Post by mickthecactus on Dec 23, 2015 13:18:42 GMT
Lunchtime! we went to a working plantation, the Belmont Estate. The buffet restaurant there was superb but apparently owned by 7th Day Adventists so no alcohol! Here is a picture of my swordfish kebabs with a glass of water. You won't see that very often!
This is an African Tulip Tree and you can probably see the pouring rain in the background -
This was in the grounds and very pretty but I've no idea what it is -
From here we went to the sulphur springs which is an area of small gently bubbling "ponds". This turned out to be one of the funniest things I've seen when our fittest guy was picked on for a demonstration of the health properties of the mud. To be fair he was well up to it but she covered virtually every inch of him in this mud and the banter between them was hilarious.
This was the end of the days outing so we turned for home but this was where the weather turned totally pear shaped. It started to rain which got heavier and heavier and overnight became an enormous storm which flooded out our eating area but more importantly also a superb Spanish restaurant about 200 yards away (owned by a Venezuelan) and which only reopened on the day we left. This rain barely let up for the next 3 days and all cricket was cancelled.
The Caribs are extinct as a people but there are people in the islands with Carib (as well as African and some European and South Asian) ancestry. If you search "Carib ancestry" you will find several references.
Haitian friends here say that many of their compatriots have obvious Carib (as well as west and west-central African) features. The cheekbones in particular.
My, those Adventists take the teatotal business seriously! Here I've seen even halal restaurants that are "bring your own wine"...
This is a grackle who was a regular visitor each morning
And the goats in the field next door -
But here's the rain....
This is the National Stadium where we were due to play the Prime Minister's XI but when we arrived there was little chance of play as water was everywhere and within 30 minutes it was pouring again. Apparently November is the wettest month so why anybody should consider a cricket tour then is beyond me. The Stadium was built with Chinese money by the way.
After the downpour -
A final view of the lovely gardens where we stayed because now we are off to Barbados -
Gosh, Mick, that's a shame about the cricket being canceled and so much of your tour being curtailed because of the rain. You certainly managed to get some great pictures in spite of it, though. One of the nice side effects of being a plant person is all the pleasure provided by the vegetation, no matter what else goes wrong on a trip. We're looking forward to your Barbados adventures.
I'm pleased to say that the weather in Barbados was perfect so all matches were played.
We left Grenada in 2 parties, the teams taking a direct flight and the rest of us island hopping via St Vincent and Trinidad. One of the real pains is having to complete a lengthy landing form for both of us at every stop even though we didn't get off the plane! I suppose it makes work for somebody to do.
I'm afraid Barbados was nothing like as beautiful as Grenada being quite a flat island plus it has become very commercialised with most of the capital Bridgetown shops being given over to designer clothes and numerous jewellery and watch shops all designed to catch the cruise ship passengers. Plus our hotel was awful. But it wasn't all a disaster by any means.
We knew that it was a cheapie hotel, sponsored by Virgin, which specialized in groups (and there were more than 50 of us)but we weren't prepared for the mostly surly, miserable staff completely at odds with our Grenada hotel. After checking in we were given a key with no instructions as to where our room might be. Once we found it, it was reasonably clean but no hotel booklet giving any details, no tea/coffee making facilities, no iron and hardly any hot water. Breakfast was a bloody shambles every morning overseen by a tall miserable woman immediately named the Fuhrer whose job it was to ensure you didn't get any more than you were entitled to. The bar area couldn't be less welcoming and asking for a glass of wine meant the miserable bar tender on duty had to disappear for 5 minutes to find one, they never had change plus they closed it, bang, at 10.30 no matter who or how many might want a drink. Seems that actually making money didn't interest them in the slightest.
Post by mickthecactus on Jan 20, 2016 13:10:22 GMT
Cricket at last! A day/night game at the University of West Indies ground. When the floodlights came on and it was dark it was fascinating to watch the birds come out of the trees to catch moths.
It was somewhat bizarre to see this hen which seemed to live in the vegetation by the pavilion walking up and down with her chicks -
Saturday was the best day of the Barbados leg when we went on an all day trip on a catamaran. The crew really worked their socks off from start to finish and with the bar opening at 9.30 am a good time was had by all!
Everybody was given a chance to try scuba diving but it ended in a bit of a scuba jam -
This is the Sandy Lane beach which is the luxury area of Barbados and some swam to the beach after the boat moored up. Some of the girls from the Ladies team swam to a pontoon but got badly stung by jellyfish.
Cruise ship -
More cricket to watch - the Veterans team -
This is my leg but I show you this because of my shorts. I had to endure a public humiliation from our tour guide for the day as apparently camouflage is banned in Barbados - something to do with the prison service and he made sure everybody knew just how out of order I was. None of us knew that though -
Mick - looks like I wrote down the wrong Leonotis. Your photo is definitely nepetifolia which is the same as what we have here. Never seen any Leonotis Leonurus here. That's not to say there isn't any... I found this on google: "Leonurus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, naturalized in New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and much of North and South America."
Super report, Mick. Glad to see you finally got the promised cricket. Was the guide really rough on you about those shorts? Surely you weren't the first poor tourist to innocently make that mistake.
Great plant pictures. What is the last one in #40 -- is it a type of plumeria? I was glad to see the Leonotis, as I believe quite a long time ago Tod had identified it for me, but I'd forgotten the name. I think the one in your picture looks like L. menthifolia: www.fbts.com/leonotis-menthifolia.htmllink
Just for the record, I didn't discover bougainvillea until my family moved to California in 1967. The house we bought had wonderful purple bougainvillea in back, but my mother quickly became obsessed with the other colours as soon as she found out that they existed. She never managed to get any to grow at home, but when I took my parents to Kenya and Singapore, they were overwhelmed by the incredible varieties and how huge they were.
I think #40 is a Plumeria. The Bouganvillea bracts seemed exceptionally large here.
Anyhow, a postscript to my visit which I had forgotten.
When I was in Barbados I bought a local paper to read and there was an article about lettuce of all things. Apparently there was a shortage with all lettuce being imported from the USA. He was astounded by this and made a forceful point that with the wonderful weather and conditions that they have they should be self sufficient in lettuce and many other foodstuffs. And I have to say that in Barbados and Grenada I only ever saw one vegetable garden. I got the impression that they just couldn't be bothered and much preferred to hang about watching the world go by.