In Barbados we sometimes joke about needing a passport when going to St. Lucy. A 45-minute drive to this most Northern of parishes, for some, feels like a trip outside of Barbados! That gives you a picture of how petite this island that is literally one huge coral rock is.
The beautiful St. Peter and Josey Hill scenery along the way makes a trip to the Animal Flower Cave in Conneltown St. Lucy even more worthwhile. I took the Conneltown via Josey Hill bus in error but didn't regret it. You begin to wonder how does a country known to be so flat have such hills and landscape-views of the ocean.
Welcome to the sea blast kissed Conneltown!
You walk along the unpaved road with dried grass as company before getting to the caves. You've already grown accustomed to the increased waves and smiles in St. Lucy so the bright "Alright, g'morning!" as if you're a neighbor is no surprise. The sheep and goats love you and anything you're eating!
Seashell wind chimes from the vendors compete against the loud splash that you can't yet see. Like a bride or groom you take the path entitled "The View" to your right and enter an overhead to the open sea. A rocks once told me "If I had a 'quart for each time someone said 'Oh my God', I'd be Ben Grimms" and I believe them. You simply stand still or walk slowly to be one with this beauty called sea.
The sea is so fierce it looks foamy, yet it displays an abundance of peace. I sit on my yoga mat and sunhat so neither will blow away. There is a power we receive by having no control; no control over the shape of the rocks, the birds or the crashing waves. You also experience the bliss of wind therapy and it's free!
Is this what Eckhart Tolle means by the Power of Now? ☺
Lead astray by the "there's nothing in there [the cave]", for seven years I opted instead to visit another unmarked hidden cave or just sit on the benches. This year, one of the vendors scolded me for not having ventured in and on Thursday I took the journey!
The rocks never told me of this secret sanctuary. How could they?! There are animal flowers (sea anemone). I touch them. And they move. I should've brought my bathing suit. I can swim in here. The cave's opening is a window to the ocean. What? - the cave is alive? Reefs grow in here? I can see whales? My head was racing with thoughts! I exhausted my tour guide with questions and my "I can't believe it" statements! He took a nap while I looked around and waddled my feet in the pool.
You'll fall into a place of peace, well-being and spiritual revival while sitting on the cave's over 400, 000 years old coral. If you visit at sunset you'll see the golden glow of the cave. For the moment, this is all that will matter. The cave is nature's way of bringing us closer to experience the vastness of the mighty sea.
A lemonade or rum punch by the bar to end the day
The salt remains on your specs will give you away
It was all worth it
Who else but a photographer from St. Lucy to capture its beauty -- thank you Sonya Goddard of Essgee Creative.
Tourism starts at home!
*About Tourist Thursdays: Youth from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) share their local island experience with the world!