Today is not only Sunday, something that was very evident by the absence of heavy transport and the sheer volume of vehicles parked outside churches across the island; but also my induction into the scenery that Barbados has on show. I’m not going to pretend that the 4×4 offered the best viewing platform for photographic evidence, but it did get me to places I wouldn’t have seen.
The tour guide was Ian, a Bajan, a philosopher, a regular charmer…as one mother of two children soon found out. Ian had a manner about him who, despite his laid back appearance, clearly knew his country inside out, could tell a story from start to finish (with plenty of diversions en route), and carried with him an enormous container of rum punch.
Our first stop was a reminder of Barbados’ colonial past…the Lion representing the Crown and the ball the world. However, of much greater interest were the more colourful and more pleasing roadside carvings that followed…
Much of the tour took us through sugar cane plantations, and Ian identified the good cane from bad, and explained the process of production. It was interesting to know that Bajans eat little beef (much to the disquiet of the McDonalds Corporation who have pulled out of the island), and that bananas are more commonly used for their medicinal purposes. Oh, and sheep look like goats! I would not have believed this if I hadn’t remembered eating black belly lamb last night before today encountering a black belly sheep…that lookEd like a goat!
Staying on the warmer, calmer south western coast, I was interested to see the more ferocious Atlantic. As Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean (or Kar-rib-ian as my American compatriots exuded), and thus the next direct landfall is that bunion on the western coast of Africa. This was impressive.