A Travellerspoint blog

December 1996

Last Days

Nature


View Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday December 1, 1996

I knew that there was a free guided walk on Sunday, so we drove around and attempted to find it without success. We had the Traditional Bajan Feast & Dessert Buffet Sundays (US$22.50-25.00). Children under 10 half price. Bajan food can include such typical dishes as pumpkin fritters, spinach cake, pickled breadfruit, fried flying fish, roast chicken, pepper-pot stew, and fried okra and eggplant and coconut pie.

The original information from the hotel said that there was a guided walk along the waterfront which was included. So I asked about it. But the hotel owner said that it was not included in the rate that we paid. So we paid to do that.
Bob ahead of me on the nature walk

Bob ahead of me on the nature walk


River flows into the ocean

River flows into the ocean

Tide Pools

Tide Pools


Other than that, we had a relaxing Sunday

Expenses
Breakfast tip B$2.00
Nature Walk (included) tip B$8.00
Bajan buffet brunch at Edgewater for two B$86.40
phone call $B0.25
Gas for the car B$5.00

Monday 2 December 1996
Today, we drove up to the northernmost part of Barbados (St. Lucy Parish) to visit the Animal Flower Caves The land around the Animal Flower Caves (which are named for the sea anemones that live in the caves) once produced sugar cane - it was called the Animal Flower Plantation. It is barren now. The scenery around the Animal Flower Caves is spectacular. I understand that the caves are featured in some Billy Ocean videos. You can walk along the edge and see the ruggedly-carved bay of this awesome coast for free. It makes a nice place for a picnic lunch on a warm day. (This is where some of the individual guided tours stop for a picnic.) When we visited there were windmills for producing electrical power near here, but they had never been hooked up. What a waste.
Standing on the cliffs looking at the waves - Barbados

Standing on the cliffs looking at the waves - Barbados

Waves receding off the cliff - Animal Flower Cave

Waves receding off the cliff - Animal Flower Cave

Looking down at the rocks - Barbados

Looking down at the rocks - Barbados

View along the cliffs in the other direction - Barbados

View along the cliffs in the other direction - Barbados

Looking down at the water washing back into the sea

Looking down at the water washing back into the sea


Barbados is rising, so the caves were once at sea level, and are now about 6 feet above sea level. The steps down into the cave were built in 1912. There is a small house with a bar/restaurant near the caves. We were told we had to pay a guide a fee to go through the caves, and there was no one available at that moment, so we bought sandwiches at the bar there and took them outside to eat. The Animal Flowers are anemones. Sea Anemones are animals which look like flowers. They have a fleshy 'stalk' and at the top lots of tentacles which look like petals. If you touch the tentacles and you are a small fish or animal, the tentacles will sting and the sea anemone will eat you. If you are a big animal, the sea anemone will pull its tentacles in and become just an uninteresting lump.

Looking out through an opening to the sea

Looking out through an opening to the sea


When the guide took us through the cave (you go down a lot of steps into the caves) he didn't show us any anemones, so I feel I paid my money and didn't get the moneys worth. It may be that we didn't get a good guide because it was the off season. Many people think these caves are really wonderful. There are supposed to be pools deep enough to swim in. (I understand the water is cold.) So be sure your guide is really good and ask what you will see before you pay your money. Also try to go on a relatively calm day, because I am told that the anemones will not come out and show themselves if the sea is rough.

Just standing on the point and watching the waves is not only free, but is a real photo opportunity. While I don't think the Animal Flower Caves themselves are exactly as advertised, the coast around them is worth visiting if you have time

I wanted to go snorkeling - I had borrowed my daughters underwater camera. So after we had been up to the Animal Flower Caves, we drove along the west coast to Folkestone Park. About one mile north of Holetown is the government-run Folkestone Marine Park. This is basically an underwater park with exhibits, and beach facilities. I was told that there was an underwater trail there. I was also told that it had been destroyed in the last hurricane. Neither the people in the gift shop or the folks at the aquarium knew anything about the underwater trail, and I never found it. It was probably out farther than I went. Lots of folks go snorkeling off of boats - a combo of a booze cruise and a snorkeling cruise.

The Barbados website says:

Snorkelers will prefer to swim around the inshore reef found in the Recreational Zone of the Park. This reef is found about one-third of a mile offshore and is home to numerous fish and other marine life, including sea anemones, sea lilies, corals and sponges.

Folkestone has a good beach, along with fresh water showers. I wasn't sure whether we were expected to tip the changing room attendants or not. When we were there you had to bring your own snorkeling equipment, towels etc. I had not been snorkeling before this for some time, and did not know what good snorkeling was. While we did see some fish, the snorkeling there is not wonderful,
Snorkeling picture - Folkestone Park

Snorkeling picture - Folkestone Park

1447738-Snorkeling_photo_Barbados.jpg
or at least was not when we were there. Before we went snorkeling, we went through the interpretive center and museum with marine and coastal environment displays, exhibits of the island’s fishing industry and a salt water aquarium. I also did a little shopping at the souvenir shop.

When we were driving, we would come to an intersection and there would be directional signs pointing to various places. And there would also be men there who would shout at us offering to tell us the direction to go. We would ignore them and pick a direction and go there. We found that some of the signs were wrong. There was one for the Edgewater Inn at an intersection which pointed left and by this time, I knew that the Inn was to the right. I asked about this and they said that they ran out of signs the pointed the right direction.

Expenses
Breakfast tip B$2.00
Gas - 9.7 liters B$15.00
Animal Flower Cave entrance B$5.00@ plus B$2.50 tip
Drinks for lunch B$5.00@
Small leather purse for gift at Folkestone B$6.00
Admission Folkestone and tip B$3.00

Tuesday 3 December 1996 Since Barbados is an island, there are basically only two ways to get to the island - by plane or by boat. We came by plane this time. So we drove to the airport in the rain. We left the car in their lot and took an early flight home.
Airport early in the morning

Airport early in the morning


Parking at Grantley Airport B$0.75
Departure tax for two B$50.00

Gifts bought at duty free shop

  • B$2.25 hot sauce
  • B$24.00 tie

Sequel

Bob had always wanted to go to the Virgin Islands so in February 1997 we chartered a sailboat in the Virgin Islands, and we chartered a different boat with the same crew for Thanksgiving. Bob loved the boat and we started boat shopping.

In February 1998, we went to to Belize so I could scuba dive on the great reef there.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:00 Archived in Barbados Tagged animals Comments (0)