The morning of December 14th saw us heading into the Bridgetown port, Barbados. The locals mostly paid us no mind . . .
It looked as if our room would be facing the harbor and Bridgtown, but somewhere between me snapping the above shots and getting ready for breakfast, the ship had actually backed into it’s mooring, and upon opening the cabin’s curtains, our view was seaward.
Two boats were anchored off-shore, and another cruise ship was coming in . . . the Carnival Cruises Eclipse.
We had to get ready for our excursion, so we did not watch it come in . . . too busy eating, you see.
By the way, many people forget . . . well, OK, me; I often forget this resource; the CIA World Factbook. The link will take you to the entries for Central America and the Caribbean.
Anyway, the excursions were once again mostly sold out. We took one that was open (the second one on the Excursions listing, only we hit the sights in reverse order). Also, this time we ended up in a larger bus . . . with curtains and high seats, and we had a pretty bad seat. I have a shot later showing what I could see out — not much. Consequently, not many photos from inside the bus.
The first stop was the Highland Adventure Center . . . not sure what was offered in way of adventure. Basically, we were on a hill, and we could look out a ways.
Everyone dutifully got off the bus and snapped photos. The views quickly became uninteresting . . .
. . . and I concentrated, instead, on the flora . . .
By the way, I’m going to mix in some of the Samsung Note II photos from the original in-situ Barbados post (HERE), primarily for comparison to the Nikon, but also because there was not that much overlap between the two, and also because I can now show them larger.
For instance, here’s the same flower, showing what looks like the head of some kind of alien, as snapped by the phone camera.
In some instances one is hard-pressed to tell the difference unless viewing the original. Here’s one more from the phone.
And here are a few more from the Nikon.
Aside the flora, I also looked at the fauna . . .
By the way, as usual, you can click on any photo to open a larger version in another window or tab. You can also see the full-size original in SmugMug HERE.
So, birds . . . the blackbirds are probably Carib Grackles, or some other type of grackle.
The other bird I recognized as a flycatcher, and it reminded me of a Kingfisher . . . it is the Gray Kingbird . There are a few more shots in the SmugMug gallery, but they are mostly like these as it would not let me get too close.
The grackle, on the other hand, did not care about the old guy with a camera following it around.
The place is beautiful. Particularly striking, the mushroom-shaped rocks. Apparently the waves erode the base of the rocks, and they eventually topple . . . and the wave start over . As I mentioned in my original post (HERE – by the way, because of issues with the crappy WordPress app for Android, the Barbados in-situ entry was split into five different short posts), we only had 15 minutes or so at the place which, when accounting for loading and unloading, translates to a tad under 10 minutes. If you read my original posts, I was less than charitable in my description of some things and some people . . . distance, both physical and in time, has only softened me a tad.
These were the shots I took with the phone . . .
This next one was the last shot I took, and I wish I would have seen this composition while I had the camera with the wide-angle lens instead of the telephoto lens. I was pressed for time (they were already boarding), so I hurried and used the phone.
Not a bad photo, but if you look at it at full resolution, the details are not there . . . Anyway, these next are the photos shot with the Nikon.
These are impressive rocks . . .
. . . and it’s an impressive shoreline . . .
I did take a couple of panorama shots (individual shots intended to be stitched into panoramas) . . .
Not super-impressive because of the haze from the surf spray, but here’s a few close-ups, including some humans for scale . . .
This area hosts surfing competitions (and it’s also very dangerous to swim because of the undertow).
I watched them for a few minutes even as the clock was ticking down to boarding-the-crappy-bus-time.
The last shot to me looks weird . . . as if there’s all of a sudden an extra leg up in the air. It took me a few moments to think which position would result in the woman’s head and leg being where they ended up; even then, she’s either taller than she appears, or her leg came off.
OK, maybe just tall since her leg appears to still be attached.
One last shot of the waves . . .
Before I go on, I should perhaps make a couple of observations about Barbados. The country looks to have it’s shit together, at least in comparison to the other islands; except for maybe St. Thomas (but that’s US territory).
The people were not as pushy, either on the island proper or the dock areas. Our guide and driver were relaxed, and you did not get the idea their main preoccupation was to relieve tourists of whatever cash they could (legally, of course). Now, I’ve not studied the area, but I thought perhaps it came from having gained independence in 1966 (fifteen years before Antigua, and 13 years before St. Lucia). Or, it could be that it is one of the few islands that was under continuous rule of only one Nation (British rule). Or, perhaps it’s because George Washington slept here.
Whatever the reason — perhaps the famous rum they produce here — we got a different vibe from our experience on the other islands; more relaxed, less predatory.
