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Business travel is inevitable in many jobs these days; however, some trips are better than others. A business trip to Barbados is right up there with a lottery win!  Barbados is much more than just sand and sun, but those are two of our most redeeming features which are waiting here year-round for you to enjoy. To make the most of your business trip to Bridgetown or Speightstown we suggest you hire a car. Having a rental car at your disposal means that you can efficiently move around the island to a schedule that suits you and gives you the time and freedom to possibly squeeze in a trip to the beach after work. Our fleet of hired cars has choices to fit every budget. Our Chevy Spark or Kia Picanto (ECAR) are great for those travelling alone and looking to get from a to b in compact comfort. Our other popular mid-range cars include the Toyota Corolla (FCAR), Mazda 3 (SCAR), Suzuki Vitara (IFAR) and the Toyota Yaris (ICAR). All of these models are available as fully loaded automatic and air-conditioned vehicles perfect for local driving conditions on the roads of Barbados. So, if you have to make a business trip to Barbados, we suggest you make it count and hire a car that your boss will be happy with the price and you will enjoy the freedom to enjoy your trip.  Next week we take a look at some other options for group travel or higher budget allowances.  
We’ve already looked at Harrison’s Cave last week, so this week we cross the road and take a walk through Welchman Hall Gully. Located in the centre of the island, this eco-wonderland is home to a plethora of tree species and ferns and the like. Fun fact, it is widely thought that the grapefruit originated at Welchman Hall Gully, the product of a cross between an orange and shaddock. Barbados is full of hidden gems like this! On your tour you can also watch the Barbados Green Monkey in its natural habitat, roaming free. There is a daily feeding, but the animals are still wild. We would recommend that you have a hired car to make the trip to the Gully, as there are no hotels around. If you’re into architecture and churches, then there are three treats awaiting you on your drive to the middle of the island. The St. Thomas Parish Church was built in 1936 to the style of many older Anglican churches. There are also the Sharon Moravian Church built in 1799 and the Clifton Moravian Church, which was built in 1839, both of which also hold great architectural interest. In your rental car all of these attractions are easily reached within minutes of each other. Just follow your GPS.  Remember, there are no beaches in St. Thomas, but the stunning views of the countryside and the ability to look all around the island from the higher vantage points more than makes up for this. As always, we suggest you rent a car to really enjoy what central Barbados has to offer. Remember, WeGatherin’ Barbados 2020 is still ongoing with lots of activities!  
Located in the centre of the island of Barbados, St. Thomas is one of only two landlocked parishes on the island. Affectionally called “The Country” in Barbados, we say you’re officially in the country when you’re in St. Thomas. This parish is especially picturesque and showcases landscapes that range from high hills to gullies and a cave network which are great fun to explore. The most famous of these caves is the world-renowned Harrison’s Cave, which we consider one of the wonders of the world. The Cave was first mentioned in historical documents in 1795 and we rediscovered in the 1970’s when technology allowed for safe exploration of the network. The Barbados government started development of the Cave as a National attraction soon after and the Cave was opened to the public in 1981. Harrison’s Cave is a must visit on any vacation to Barbados. It features a tram system for exploration which takes you through parts of the massive stream cave system which is at least 2.3km long. Interior temperature averages 27C and the largest cavern, The Great Cavern measures 15M high! This active case still carries water today and its stalagmites are still growing daily. There are no hotels or guest houses in St. Thomas, so the parish is best explored by hired car to allow you to truly appreciate her beauty. Apart from the stunning landscapes which include views of the clay rich red soil, you may also pass another gem, Welchman Hall Gully. We’ll explore that further in another post. Whether you’re here for We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 and visiting for the umpteenth time or staying on the south or west coasts, we encourage you to point your rental car away from the beach and take a gander at the beauty that is St. Thomas.  There’s always an adventure to be had!  
