My Time in the Caribbean: Barbados


This is the final part of my mini blog series about my Caribbean adventures. If you’ve read my other ones- thank you! Il leave my other links down below!

Barbados was the last new island we visited before we headed back to Montserrat for our final couple of weeks. I didn’t know a lot about it, my only point of comparison is that episode of friends ‘ The One in Barbados’ in Series 9, where they all go for Ross’ presentation..considering what I was doing could’ve have been any different to that, not sure that’s a good point of reference to be honest. Anyway I was so excited, in my head it was the classic postcard island!

When we arrived I could immediately feel the difference in the heat, out of all the islands we went to, Barbados was closest to the equator and you could tell! The immense humidity couldn’t be escaped, nevertheless I was still immensely enjoying being in the sunshine.When we arrived at our accommodation, our room wasn’t ready yet, so we dropped our bags and headed down to the beach, literally only 2 minutes away from where we were staying. Good start. We had read about many lovely beaches in Barbados and the one closest to us was no different. Dover Beach was insane! I’ve never seen a beach like, the water was turquoise and the sand was white and on top of that you could see sea turtles popping up to breath ever so close to the shore! (check out my blogpost all about turtles!). I was feeling very excited to be staying in such a beautiful place.

The location where we were staying turned out to be a very cruise orientated location so the average age of a tourist was +50, not ideal when you are looking to meet people your own age but nevertheless we ended up at this beach bar on our first day, and met the owner Kay. She is born and breed Bajan and we immediately hit it off. Her sense of humour was so sharp and blunt it completely got rid of any awkwardness you get when you first meet someone. Over our time she become a really good friend, and she helped us experience Barbados to it’s full potential from a local’s point of view.

We had 18 nights in Barbados and we really wanted to make the most it. We had saved a lot of money from Martinique as we didn’t do many touristy things, so we knew we had the funds to explore Barbados fully. Our first week or so, we spent researching, chilling at the beaches and having drinks at Kay’s beach bar. We had asked Kay about what she recommends we do that is the best value for money! She suggested the ‘Animal Flower Cave’ at the top of the island. There is another cave, some say more famous, on the island called ‘Harrison’s Cave’ but this one didn’t appeal to us as much, so we went with our instinct and booked the ‘Animal Flower Cave’.

We thought the best way to do it would be to hire a car and drive there, that way you see the whole East Coast (we were staying on the South West) and it turned out to be cheaper than doing it as part of a tour. The drive was…stressful. Pot holes everywhere, unknown roads and way of direction and myself who hasn’t driven in a good few years. But we made the most of it and still had a good journey! It was amazing seeing the East Coast, you really get a different view of the island. Finding the Cave was pretty easy, and 3 hours later we had arrived. We didn’t really know what to expect but any expectations I did have, it blew them out of the water. It was stunning! The rock formations and beautiful view of the ocean out from the cave was honestly amazing. They were loads of rock pools with sea anemones everywhere. Sometimes you are allowed to swim in the biggest one but the day we were there the swell was too bad so we couldn’ gutted. It was still an amazing day and I’m so glad we went.

Another must do of Kay’s was Oistins Fish Fry. This is a Friday night Fish Barbecue essentially with entertainment and souvenir stalls. I am so glad we got to go with Kay! As a tourist I feel you would be lost with how it worked and it was so so busy I reckon a lot of people give up. But Kay need exactly was to do, she got us sat down really quick, beers on the way and even helped us choose the best fish they had to offer. I got the swordfish and Peter (my boyfriend) got barracuda. It was cooked to perfection. I’ve never had it before so I have no clue how it is supposed to be cooked but my word it was delicious. Quite a meaty fish but still so flaky and moist with tonnes of flavour. Served with potatoes and red beans it was the perfect Bajan meal. After eating we went exploring the rest of the market, grabbed a few beers and watched some of the entertainment. Very dance orientated with music impersonators aswell. It was such a fun night and I’m glad we got a chance to experience it, true Bajan style. I definitely recommend if you are staying close to Oistins in Barbados to check it out, the fish alone is worth it!

On our chill days (which were 80% of the days) we spent at beaches. As I said Dover Beach was the one closest to us which was lovely but also it was incredibly busy! As it was surrounded by massive hotel complexes, people staying their could step out of their hotel room straight onto the beach. So we were determined to find our own little paradise where there were far less people and that’s exactly what we did. About 10 minutes down the road from Dover Beach was Worthing Beach. It was so tucked away it doesn’t surprise me people didn’t bother to find it when the other beach was so much more convenient. For us it was so worth it!

