(Not) Surfing in Barbados with Agatha Kulaga of Ovenly
I’m not a surfer and never really felt compelled to travel to Barbados (Sorry, Rihanna!). I do love lazy beach vibes though, and my friend Heather (who surfs) convinced me the southern part of the island would be a dream for us both. And it was.
It’s definitely worthwhile to rent a car and explore the island. Warning:the roads are bumpy and the street signs are scarce. Sleeping dogs and weird statues are often the most reliable street markers, so take mental notes and hope the dogs don’t move.
Our home base was an ocean front suite at the Silver Point Hotel, which is actually a serious kite surfing destination. It’s laid back, the staff is incredible, and it was sorta romantic (despite our totally unromantic friend vibe). We took a night swim the day we arrived, which was magical. There is a lot of coral reef around, which we managed to miraculously avoid while swimming drunk in total darkness. It’s probably best to see it during the day in snorkeling gear.
If you want to take surf lessons, definitely check out Zed’s surf school. They will make you feel like you’re a pro, regardless of your experience.
Head to Surfer’s Point on the south east coast of the island to, wait for it… surf (or throw down a blanket, soak in the sun, and watch your friends surf instead). Also check out Freights Bay or try South Point for a more advanced break (i.e. not for beginners).
As for food and drink, there were a few things I quickly learned upon arriving to Barbados:
No matter how much you want to deny the rum punch, you will drink a lot of it, and you will learn to love it. Embrace the rum punch.
This also applies to fried fish sandwiches.
This also applies to macaroni pie.
Cole slaw is often categorized as a fresh vegetable.
If you’re staying on the south coast and eating out, you’ll likely end up at Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar a lot. It’s what every beach bar aspires to be, complete with open-air seating, toasty bonfires, live music, and a friendly mix of locals and tourists.
It’s worth grabbing breakfast at Surfer’s Café in Oistins. If you walk to the back of the cafe and circle around, you’ll find a hidden table with a pretty phenomenal ocean view. Across the street, you can stock up on papaya, melon, booze, hot sauce, and other snacks at the grocery store before you hit the beach.
Miami Beach is great for a relaxed day of swimming in calm, sparkly blue water and snacking on cutter sandwiches from Mr. Delicious Food Truck.
If you can make it to the Fish Market in Oistin’s, definitely eat at Chillin’ and Grillin’. It was one of my favorite meals in Barbados, along with the option of mild or strong rum punch (naturally).
If you have the time, drive north and check out the Animal Flower Caves. Skip the formal tour but check out the caves, and enjoy the views from up top, which are stunning. Do not miss the baby sheep running around the property. They are cute as hell and complete that trip. Stop for a drink at Juju’s (next door to the Lone Star Hotel) for drinks on the beach before heading back south.