Sunday, March 21, 2010

A brief visit to Barbados

Due to a change in airline routes, our nonstop flight to our Caribbean vacation required us to switch planes in Barbados. We decided to leave two days earlier and spend some time in Barbados. Our planned vacation was on a beach, so in Barbados we decided to stay in the hillside. After a bit of research, we decided on Lush Life Nature Resort: "a unique nature retreat cradled in the unspoiled hills of the Barbadian countryside. Along with the most inviting views on the island, our secluded eco-escape offers peaceful, cottage-style accommodation and a Zagat rated Caribbean restaurant."

The main building at Lush Life is the Naniki Restaurant: "From its hillside perch Naniki boasts a stunning view of rolling hills, countryside villages and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. But this is just the beginning. Serving delicious, authentic cuisine from Barbados and neighbouring islands Naniki provides a truly Caribbean experience. Try grilled seafood, poultry or pork served with local favourites like yam, breadfruit and sweet potato."

Lush Life and its owner, Tom Hinds, far exceeded our expectations. The food and hospitality were excellent. There were a few surprises-- all pleasant. We didn't really go for the birds, but there were a reasonable number of the Caribbean varieties. Tom told us that a pipirit "owned" a rock on the property and indeed it did. The pipirit, the local name for the grey kingbird, spent much of the day on one rock or nearby and chased off other birds that came near.

Pipirit or Grey Kingbird


Female Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

The biggest surprise were the African Green Monkeys that came out every dawn and dusk.
African Green Monkey from Barbados
African Green Monkey from Barbados

While we wouldn't go to Lushlife with the sole purpose of birding, the monkeys alone were worth the trip. The food was great with fresh fish or jerk pork for dinner and saltfish for breakfast. The "coconut bakes" were incredible, and the rum punches were the best we've ever had. There also is an anthurium flower farm on the property.

We also discovered that the owner is a jazz aficionado who has been to some of the clubs in New York that we visit occasionally. Our only regret is that we weren't able to stay for the jazz brunch they host every Sunday. We hope to return next year.

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