Our first time there is was basically deserted, a few people right at the start of the beach but as we wondered down there were less and less to the point where we had, what felt like, our own private beach. It was just what we wanted. The water had a slight swell so not great for snorkelling but that was only where we were. Paradise. This was the beach were I saw my turtles- read about my experience on the link above! It immediately become our new go to beach and we didn’t go back to Dover! For me, it was what you imagine a desert island beach to look like as child, bright blue water, white sand, palm trees and turtles! Can you imagine anything better!

That is what we did in Barbados in a nutshell, if you can call that a nutshell! If you made it this far- thank you for reading!

Please give it a like or a comment!

Have you been to Barbados? Where did you stay? What did you do? I’d love to know!

My time in the Caribbean: Martinique

My time in the Caribbean : Montserrat

My time in the Caribbean: Martinique


Welcome to my second installment of my mini blog series of ‘My time in the Caribbean’, this time I’m going to be talking about one of the French islands in the Lesser Antilles. Now, to be honest when my boyfriend and I were planning our travels, Martinique was not on our very small list of islands that we wanted to go to basically because we didn’t even know it existed (bad I know). But when it came to booking flights to and from the islands, the airline (we flew with Liat) had very set routes on how to get to certain islands, for example to get to Barbados you have to fly there via Martinique. So to save time and some money we decided to book our flights according to where the airline would have to go via…if that makes sense…anyway that’s how we ended up on this beautiful island.

View from the walk to the beach.

Out of all the islands that I’ve visited in the Caribbean, Martinique was weirdly the one that felt most like home. It was just so European, I remember getting out of the airport and it felt like I was in France, and I know it’s a French territory in the Caribbean so some people might say ‘Well what do you expect?’ But Montserrat is a British territory and that is like nowhere in Britain- believe me! It was just so refreshing. And for me, such a nice way to feel, landing somewhere that feels so close to home. Now, I don’t speak French, I’ve done so many years off it, all the way through to college when I sadly failed my first year (yes I got a U) so surprisingly I’m still not good. I’ve always loved the language, so I thought staying in a French speaking country for 5 weeks, my French must improve! Right? Kinda. Anyway, having the language barrier just added another challenge to our stay and I loved it.

The Air B&B we had was sooooo cute. A little studio apartment with a sea view, 5 minute walk from the beach. It was the sweetest little place, modern, quirky with plenty of living space for a couple. Check it out : Our little studio flat. Couldn’t ask for more really. The beach we were next too was called Anse Mitan, it was beautiful, clear waters, white sand and a lovely view of all the boats and the coastline. We were on quite a restricted budget, as this is the island we stayed on the longest and also the most expensive, so a lovely cheap day for us is spending it on the beach and grabbing a cheeky drink in the afternoon. Our favourite beach bar was called ‘Ti Taurus’ and be honest we discovered this place after using TripAdvisor to find the cheapest places to eat near to you. But it became so much more than that, the people were lovely (and spoke some English), great drink and food selection, anything from your classic burgers to local seafood and fish, and an amazing view of the ocean. So as you can probably guess we were there quiet a lot. My drink of choice while in Martinique was Desperado Red. Oh my gosh, x100 better than the original desperado for sure. If you see it somewhere, get it, you won’t regret it!

Our time in Martinique was incredibly chilled and to be honest you could say we were even pretty lazy, but that’s what you do when you’re on holiday right?! We spent most of our money there on drinks and going out for food- that’s just what we like to do! A few times we got exploring by catching the ferry over to Fort-de France and spending the day there. Fort-de France is the main city in Martinique so there were definitely a lot more city vibes going on, and a great place to be a tourist. Lots of shops, restaurants and attractions, and if you’re like us on a more strict budget, check out the museum (Musee Departemental de la Martinique), free entry and loads of interesting history about Martinique and the Caribbean islands in general (they had English translations obviously, but to be honest worth a visit just for the visuals). I’m not the biggest history person but even I found it really interesting- so definitely worth a visit. There is also an incredible market right in the center on the city, perfect for souvenirs, anything you can think off from Caribbean chutney, to bags, to furniture. I love markets, they are such a fun away to find individual unique things. I just wish I had the space in my bag and money in my wallet to buy things. If you go upstairs in the market, there is restaurant cafe, where we grabbed a bit of lunch on our second visit. Now if there’s one thing you can rely on in the Caribbean, it’s that the chicken is going to be the best chicken you’ve ever had! Seriously it’s always incredible, and that’s exactly what we got, curried chicken with rice, beans and plantain, delicious!!

