So, I'm thinking of taking a trip to the Caribbean at the end of April. I want to get as far from Maine as possible. Since I haven't seen much color lately, I was thinking that Barbados would be nice. Any one been there? Should I be concerned about safety?
I don't know what gear to travel with. I don't really want to use MF and lug a tripod. I've got an F5, but am concerned about attracting attention from thieves. Also a bit concerned about hassle of large amounts of film on int'l flights. My digital gear is Leica and is compact, but may also invite unwanted attention.
Suggestions? Must see places? Should I stay away and go elsewhere? I'd like to avoid the tourist infested islands (well, the really infested ones at least).
We were there once. Had a great time. Here's what I remember:
I have experience with three distinct parts of the Island.
We stayed on the Southern shore, in Christs Parish http://www.totallybarbados.com/AllAb...istchurch.aspx , in a hotel that had private beach access. The hotel wasn't particularly nice or expensive, and the Southern shore was much less touristy than any other area we visited. The water was fairly calm here (we were on a bay), but there wasn't much pretty scenery. It was pretty gritty, really. Lots of locals. I really liked the vibe, didn't feel unsafe, had a bag full of Nikon gear and a video camera that I was only casually keeping an eye on when I went into the water. If someone had really wanted my gear, it would have been easy for them to snatch and run, and nothing like that happened. The food on that coast was good but simple and cheap: Roti sandwiches, and such.
The Eastern Shore is much more dramatic. Cliffs, pounding surf. More fun for landscape shooters, for sure.
The Western Shore had some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. That classic warm, blue-green water. White sand. Big palm trees. Other than a few annoying peddlers hocking trinkets and trying to get us to take boat trips, the Western beaches we were on were very lightly used. Not a lot of people to deal with. We also had our best, fanciest meals on the Western side of the Island. This is in the Speightstown area. http://www.totallybarbados.com/AllAb...s/stpeter.aspx
Wish I could remember more names/places, but that's all that I've retained. The map available here: http://www.totallybarbados.com/AllAb...rbadosmap.aspx gives some sense of the place.
I found it very relaxing. The people were great. The food, both street food and fine dining was excellent. Rum drinks are fun. I wouldn't bother renting a car. I am a good driver, have driven in the UK without trouble, but the driving there is too intense, and I just wouldn't bother. I made easy arrangements for drivers to pick me up where they had dropped me off at pre-arranged times, and never had a problem. And, when I totalled what I'd spent on cabs I still saved money. YMMV.