Oh, I promised a shot from inside the bus . . . there are a few more in the previous posts, but really nothing worth showing here other than as an example for a very poorly designed tour bus.
That’s a poinsettia tree . . . apparently, if you don’t plant it in a pot and then throw it away after x-mas is over, the thing grows into a rather large tree.
Anyway, the Barbados is a Parliamentary Democracy, with each Parish having votes depending on their population. Bathsheba is located in St. John’s Parish, and we were heading up to St. John Parish Church.
It’s a fine example of a Gothic style church. The original church was destroyed by fire, and then rebuilt. That one was destroyed by a hurricane (despite Barbados being located below the hurricane belt). Obviously the people paid no mind to their angry and spiteful god, and in a rare sign of defiance, built the current structure in 1836. Apparently this version is god-proof, or has been for nearly 180 years.
There was a service going on, so I respectfully walked around outside while people had themselves some one-way interaction with their imaginary friend.
I’m going to mix Nikon and Phone photos since as far as this post goes, they will look pretty close.
The details of the building are interesting (more photos in the Smugmug Gallery than what I show here).
The place looks like it could use a little TLC, but I suppose so will I if I make it to 180.
I sound like I make fun of it, but I like churches . . . as man-made structures of historical significance.
The church is located on a cliff, and you can look down at the beach we had just left.
I noticed the service had broken up . . .
but I opted to continue making my way to the cemetery in back.
Apparently there are some famous people buried here . . .
I made my way to the sundial . . . for reasons I don’t fully understand, it’s mentioned as a point of interest.
Mostly, I was interested in various views of the church itself . . . and the fact they too had what looked like the White Tree of Gondor . . .
I tried for an artistic shot . . .
. . . but the composition is all wrong.
Besides, the church was more interesting . . .
I wanted to capture more details, but time was running out, and I still wanted to see the inside, so I rushed these shots.
Some of the people were already going back to the bus, despite having another 8 minutes left. Still, I did not want to be the last one on the bus and get dirty looks from idio . . . people who could not tell time.
I did not have time to work out the proper exposure, so I cranked the ISO to 3200 and set the camera on “Program”. I then stepped in the church and snapped away like crazy with both the Nikon and the phone (not at the same time).
And then ran back to the bus, beating one other couple there. I gave them dirty looks as they got on . . . but they still had four minutes left on our allotted time there.
We left the place, and headed back to the ship. We showered, replenished our famished bodies (eating extra for good measure), and then went on deck to look at the other ships.
Yup, not done yet . . . I’m making up for the long post I had written and that the WordPress app chewed up and spit into the ocean, never to be seen again (why there are five posts about Barbados made in-situ using the phone).
Anyway . . . ships. There were three moored in port . . . we already know the Eclipse.
We also had the Thomson Celebration . . .
And the AIDA Luna . . .
Here’s what the Nikon shots of those ships look like . . .
Here are two panorama shots . . . first from the phone . . .
. . . and then from the Nikon . . .
Those interested can go to the full size shots in SmugMug to see more detail and the difference between the two.
As we waited for departure, I snapped a few photos of happy people . . .
. . . and of the bus I wish we would have ridden in (behind the tug) . . .
Look at those nice big windows with no curtains!
It was nearing departure time, and a pilot boat came up along side before heading out ahead of us (we were not yet moving).
Then the tug came nosing around . . .
Notice I dropped down to a lower deck . . . I wanted to see what the heck the tug was going to do since, as I explained in previous posts, the ship can maneuver in and out of tight spots on its own.
The tug did nothing but float out there a few hundred feet from the ship, but I did get some nice shots of the ships.
That’s an interesting glass feature in the middle of the boat. It had me curious to see what it looked like from the other side.
Also got me a good look at the tug . . .
In short order we moved sideways and started to head out. We decided our spot on the lower deck at the very back of the boat was a good place to be.
Got me a panorama of the Luna . . .
. . . and as we slid past the Eclipse, I got me a few of their passengers looking on . . .
And then we were past the entrance to the small harbor.
I snapped a few more photos as we picked up speed . . .
I mentioned we were at the back of the boat on the lowest deck passengers are allowed . . . we had the place to ourselves, and decided to stay and enjoy the setting sun and the wake of the ship. These are a mix of phone and Nikon shots . . .
The lights on the ship’s railing came on, and just like that, our day was over . . . except for all the eating, watching movies, enjoying after-dinner snacks, evening snacks, and late snacks, and of course, desserts. Oh, and coffees, and teas . . . you get the idea.
We reluctantly left our quiet spot at the back of the boat, but not before I snapped a selfie.
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