A Knight’s Tale (128: Waiting On Barbados, Part 1)

During the few days waiting for Sam to arrive in Port St Charles, Barbados, and afterwards, I took the opportunity to roam the Island with my camera.

Jessica, Louisa, and I began our stay in an hotel on the southern tip of the island, some miles from the finishing point, but soon transferred to join Chris, Frances, and Fiona in one in the luxurious developing holiday playground.

Coconut seller 5.04

This area presented a stark contrast to how the rest of the inhabitants of Barbados lived. Our hotel was surrounded by a compound patrolled by armed guards to keep out people like a coconut seller seated on the wall outside. His produce looked unappetising and he charged fairly optimistic prices.

Young woman against spray  5.04 002
Youn woman against spray 5.04 003
Young woman against spray 5.04 001

Some distance away, a young woman, seated on a rugged outcrop gazing out to sea, was persuaded to rise to her feet.


Port St Charles (Speightstown on the map) lies on the Caribbean Sea to the north west of the Island. To the east storms the Atlantic ocean. The two bodies of water meet at the northern tip of the Island. Rowers need to navigate this point with precision. Too wide and the current would would carry them to Cuba, too near and they would be smashed on these rocks. The competitors rowed in pairs or solo. One of the pairs hit the rocks, and had to be rescued.

Caribbean Sea 5.04 002
Caribbean Sea 5.04 005
Caribbean 5.04 006
Caribbean 5.04 009

These seascapes are of the more gentle Caribbean.

Much less inviting was the dark, violent, Atlantic that, on the last couple of days, swept my son so fast towards his final destination that he dropped his anchor to slow himself down in order to arrive in daylight. Not for him, Cuba or the rocks.

Meanwhile, I traversed the island.

Flowering cacti

Cacti flowered profusely;

Unknown plant

I learned later that this is a calotropis;


this is an hibiscus;


bougainvillea grows everywhere on the island;


as do coconuts.


A lone stork stands out from the long grass by the sea,

Homes on coastline

on the coast of which expensive holiday homes contrast with

Chattel houses

the traditional wooden chattel houses.


I was surprised to see a horse lurking in the hedgerow, but have since learned that racing is a popular pastime, dating from the colonial years.


This is possibly a grackle, or a Barbadian Black Bird.

Zenaida dove 5.04 02

The iridescent blue tinge on the neck of the Zenaida dove is intriguing.

Rusty drum

I expect there were plans for this rusting drum.

Succulent graffiti 1
Succulent graffiti 2
Succulent graffiti 3

I have seen graffiti in many forms, but only on Barbados has it been carved into succulents.


  1. We have the same hibiscus, it is considered the original one. We make rasam from its petals. Many soak the petals in water for some time and drink. It has medicinal properties. We call calotropis ‘Ekke’ in Kannada. It too has medicinal properties. I too am seeing such graffiti for the first time 🙂 Thanks for sharing the photos.

  2. These are wonderful photos, Derrick. How long ago did you take this trip? What was the aftermath of the beautiful photo of the woman standing up on the rock with the wave splashed up behind her? Was she drenched? That is an especially wonderful shot. Thanks for sharing.

      1. I was on pebble beach–a protected area full of gorgeous sea-smoothed pebbles that have washed up over the years–and a bus load of tourists drove up. A man went out to look at the tidepools and then got up on a huge rock above them and commenced to smoke a number of cigarettes, only to toss his butts into the tidepools. I was about to go up and say something to him as a huge wave came up and completely engulfed him, head to toe. I loved it. The sea itself invoked the punishment!!!

  3. Lovely pictures. I have been to Barbados and liked it much better than Haiti or Jamaica. Not as many panhandlers or entrepreneurs, whatever you prefer to call them.

  4. Lovely pictures. I have been to Barbados and liked it much better than Haiti or Jamaica. Not as many panhandlers or entrepreneurs, whatever you prefer to call them.

  5. I found several familiar things in your pictures: large waves, hibiscus, bougainvillea, prickly pears and – sadly – the way wealthy people build in beautiful places and then shun the local population. Equally sad is the graffiti carved into large leaves and trees in popular places.

  6. Went to Barbados many years ago on a tennis holiday with Sue Barker – lovely lady. We were staying in a hotel next to Sandy Lane but spent most of our time at the latter. It looks better in your photos than my memories.

  7. I’ve never seen graffiti carved into succulents either! The seascapes are gorgeous. As much as I like them all, I have to say the one with the stork is my favorite.

  8. What beauty you captured! What a lovely place to travel!
    I so enjoy the bougainvillea…we have it here! Cool seeing cacti and coconuts!
    The lone young woman on the outcrop photo and the lone stork photo are my faves!
    I don’t like seeing the succulent graffiti! UGHS! 🙁 Does it hurt the plants greatly to carve them? Or do they seem to live on okay. ?
    For many years we lived less than 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean…to spend time there at the beach was such a joy! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  9. Beautiful seascapes. I love those blues. Thank you for presenting the contrasting cultures for the sake of truthfulness.

  10. You have captured the most symbolic pictures for the island nation. It reminds me of the remarkable novel by V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas, set in Trinidad. Those graffitis on succulent leaves are surely unique.

  11. I’ve never thought that the border exist and visible on the water. However by the time of visiting Dominican Republic the local man showed and explained where to see the border between Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Surprisingly it was so obvious.
    Beautiful set of travel pictures!

  12. Great post, Derrick! Wonderful pictures and the writing was both descriptive and informative, giving a snapshot of an area that I really don’t know that much about. Seems like a world away from Maine. And, wow, the navigation seems tricky. Sam was right to drop anchor. Neither Cuba nor the rocks seems like a good choice.

  13. I am glad Sam dropped anchor and waited out the night. The sea takes no prisoners. The graffiti in the succulents was interesting. I suppose people leave their marks wherever, and on whatever, they can. 🙂

    Have you ever heard Tom Rush’s song “Joshua Gone Barbados”? I think it is from 1966.

    1. Thank you very much, Lavinia. The video was unavailable, but I found it on YouTube and am very pleased I persevered. The next few Barbados episodes are relevant.

  14. I love the hibiscus and bougainvillea. It reminds me of when I was in Dubai and had them in the garden. Beautiful flowers indeed. The ocean looks particularly unfriendly and agitated.

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