Cutest market

I hope this gives you a little insight to the time I had in Martinique, I really loved my stay there. Well done if you’ve made it this far as I’ve rambled quite a lot!

Thank you so much for reading x

Let’s talk about Turtles!


Bit more of a factual, conservation post for you today as I think it’s a really important subject that I’ve found certain inspiration for recently. Sea turtles are my favourite animals and always have been. They are such peaceful, gentle and intelligent animals and they need saving so they can save our oceans. There are 7 extant species of sea turtle and each one plays an important role in maintaining the diversity, habitat and functionality of it’s environment. Whether that’s grazing on sea grass, controlling sponge distribution, feasting on jellyfish, transporting nutrients or supporting other marine life. They are so important!

Green Turtle (Photo credit : National Geographic Kids)

All sea turtles are currently endangered which is such a scary thing. There are so many reasons why sea turtles are being threatened: natural threats, human threats, illegal sea turtle shell trade, commercial fishing, marine debris, artificial lighting….I could go on. Sadly, only an estimated one in 1,000 to 10,000 will survive to adulthood. One of the threats I have personally experienced is the recent hurricanes of Irma and Maria. They were so devastating for so many beaches and turtle nests. Going down to our local beach after the hurricanes, and where you normally see sandy tracks and carved out turtle nests, it has been replaced with tonnes of wood and debris from the ocean, all of the nests and eggs were gone- it was so heartbreaking.

Lime Kiln Bay (LKB) after Hurricane Irma

LKB: This used to be a sandy beach with turtle tracks and nests all over it.

So…what can we do?!?

Seeing sea turtles in their natural habitat is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve watched them nesting on a beach in Montserrat (I saw a green turtle and a hawksbill) and it was so special. If you go down to a turtle nesting beach at night, there are ways to help protect the nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings:

Keep your distance! If you get too close, you may scare them and they won’t want to nest.

• Use red LED flashlights on the beach at night, turn the brightness down on your phone- don’t take flash photos!

• Fill in holes that people have made in the sand during the day, so the sea turtles don’t fall into them and get stuck.

• Check the beach and correctly dispose of fishing line or anything that sea turtles and any other animals can get stuck in.

• It is illegal to harm, harass or take sea turtles, their eggs and hatchlings, including getting too close to a nesting female.

There are so many other things you can do from your home town no matter how far you are from the ocean. For example we all know plastic bags do not biodegrade. But we need to do more, currently less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide! Plastic bags that end up in the ocean get mistaken for food (such as jellyfish) by marine life including turtles and they ingest it. This causes blockages in their digestive system and eventually death. By reusing plastic bags or recycling them properly it could make a huge difference.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

• Use reusable cloth bags when shopping instead of plastic ones.

• Don’t Litter

• Don’t release balloons into the air. They can travel very far and end up in the ocean, that turtles can mistake for food and ingest.

Green Turtle at Worthing Beach, Christ Church, Barbados

To finish on a happy note, yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of being able to swim with these magnificent creatures. I am currently staying on the West Coast of Barbados, so finding sea turtles isn’t that hard. I went for a snorkel on Worthing beach and there they were, peacefully grazing on the sandy ocean floor, in a pretty shallow area. It was amaaaazinggggg. I took some photos and videos, but at all times keeping my distance, respecting them and not touching them!! I strongly believe the current conservation work that is being done with the sea turtles is really making a difference but everyone can do their bit by respecting the turtles and just letting them be.

(I know my photos ain’t the clearest but for an iPhone in a waterproof baggy, I think it did pretty well. I am forever kicking myself I didn’t invest in a good waterproof camera before I went travelling, c’mon Hannah think!)


Thanks for reading!

My time in the Caribbean : Montserrat


Wow it feels so weird to be writing a blogpost again, I’ve had a pretty intense year since I last blogged so I needed to take a break from it and spend time with the people that are closest to me, but I’m so happy to be back and with so much more to share! I’m actually writing this on my phone from the comfort of my Air B&B in Barbados, I just couldn’t wait to return to the UK to share stuff about my trip. The first sector off what I’m going to call a ‘blog series’ is going to be about my time in the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean – Montserrat!

