We all see the same sun.......................
Trip Start Jan 20, 2014
22Trip End Feb 24, 2014
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The guide on the tour today is Gary, a man with a great sense of humour and a lot of knowledge about the island. He introduced our driver Ozzie and said he was a good driver with a PHD, it sounded impressive to me but the explanation was that he a good 'pot hole dodger’ apparently very necessary with these road that are full of them. A few more good puns about the positives and negatives of such a busy town and we were at the Botanical Gardens, the most established gardens in the Caribbean is the claim. They are indeed impressive, the varieties of hibiscus ranged from a very pale yellow to a deep red. There were archways of buttercups, not like ours but huge yellow blooms. An unusual plant was a ‘cannonball tree’ which bore the most unusual and fragrant flowers that only last for a day
Gary also showed us the cinnamon tree and how the bark was used to make this spice. Then there was the nutmeg tree with fruits not unlike conkers. Once out of their shell you could see the mace that is used in self defence sprays. Then the nutmeg itself inside. We saw a whistling pine tree but there was not enough breeze to make it whistle.
The gardens also house a parrot house where a breeding programme is in force to increase the number of parrots native to this island.
The island itself is very fertile and is still farmed by hand on the steep slopes in terraces not unlike Madeira. The potholed road rise up and up in ever increasing steep bends but the view from the top was spectacular across the valley and down to the sea. Through the town of arches and its chaotic traffic made worse by being market day, our driver took us to a super beach where we had a rum punch and enjoyed the lovely sandy beach for a while before returning to the ship.
All in all a splendid trip capped off with a Caribbean party on board complete with local steel band.
The party atmosphere was great not to mention the rum punch. Well in the home of Bob Marley the party has to be good. Reggae Reggae.