Monday, 24 September 2018

Four years ago

December 16, 1955 - September 22, 2014
Four years went away.....missing you so very much.
The most doting dad in the world.
I took this photo of him playing airplane with Nat...lying there contentedly lifting her above his head repeatedly while she laughed and cooed...their bond unbreakable.
We gathered the prettiest blooms from the garden and went to his grave on Saturday....our family chain complete for those moments we stood there talking to him....he will always be in our hearts.

Bathsheba - A Relaxing Weekend Part 5 - Our Last Day

May 1st...May Day bank holiday...and here I was saying goodbye to home for the last three days.
We had to take one last long morning stroll.

The early light of dawn was waking up the seashore for a new day.
Wake up's a new day.
Another day of life....another day to be truly thankful for.
New clouds for a new day
New bracing breezes and fresh air for a new day.
Here comes the sun.
The sun rises in the east and we were greeting the first rays of sunshine for the day on our beautiful island.
Others were also out enjoying this beautiful early morning....a group of folks on a Fund Raising Walk were fervently walking to get to their intended destination before the sun got too hot.
Somehow these pretty plants are doing well in the harsh salty air.

Despite the sargassum seaweed it was still so beautiful.
Soon it was time to say goodbye.
We had decided that we would take the 10am bus to Speightstown and then make our way home from there.

As we waited at the bus stop, the kids were preparing the grass patch ready for a game of cricket. They took turns in pushing the heavy grass roller.
With such a lovely backdrop I would have been hitting all sixes and making many runs during that game.

Suddenly a feeble looking beggar approached me for some change which I willingly gave him.
In an instant he was off running and hurriedly ran back to the shop where I presumed he would buy something to eat.  Others waiting at the bus stop informed me that he may have been hungry but not for food....if I had only known.
I just can't get enough of this view....wish I didn't have to leave it behind.

Leaving our home away from home and our lovely host Gene Marva behind made us a bit sad.
It was such an incredible relaxing weekend, and it had went by so quickly.
One thing I know for sure.........
We will be back!!!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Bathsheba - A Relaxing Weekend Part 4 - the Soup Bowl

Wow after such a tasty lunch and our long morning stroll, we had to take an afternoon siesta to restore our energy for our afternoon trek.
After walking to the top of the hill which takes you to the Soup Bowl that morning, we decided to walk to the Soup Bowl that afternoon.

 Leaving the apartment we once again walked down the hill passing this outcrop of landscaped rock.
I would have loved to climb it but my girlfriend didn't think I should attempt it....I decided to listen to her.
 We passed the famous Bathsheba Mushroom Rock.
 More lovely beach views
 Soon we were at the top of the hill and on our way to visit the Soup Bowl - the surfer's dream spot.
On our way down the hill to the Soup Bowl.
 Bathsheba Cottage
Our first glimpse of the Soup Bowl.
I know you are wondering what is this Soup Bowl I am talking about. 
Soup Bowl is the name given to the infamous surfing spot at Bathsheba....our island's claim to wave fame.
Barbados, as I have mentioned before is the outermost island in the Caribbean island chain. 
This idyllic position means that waves traveling thousands of miles across the open Atlantic Ocean finally unload all their power generated during their long unobstructed journey....breaking on the coral reefs of the east coast....Bathsheba is that ideal spot.
These long traveled waves pick up the groundswells and a good amount of trade wind swell and crash on to the east coast of the island.
Unlike our sister islands, Barbados has surf  all year long, peaking from November through June.
Soup Bowl is the crown jewel of all surfing on the island and is the ideal spot for experienced surfers....local and visitors alike.
The wave at the Soup Bowl is a sweet surfing holds huge perfect waves that break hard and perfect over the shallow reef and has been featured in countless surf films.
Soup Bowl is the major surfing spot on the island and hosts regular local and international surfing competitions.  
Kelly Slater a world champion surfer has called it one of his favorite waves. 
“ I've been going for over 20 years, and I’d put Soup Bowl as one of the top three waves in the world,” 
“It’s got a really good curve and allows all sorts of maneuvers and airs."  
 The Soup Bowl delivers!!! 
 More red flags posted on the beach but the surfers at the Soup Bowl don't seem to pay them any attention.
They love the thrill of conquering those raw unkempt waves.

A surfer's paradise.
Steady big rollers cruising in from the open Atlantic Ocean.
Now for some surfer's talk:  "Best on an incoming medium tide with a North swell, this reefy break can get crowded on good days. Paddle out during smaller waves or less than ideal conditions and you can find some fun, peaky surf almost all to yourself. Soup Bowl is known to change quickly from blown out to glassy at anytime of day".

Round House
Oceanfront Inn and Restaurant overlooks the Soup Bowl

Soup Bowl waves

Climbing this hill would have taken us to Edgewater Hotel but we decided to turn back as it was getting late.

Soup Bowl waves in all their glory

Waves for seasoned surfers.

The neighbourhood is filled with many guest houses and local residences.

Leaving Soup Bowl behind.
Headed back along the coast to our apartment.
The sun was retiring for the day.

The beach was littered with lovely pebbles and gorgeous coral stones

We collected a few treasures as we walked along the shore.

And so ended another day of soul renewal.

Soup Bowl live cam here.
Surf Forecast information can be obtained here.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Bathsheba - A Relaxing Weekend Part 3

Monday morning of Day 3 dawned bright and early and we were ready to take on the day after a quick breakfast.
It was a regular working day so the hustle and bustle of the town was made up mostly of folks hustling to get to work.
We decided to take the same path along the shore that we had explored the first evening, but this time we would walk the entire route.
Bathsheba is situated between two hills and you can use either hill to descend into the town.

