A Crop Over Experience

I saw Rihanna! The end.

Just kidding. 

On my 40 x 40 bucket list is my desire to visit every Caribbean nation over the next 11 years. Four down, 22 more to go!

You guys know my little obsession about carnivals and festivals. So I decided, why not try to accomplish these goals at the same time: visit a new island during carnival time. 

Crop Over is one of the most popular carnivals in the Caribbean, second to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, and I am glad I got to experience it (and stan for Rih Rih in her presence). I did not play mas this time, but I plan to return...mostly because Barbados is beautiful. Absolutely G O R G E O U S. It is a small island, with the farthest points, north to south, being just an hour away from each other. No matter where you're located, you're not too far from a beach. Despite my short trip, I had the chance to go to 3 beaches, all lovely, well-kept, white-sand beaches. 

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Dover Beach Barbados

Where to stay?

We stayed at a lovely Airbnb in Rockley, very close to St. Lawrence Gap. This was a more affordable option than hotels, especially during that time period. We definitely feel like we got the best bang for our buck!

Tip: If you are traveling to Barbados for Crop Over, I recommend booking a place to stay early - around April - to get comfortable and affordable apartments/villas. 

What to do?

Our flights were extremely delayed when we arrived late on Friday night, so by the time we got our luggage and made it to our accommodations, we were too tired to head out again for the J'ouvert activities. However after a good night's sleep, we went to a few fetes throughout the weekend, namely:

  • Elevate: St Tropez
  • Soca Brainwash BIM
  • ReWhine

I had a good time at all of them but Soca Brainwash was TOP NOTCH! Although I'm not a big fan of cooler fetes, I still had an amazing time. There was also a drinks-inclusive ticket option but that quickly sold out as expected for any DJ Private Ryan event. I have not been disappointed by him or his team of deejays, promoters and event planners yet.

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CARNIVAL

I did not play mas (this time), so I watched the parade on the sidelines. We found a perfect rest stop to perch as we waited for the bands to pass.

Shade: check || Cooler: check || Food: check ||  Obligatory Pole: check

The masqueraders looked a little stush but it was high noon and blazingggg so I'm sure it was no small feat. I, on the other hand, was having a time on the fence, making sure I maintained my balance, because that liquor hit my system like a Pacquio punch.

In the middle of my vibesin', RIhanna and I made eye contact. It was only a second but she noticed me, k? Life. Made.

I was surprised to see that the road march ended early at 4pm.

AFTERMATH

After Carnival was over, we used our extra day to explore the island. We did an Island-wide tour to take in some sights and culture. Our awesome tour guide, Pamela, took us all over on this day trip where we went to:

  • Animal Flower Cave
  • St. Nicholas Abbey
  • Cherry Tree Hill
  • Bathsheba
  • Oistins

...among other locations!

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A highlight was visiting the Mount Gay Rum Distillery for a tour. The welcome rum punch was the perfect kick to start things off. The guide was entertaining and informative, and the liquor was flowing. I bought a bottle of a special rum only brewed in Barbados and will only drink it during a special occasion. if you have a chance to, go!

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Where to eat?

I am sure there are plenty of amazing restaurants on the island but CHEFETTE took the cake. I daresay it's better than Caribbean KFC. I will leave you to ponder over that...

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Until next time!