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Mind the Gap.....

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Market Harborough
posts: 35
reviews: 2
Mind the Gap.....

We have just spent two lovely weeks in Barbados staying at the excellent Ocean 2.

The only down-side to the holiday was when we attempted to walk along the St Lawrence Gap. We were continually hassled by beggars, traders and random people trying to sell coconuts and aloe vera. It became so bad/intimidating that after the first four days we had to seek refuge with the local taxi drivers.

Has anyone else suffered from this?

Is it something the local Police/local authorities are aware of?

Am I expecting too much?

Exmouth England
posts: 627
reviews: 9
11. Re: Mind the Gap.....

I can only add to the several comments. I have never felt intimidated by vendors at The Gap. Have I been asked to buy things in the past - yes, have I been approached by people "trying" to get money from you - yes, but have I ever felt forced to buy or felt intimidated in any way - definitely not. As other have said, a polite no should suffice!! I am sorry that you felt this way and I do hope it has not put you off going to Barbados again. Why don't you try staying in Worthing next time!! :-)

Buzzards Bay...
posts: 923
reviews: 45
12. Re: Mind the Gap.....

The way I look at it I'm going to buy some jewelry for my wife and daughters anyway so it's my preference to buy from the street or beach vendors given that I'd rather support them vs a store. Given that thinking it just makes sense to buy within the first couple days and have my wife wear the jewelry for the duration of the vacation. I've never felt intimidated ever, but they can be an annoyance at times. It's not a knock on them, it's us. Sometimes we just want our privacy. We've found in regards to the jewelry vendors that they accept no very quickly when they can see my wife already wearing Bajan jewelry.

Buzzards Bay...
posts: 923
reviews: 45
13. Re: Mind the Gap.....

I can assure you that if I ever felt "intimidated" I wouldn't spend a dime. I've never seen a vendor in Barbados use intimidation tactics, nor have I ever seen a nasty vendor.

I'm actually curious as to whether these people get some sort of training via the government or schools in jewelry making and dealing with tourists? They are mostly very engaging and pleasant but much of the jewelry is similar. Also, many of these vendors look like they have staked out areas. Are they assigned? We saw a bit of a verbal altercation between vendors last year and it appeared to be over territory. It got quite nasty between them.

Durham, United...
posts: 225
reviews: 1
14. Re: Mind the Gap.....

"Carole911/EnnBeeZed – On the first four evenings walking the Gap, we saw a Police patrol car on three evenings. Why do you think that they deem it necessary to patrol the Gap?"

Of course they patrol the Gap - it is the main tourist area on the South Coast and one of the the main party areas on the whole island. They want people to feel safe there, and have a presence in case of any trouble but I'm certain it is not because of the vendors!

Edited: 11:48 am, June 15, 2012
Stevenage, United...
posts: 47
reviews: 1
15. Re: Mind the Gap.....

Thanks Carole911 I was just about to respond to that effect. Just to reiterate, it does seem very subjective because I don't tend to feel intimidated by a sarcastic comment, maybe irritated but never intimidated - it's far too strong a sentiment for me to use in that situation. I'd be intimidated by someone approaching me aggressively wielding a weapon but not someone making a flippant comment through "kissed teeth".

Just because I'm abroad I won't respond to things differently to the way I do at home. I've been approached by homeless people wanting change on the tube and Big Issue vendors on streets of east London and can't say I've felt at risk because when I do decline I do it politely.

New York City, New...
posts: 70
16. Re: Mind the Gap.....

There will always be some sort of gathering place for locals to make money in a heavily populated tourist area.

Coming through the airport in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico you have no choice but to be hassled by aggressive timeshare vendors - they try to grab you luggage while offering you a free ride to your hotel but it's all a forced timeshare scam. It's unavoidable.

As for the The Gap, if anyone feels uncomfortable in any slight way with the surroundings then avoid going back to that area. Barbados is big enough were you can go elsewhere besides returning to a spot and allowing it to sour a moment of your vacation time.

Edited: 7:50 am, June 16, 2012
New York City, New...
posts: 1,047
reviews: 15
17. Re: Mind the Gap.....

I would certainly second AnaMai's comment. (Boy, I wish that TA had "like" button (FaceBook style) or vote up/down buttons for commentary.)

I've travelled through the Gap for years and no, I have not felt intimidated. Moreover, I think the Gap is pretty mild as compared the aggressive pan handling that I've experienced in parts of Mexico and hustlers in China or South Africa. Consider it a part of the local flavor. If it's not your cup of tea, there are over 165 square miles in other parts of Barbados for your enjoyment.



Edited: 1:38 pm, June 16, 2012
Nashua, New...
posts: 16
18. Re: Mind the Gap.....

When was the last time you walked the gap?

posts: 14
19. Re: Mind the Gap.....

I was walking down the gap and some guy just starting rubbing my arms down with a sliced aloe vera plant for like 5 seconds. put all the pulp in an empty rum bottle, gave it to me, then said that'll be $12 US. I was like, "WAIT WHAT????" this entire aloe scam/pitch lasted at most 30 seconds.

I lied and said I didn't have any US dollars and showed him that I only had 15 barbados dollars ($7.50 US). He accepted that.

Hanover, Canada
posts: 827
reviews: 2
20. Re: Mind the Gap.....

Price has come down Kamaria. Wife and I were rubbed with aloe, prob same fellow, and told $50 Barbados for the mickey rum bottle filled with aloe juice/gel. We bought it because we would have felt bad having let him spend about 10 minutes rubbing the stuff on our legs. I had no idea that he was going to charge that much. My guess is that the price is higher the longer he spends on your legs. We ended up leaving the bottle in Barbados because it smelled like raw onions.

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