursday 22 March –
A busy morning, as not only did we have to return the car keys to the front desk by 9.30am, but we also had to squeeze in our last breakfast (I already miss that lovely crispy bacon!) and pack our suitcases ready for our sad departure. The nurse kindly came to see us for one last time and she helped me put on the dreaded stockings for the flight home. Then a last lunch… Then our car came to collect us as 3pm to drive us to the airport.
Sorry, this has turned out to be longer than I expected when I started - not a quick, brief rundown at all!
It may seem to some of you that we had a boring holiday and didn’t do much, but be assured we did exactly as we wanted and we had a fantastic holiday. Big thanks to everyone at Mango Bay for making it all so easy and enjoyable.
Our first holiday to Barbados was wonderful and memorable, despite the couple of niggles. We loved it and it won’t be our last holiday to Barbados, that’s for sure!
Thanks again for all the advice we've received on this forum.