When I told people I was going to Montserrat people thought I meant the mountain range in Spain, which to be honest is only fair as I had noooo idea where it was when until my friend recommended it to me. My boyfriend is a wildlife conservationist so he was looking for work in this field, while myself, I don’t have any experience in this area but I’ve always wanted to volunteer on a similar project. We found this organisation ‘Coral Cay Conservation‘ that did amazing work helping endangered coral reefs and tropical forests. They had a site over in Montserrat so my boyfriend applied for a job as a Science Officer and got it! It was such great news as we finally had a starting place for our travels! I joined him out there a few months after he arrived in May as a volunteer.

Views from my room

I don’t even know where to start when describing Montserrat. I’ve never been to any place like it. The whole island only has a population of 5,000 people so as you can probably guess there is a huge sense of community. Everyone was so friendly and trusting, there is (basically) no crime what so ever and everyone knows everyone. Montserrat is a mountainous island with an active volcano…yes meaning it could have erupted at any time, which was so scary to me at first but more I learnt about the volcano and the way they track and monitor it, I pretty much forgot it was even active, in fact if anything it made it more exciting.

Me showing my excitement for the volcano

Me being excited about seeing the volcano

Being a part of the conservation project meant I got to contribute to monitoring 30 different species of bird and 12 herptiles that lived on the island. Learning all these different animals was SO fascinating, I mean I’ve always loved animals but I never thought I would love bird spotting. It has quickly become a major interest of mine, everywhere we go now I’m pointing out birds and identifying what species it is from our book (yes we have bird book) and I love it!

Everyday on the project would consist of going on a trail in the morning then usually a shorebird survey in the afternoon. The trails were amazing, you really got to explore the depths of Montserrat’s tropical forests, it definitely was a challenge. Hiking in such extreme temperatures on top off the humidity is a real test, but ever so rewarding. One trail, called ‘Rendezvous’, ended in a beautiful white sand beach which you would have had no idea was there, so secluded and tranquil. Although this trail was a tough hike as it wasn’t the most covered from the sun and it took you straight over a cliff ridge, so it was fairly steep, it immediately became my favourite trail. Rendezvous Beach

Rendezvous Beach

Other trails were a lot more wooded, I’ve never seen forests like it, very Tarzan-esc with dozens of vines and roots of trees taller than 2 of you. These kind of trails were always more humid, as there is less of a breeze. Something I have learnt from doing all these treks is not to be embarrassed by sweat. I have never sweated so much in my life and you just learn to get on with it, my entire body just dripping, even in places I didn’t even know could sweat- just happens! So no more embarrassing sweat patches when I’m back in the UK as it’s nothing compared to this. On a less gross note, the ‘Oriole Trail’ was another one of my favourites, aptly named after the ‘Montserrat Oriole’ which is the national bird of the island. It’s a beautiful uphill hike to the top then a nice decline to the end. This trail also ended at a coffee shop which sold the MOST delicious chocolate milkshake! Not the most important reason to do the trail but I’ll tell you now after sweating and hiking like that, an ice cold milkshake is just what you need!

Montserrat Oriole (male)

Montserrat Oriole (male)

Views from the top of Oriole trail

Views from the top of Oriole Trail

So from Monday- Saturday our days were filled up with treks, surveys, daily chores and activities but as soon as the clock struck 6pm on Saturday it became ‘Beer O’clock’! Making sure all the science is taken care off we were free to spend our Saturday night as we please, whether it’s going out and having a night in with a few drinks. On the first Saturday I was there, we all decided to go out, I was so excited! I always think experiencing a place a night you really get to see a different side of the culture and meet new people. The first bar we went too, you wouldn’t even recognise it as a bar back home. It was a bright blue and green painted hut with dance hall music blasting out of an outside speaker with the owner sat on a plastic chair next to it. All along the back inside is the bar with a TV screen on your left where you can play FIFA on PlayStation. When you order a drink it was a completely unique thing again! It’s never happened to me before where you order a gin and tonic, for example, and in front of you they put the bottle of gin, a can of tonic, a full ice cube tray and a plastic cup- basically make your own! No measurements or limits and you pay the same price. Bartending is my trade back home so I think this so strange, but definitely not going to complain.

I could ramble on telling you about every experience I had in Montserrat but I highly doubt anyone reading will make it any further (if you’ve made it this far thank you). Overall I would recommend going to Montserrat if you’re are already in the Caribbean for a few days. There is not loads to do but definitely pop over if you are close. Hike! Swim! Snorkel! Dive! Also some beautiful sunsets (seriously I’ve never seen any like it). Being able to spend 2 months there working as a volunteer was truly an honour.

Sunset the night before Irma hit

Sunset the night before Irma hit

Thank you for reading.