Waking up to this incredible beauty was a blessing.

We walked and chatted and enjoyed our surroundings in a surreal way.
How was it possible to have all this beauty around us and not give it a second thought?

 After strolling for a while we emerged from the well trodden path on to a gravel dirt road and found ourselves in the little fishing village of Tent Bay.

Suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by several colourful fishing boats which were moored there and it was as if we had stepped into another dimension.
We took in the scenery of this  rugged stretch of "beach" with its rustic charm in awe.
Tent Bay is situated between Bathsheba and Cattlewash in the north and Martin's Bay and Congor Bay in the south.

Early morning sunrise over Tent Bay

 For all of us after  a hard life's work....the graveyard.
 The boat ramp

 The fish market was closed but hopefully next time we visit it will be bustling with activity.

The boatyard operations.

We continued our walk along this rugged beach of mostly small boulders - very hard to take our gaze from the captivating beauty before us.

Where did we find ourselves?  At the back entrance to The Atlantis Hotel.

The back entrance to the hotel led us up some stone steps where we immediately found ourselves in the main courtyard.
The Atlantis Hotel.
Tent Bay, St. Joseph, Barbados 
"The Perfect Place to get Windswept"
The Atlantis Hotel is one of the island's oldest hotels and is a famous landmark in the area.
This lovely Victorian hotel was refurbished several years ago and is now classed as a boutique hotel.

Sitting on top of the hill it commands a breathtaking view over the Atlantic Ocean with its waves breaking below accompanied by persistent breezes.

My girlfriend Eureka asking about Pumpkin Fritters at the Front Desk.

My mum told me many stories of her spending holidays and off days as a student nurse at this lovely hotel where she was able to get the rest she needed after working selflessly for many long hours caring for her patients at the hospital.

Mum loved the hotel so much that as children we all often dined at the traditional Sunday Bajan Buffet Lunch - a lovely spread of authentic Bajan/Caribbean cuisine with local fresh foods prepared by talented chefs.
The food was always five stars and I remember having to wait for long periods of time sometimes to be seated and watching and smiling as the winds blew many a neatly folded napkin from the tables.
The buffet was very popular with locals and visitors alike and the sumptuous items on the menu are worth the drive to the east coast.
The tradition continues to this day....the Sunday buffet lunch at Atlantis is not to be missed and should be included on your bucket list.

Back in the older days there was a train line that ran from Bridgetown to the parish of St.Andrew transporting sugar cane and passengers.

The twenty four mile long railway mostly followed the scenic coastal route  and must have been a pleasure for the passengers who enjoyed views of the countryside and the beautiful shoreline on the trip.
One of the scheduled train stops was at the entrance to the Atlantis Hotel.
Today there is an annual great train hike that follows the railway route (nothing remains of the structure) which Dr. Colin Hudson was instrumental in creating after a challenge to walk the entire length of the old train route in one day. He was successful and now many years after his passing the hike is respectfully known as"The Colin Hudson Great Train Hike"

Leaving The Atlantis Hotel behind, we started retracing our steps along the shore.
Wild vegetation that manages to survive despite being bashed by the bracing winds every day.

Shallow pools for wading closer to shore are safer along the Bathsheba shore.

Similar to other beaches along the east coast of Barbados, there are strong currents and undertows, and recreational swimming is not recommended.

Retracing our steps along the shore path.
The early morning "after breakfast" walk was invigorating...we retraced our steps to the apartment and dropped off our collection of beach treasures and headed back out to investigate the other side of the village.

Now we were walking through the village.
Sea Side Bar

Picture perfect postcard shot of Bathsheba.

Little chattel houses nestled between the trees.

Flags on the beach indicate water conditions.
Red flags on the beach means DANGER Beware.
Red flags are used as warnings when you should be most cautious venturing into the water or not at all. 

St. Aidan's Anglican Church

We saw these three palm trees in the distance at the top of the other hill and decided to walk up to "The Trinity".
Benches are located in strategic spots for the best possible views of the beach.
"The Trinity"

The wave crests in the brilliant sunshine look like silvery strands of ribbon.

Looking towards The Soup renowned surfer's paradise.

The top of the other hill that takes you down to Bathsheba below.

We walked back along the sand being careful to avoid the Sargassum seaweed.

After two long strolls we were weary and famished....the bracing salt air had built up a ravenous appetite in both of us... it was definitely time for lunch
We headed back to the apartment, dropped off our beach treasures and made our way to the nearest restaurant for lunch.

We had prepared several frozen meals and brought with us but we had agreed to have lunch at least once at a restaurant during our stay.

Highly recommended by our host, we decided to visit Sandra at The Seaside Bar and ordered what else?  Two Fish lunches.
Everything is prepared fresh so we waited until the fish (marlin was my choice) was fried to perfection and placed in a take away container.

Marlin steak lunch served with a stir fry veggie rice and a side of cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

We had a good look around while we waited on our meal to be prepared.
Our island is only 166 square miles  but I believe there is a local bar/rum shop for every corner.

 The Seaside Bar did not was fully stocked with liquor for all tastes.
 Liquor and beer and more liquor and more's a good thing I don't drink hard liquor...a drunkard would be happy here for sure.
Patrons were outside on the patio enjoying cold beers, laughing and talking animatedly while soaking up the sunshine.
 Nostalgic photos of yesteryear were displayed on the walls inside the bar.....
 .....including one of the old train line.

We headed back to the apartment to enjoy our meal which was tasty and filling.
That food 'went down good" as we say here.  "It went down licking".

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