Yesterday dawned sunny and bright, just like every other day here in paradise. But before dawn I found myself awake at 4.25am and decided to have a swim in the pool which, by now, I consider to be deliciously warm. A far cry from my first experience of it.
Of course, at that time of the morning you don’t have to worry about onlookers, so I threw caution (and my bathers) to the wind …
Then it was back to bed after a towel dry, and I slept for another couple of hours before getting up for some more pool dipping (appropriate attired now) on and off during the morning.
Swimming was interspersed with grilling on a sun lounger. I’ve dropped the high protection sun cream in favour of a medium one now as I’m managing not to burn. Or is it because I’m being very careful not to grill for longer than 5-10 minutes at a time, and consequently I’m not grilling very much at all with all that slap on?
Throwing caution to the wind (a lovely, fairly constant, easterly breeze is a most welcome feature of Barbados) I took a walk down the street to explore the locality a little. This from someone who until recently was very wary of walking anywhere away from the sanctuary of home lest I hurt myself. If nothing else this week in Barbados has been a truly liberating experience, I’ve come to realise that I can indeed do more than I thought I was physically capable of just now.
I wasn’t out long, maybe 20 minutes, and I certainly felt the heat, but I enjoyed the stroll (as much as you can stroll in flipflops that is), and then back home again for another dip in that by now familiar pool.
Around 1pm we set off on the day’s tour, this time heading for the parish of St Lucy in the far north of the island. I joked that St Lucy is the coldest part of the island because it is closest to the north pole, but really it wasn’t anything of the sort. Apparently St Lucy is renowned for its country bumpkins as there is much agriculture up there and I suppose yes I did see quite a bit of evidence to that claim, although Barbados is rather notable for the lack of mass agriculture apart from sugar cane for rum production.
We stopped for lunch at a delightful beachside restaurant called The Fish Pot at Little Good Harbour on the north of the west coast. The view was faultless (see picture). From our table we had, for entertainment, a couple of fitties who swam out to the sunbathing pontoon – oh how I envied them – and I captured the lovely photograph just as a brightly-coloured dinghy sailed past the pontoon. I didn’t really notice her much, but I reckon I could pick him out in an identity parade in ten years time!
My camera, unfortunately, wouldn’t zoom quite well enough for me to share a close-up pic of the two fitties, so you’ll just have to use your imagination on this point. My camera is also playing up at the moment, I’m finding my pictures are often coming out blurry – much to my considerable annoyance.
The Fish Pot, as you may imagine, specialises in, er, fish! I’m not really a fish eater, indeed I’ve gone out of my way to avoid eating it for many years apart from the odd smoked salmon sandwich, etc. But back home TSM has got me into enjoying poached salmon, and fish pie, and various other bits. The Blessed Craig last year introduced me to whitebait (that, I can tell you, was something of a revelation).
And so, progressively, my piscine education has been extended. “What did you have for lunch?” I hear you ask. Well I rolled the boat out big time yesterday – a case of when in Rome do as the Romans. I went mad and ordered fresh lobster bisque (delicious beyond words) followed by grilled barracuda with a creole sauce and a side salad. The barracuda was very toothsome, I loved it! Philip says that red snapper is tasty too, so maybe that’s what I’ll have to have at our next meal out!
From Little Good Harbour we continued northwards to the northernmost tip of the island at Retreat, where there is a magnificent cave that has been ‘blown’ out by the sea over hundreds if not thousands of years.
The geology of Barbados is fascinating in that it is entirely made of ancient coral caused by a tectonic shift millennia ago. Unlike the other islands of the Caribbean which are volcanic in nature, Barbados does not have any dormant volcanoes, let an active one. Over the centuries the sea has gradually eroded much of the coral at the sea’s edge and in places one finds dramatic ‘tables’ of coral jutting out to see, or raggedy cliffs where the coral has been gouged away by the force of the seawater.
And in the case of the ‘Animal Flower Cave’ the sea has gradually washed out a magnificent subterranean cave which at low tide exposes some magnificent rock pools, some of which are deep enough to swim in. The cave’s name comes from the sea anemones found in the pools of the cave.
Apparently (I’m not sure how much I believe it) there was a huge storm around Christmas (so a month ago) and all the sea anemones got washed away, out to sea. So when I was there yesterday it was just a magnificent cave with some pools of water. I didn’t see anemones (or sea anemones for that matter)!
And then it was a leisurely meander back to Prospect for another evening by (and in) the hot tub. Dale the Bajan and Mark the Jamaican joined us for the evening again. It was pretty special watching the stars in the night sky whilst chatting with friends old and new. It was at this point I realised that on 24th January one is supposed to be cold, and I was anything but cold last night!
I retired early to bed last night, I’m not sleeping terribly well here. At first I thought it was the heat, but the aerial fan (topped up with aircon when heat is too oppressive) keeps me cool, or the bed which isn’t long enough for me, but last night I seemed to not notice the shortcomings of the bed at all. So who knows what the cause of the wakefulness is.
What’s on the agenda today? Well as already intimated in a comment I’ve left on yesterday’s posting, today I’m off out on my own (I feel brave enough now) to visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery on the outskirts of Bridgetown. And then I’ll make my way back by public bus which, I am reliably informed, is quite an experience. Quite what kind of experience I guess I’ll tell you about tomorrow morning!
I’m not sure whether a trip out is planned for later, but I hope so … there’s so much more to see and I can already see the end of my visit looming on Thursday.