Continuing our journey around St. Peter, Barbados. We invite you to enjoy a day at Mullins beach on the western coast, which features the calm warm waters for which the west is famous.  There’s always plenty to do at Mullins Beach, with lots of watersports to be enjoyed and amenities all around. For an authentic fishing village experience a short drive in your rental car will put you at Six Men’s Bay. This tiny fishing village offers fresh catches daily and allows the visitor to have a real Bajan fish meal. A drive around in your rental car in St. Peter, on the western side, will yield many a hidden gem for beaches. There may not be many open windows to the sea, but there are many small public access points that open up to small bays or lovely stretches of white sand beaches perfect for a day out. If you’re looking for world class golfing, a short drive up Porter’s hill will take you off the coast and straight to the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club. This par 72 (7,045yd) Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course is definitely one you’ll want to play if golf is your bag. If you prefer world class tennis facilities, then just across the road you will find the Sugar Hill Estate with its four floodlit tennis courts and exquisite clubhouse waiting for you and your partner. No matter what you’re looking for on your next tropical vacation, Barbados offers it in spades. The key to making the most of your holiday is having a rental car at your disposal to give you the freedom to explore! Next month we are landlocked in the beautiful parish of St. Thomas for We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020. We can’t wait to tell you about your drive around this scenic parish. One final note from St. Peter, the Barbados Game Fishing Association’s Barbados International Fishing Tournament, hosted at Port St. Charles, is on this year from April 14-18, 2020. Remember to rent a car early so that you can do more than just enjoy the boat and the marina and discover Barbados.
This month’s focus remains in the North of the island in the Parish of St. Peter. St. Peter touches both the West and East coasts of the island which makes it unique. We shall look at the West coast where you will find the island’s two marinas – Port St. Charles and Port Ferdinand. Both are spectacular full-service luxury marinas with docking for day boats, coastal cruisers and smaller mega yachts. These facilities are the heart of what we call our Platinum Coast. If you are a yachtie or just enjoy a marina vacation, you will want to make sure that you get a hired car to explore the rest of the island, as the locations are well away from the capital in Bridgetown and many tourist attractions. The closest town and heart of St. Peter is Speightstown. This town was the first major port and commercial centre of Barbados in the 17th century and beyond. It served as the main port connecting the island to the ‘mother country’, England.  Today, this quiet town is home to most of the daily commerce in the parish and serves the communities in the north of the island with its everyday goods. No longer a functional port, the history of Speightstown is worth the drive up in your rental car. Don’t forget to include a stop at The Arlington House Museum for a great history lesson well curated. Normally quiet, the town comes alive this month as We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 has turned its attention to this part of Barbados. As a bonus, there are many fine restaurants in the area both for fine dining and for authentic Bajan food. We suggest that your hired car be pointed in this direction for a part of your holiday on the island, so that you discover the unspoilt beauty of our island and her people. Though Barbados may be small, your vacation can always be made better when you rent a car and discover what the locals already know.  
Located in St. Peter, Barbados, the St. Nicholas Abbey is one of those must visits on your vacation. The centerpiece of this plantation is the Jacobean style mansion, built in 1658. It is one of only three surviving in the Western Hemisphere. The house has been lovingly maintained and restored to period and features a look into 17th century Barbados. Then there is the rum distillery. This working distillery produces award-winning rums in limited runs using traditional sugar-cane distillation methods. The cane is grown on the working plantation and is of a unique varietal for this specific use. While you may have gotten up to The Abbey in your hired car, you will want to make sure your visit to the estate includes a ride on the St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway. This steam railway takes you back to a time when Barbados had a functioning railway system which connected the remote parts of the island to the capital in Bridgetown. When you eventually climb back into your rental car, we suggest that you look east and avail yourself of the spectacular vistas of the eastern side of St. Peter and beyond from your vantage on Cherry Tree Hill. The tree lined approach from the west is enchanting, and then the landscape opens up to reveal one of the most stunning views on the island. Definitely a photo op every day!  With this month’s We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 focus on St. Peter, what better time to take the drive up north and allow yourself a day with your hired car exploring these gems of Barbados. Although small in size, Barbados offers a dense road network with many hidden treasures and the best way to explore is when you rent a car and make your own itinerary. Enjoy the freedom of moving on your own schedule and make the most of your tropical getaway. Remember, it’s never winter in Barbados!  
St. Peter, in Barbados, is home to the island’s National Park. Farley Hill National Park surrounds a ruin of a Georgian mansion which was built by Sir Graham Briggs but was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1965. The property was subsequently purchased by the Barbados Government and turned into our National Park in 1966, when it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on February 15thof that year. Its acres of mahogany forest provide a tranquility and cover perfect for a picnic, and its views of the north eastern coast of the island are spectacular. You’ll want to get there by rental car, as its location is considered remote by Bajan standards. The park also plays host to many major musical events, including: The Barbados Jazz Festival, Gospelfest, Reggae on the Hill and Soca on de Hill. For these events the forest is magically transformed into a wonderful theatre not to be replicated anywhere in the world! While in the vicinity you can point your hired car across the street to The Barbados Wildlife Reserve and the Grenade Hall Signal Station, both of which are part of a combination tour not to be missed. Your day can then be rounded off with a short drive to the St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway for a steam train ride with a tropical twist, and a tour of the Abbey, which is one of just three Jacobean style mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere. But more about that in a later post. Sufficed to say, it’s not to be missed. So, whether We Gatherin’ or you’re just enjoying your tropical escape from winter in Barbados, we suggest you rent a hired car and point it toward the north and enjoy the natural and quiet beauty that our island has to offer.  
Staying on theme for this year, we explore the new parish of focus for 2020 – St. Peter. St. Peter is in the February spotlight We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 initiative. This is the second most northern parish in Barbados and is where you will find the historic Little Bristol, or as it’s known today, Speightstown. Settled in 1630, the moniker Little Bristol stemmed from this being Barbados’ busiest port at the time and was the conduit for sugar and other commodities going to the port of Bristol in the UK. Any visit to the island needs to incorporate the long (by Bajan standards) drive in your hired car up north to Speightstown. Once here you need to visit the Arlington House Museum, short boardwalk linking the extremities of the town, the world-famous Fisherman’s Pub, St. Peter’s Parish Church and take in the historic architecture. St. Peter is unique as a parish in Barbados. It is the only parish which touches two coasts as the northern boundary of both the east and west coasts. If you’re staying in the north with access to a rental car, it is very cool to watch a sunrise on the east coast and sunset on the west, without leaving the parish. Even if you’re not staying on the platinum coast you can drive up in your hired car and rub shoulders with the glitterati. Follow our posts all month and see what St. Peter has to offer to make your holiday in Barbados even more special. Remember, it’s always a better vacation when you rent a car!  
Every year on January 21st, we celebrate the life of Errol Walton Barrow and one of his pastimes, yachting. This year was no different, as the annual Mount Gay Round the Island Race took place. This year, sailors took to the high seas in an anti-clockwise direction, to circumnavigate Barbados, which is a departure from previous years. As usual, there were windsurfers, kite-surfers and sail boats of various kinds making the journey. A popular activity on this day is to track the boats along the coast and cheer them on from close vantage points. A hired car like the Suzuki Jimny, Vitara or other SUV types are perfect for this great island adventure. In St. Lucy, the focal point this month’s We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020, a nice drive up in your rental car would’ve provided sweeping views for long distances at one of the more challenging parts of the race. The rounding of the north. With many other activities taking place on dry land, you could also stop by the new memorial for Mr. Barrow close to his birthplace. Follow this up with a scoot down the west coast in your rental car of choice and meet up with the sailors at the world-famous Carlisle Bay. They’re adventures like this to be had every day in Barbados; it is just up to you to rent a car and make the most of your island vacation.   
The north of the island is one of the more undeveloped parts of Barbados. St. Lucy is our most northern parish (they’re 11 in total) and does not feature any hotels or much by way of big business. This makes it one of the most authentic stops on an island tour in your hired car. The rugged beauty of this flat parish allows for stunning vistas, especially at sunrise and sunset which can both be viewed over the mighty Atlantic Ocean, as there are both eastern and western coastlines. Some say that this is the crown of the island.  We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 highlights this part of the island this month and is bringing an enhanced focus and activity to the area. There’s a Food & Rum Festival Barbados pop-up this weekend, special church services, cookouts and fish fries, and even some sanctioned drag racing. There’s so much to see and do this month, so stay tuned. It is definitely worth getting a rental car for your visit to make the frequent trips required to really take in the splendor of St. Lucy. Driving up to the north is one of the longer drives you’ll likely take on your vacation, so a nice air-conditioned hired car may be your speed, or you can take it in in one of our open Kia Mokes with the roof off. There are stunning photo opportunities in areas like Cove Bay, Middle Bay, Cuckold Point, the old Harrison Point Lighthouse, the former US naval base. Make the drive up in your rental and make a day of it each time, taking in the authentic Bajan dishes from a plethora of rum shops along the way. Make your Barbados experience authentic in one of the true outposts of the island. Book your rental car today. Remember, there’s no winter in Barbados!  

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