We drove toward Bridgetown to stop at Mount Gay Rum for a supply of Ponche
Kuba and a big bottle of Extra Old Rum to get us to St Lucia. The exit sign.
We drove past The Kensington
Oval which is located to the west of the capital city Bridgetown. The west gate entrance. "The Oval" is one of the major
sporting facilities on the island and is primarily used for cricket. Locally
referred to as "The Mecca" of cricket, it has hosted many important and exciting
cricket games between local, regional, and international teams during its 120+
year history. The stands of the Kensington Oval were extensively rebuilt for the
2007 Cricket World Cup (fifth photo) in a BDS$90M
(US$45 Million) redevelopment. Demolition of the old stadium began on schedule
in June, 2005 after completion of the first Test against Pakistan.
Then it was back to Carter‘s to show Edward my line
and bungee. Anthony served us this time, but Edward put in a word or two.
Anthony began by winding my line on to a new spool with a home made device he
designed. Next he wound 220 yards of 200 lb line on to my spool. I got some
little mackerel lures for shallow water trolling and Bear got a variety of glues
and replaced a fender we had popped. Carter's own "machine" with my spool on it being re-wound by Anthony to a new spool - with his Heath Robinson attachment
- in this case an ordinary drill with Anthony's own design. The boss helping in this Aladdin's cave of fishing
Across the road was KFC
and that drew us in for lunch. We parked in the only multi-storey car park, complete with a guard on each
storey. A view over the rear of Bridgetown from the
After yesterdays disaster with the bird sanctuary we
went to The Barbados Animal Reserve to see the monkeys up close. We had seen one
stroll across the road on Day 1 of our touring. The monkeys in the reserve live
free during the day and “come home” to have a meal of fruit. By chance we got
there at 3pm, left at 4:30 and saw loads outside playing.
The green monkey, the sign at the entrance to the reserve tells you that the
monkeys don't come home until 2 or 3 in the afternoon and if you are not lucky
enough to see one you can get your ticket stamped and return any time within the
next two weeks. One eating fruit in a mahogany
The Green Monkey. All across Barbados you will find this mischievous little creatures
including in the gullies that run across the island and even in peoples gardens.
The green monkeys found in Barbados originally
came from Senegal and the Gambia in West Africa approximately 350 years ago.
About 75 generations have occurred since these monkeys arrived in Barbados and,
as a result of environmental differences and evolution, the Barbados monkeys
today have different characteristics than those in West Africa. The monkeys are found mainly in the parishes of St. John, St.
Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Thomas, where much natural vegetation and woodlands
There IS a monkey in
the first photo on the right you can see the fur. He thought he was hidden, I
snuck round the other side and caught him.
Monkeys can also be seen travelling
through hotel grounds in St. Peter and St. James. Infants often appear blue in colour, as they have little fur when they
are born. However, as they mature, they develop a thick fur that is
brownish-grey in colour with specks of yellow and olive green. In some lights,
the fur has an overall green appearance ... hence the name the "Green
Monkey". In the Caribbean islands,
interactions between humans and monkeys are problematic. On the island of
Barbados, farmers complain about the monkeys damaging their crops, and many try
to find ways to keep the monkeys at bay. On Halloween of 2006 a monkey was
suspected of being the cause of an island-wide blackout. The monkey plunged the
entire island Barbados into blackout for 8 hours after climbing a light pole and
tripping an 11,000 & 24,000 volt power line early that morning.
The reserve has a policy of selective breeding of the
monkeys aiding world medicine. A single monkey can produce 2,500,000 doses
of Polio Vaccine. They give monkeys to other zoos around the world.
The Red-footed tortoise, (Geochelone Carbonaria) apparently there are 325 in the park, we saw
them all over the place. The red-foot is found throughout extreme southern
Central America, and central and northern South America including the countries
of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia,
Paraguay, and Argentina. The Red-foots is also found on several Caribbean
islands, but it is thought that this species was introduced about 1850 as a
convenient food source (Prichard and Trebbau 1984). In every country in its
range, the biggest threat to the survival of Red-footed tortoises is
over-hunting by man ( Walker , 1989). Red-footed tortoises are hunted
extensively in their countries of origin for food. Interestingly enough,
tortoises are considered "fish" by the Catholic church and during holy week,
Red-foots are consumed in huge numbers. Red-foots are collected in large numbers
and shipped to many different South American cities to be sold as a delicacy.
The fact that Red-foots can tolerate long periods of time without food and
water, an otherwise evolutionary advantage, makes this species both easy and
profitable to transport. Another threat facing Red-foot populations is the
omnipresent habitat loss and disturbance. The Red-foot is most active after the rainy season when mating occurs.
Male Red-foot tortoises engage in combat, with rival males by attempting to
overturn one another. It is interesting to note than in almost every tortoise
species where male combat occurs, the males are always larger than the females.
This is in comparison to aquatic species, where the males are usually smaller
than the females and do not engage in male to male combat. It is thought that
species with male combat evolved larger males because larger males have a better
chance of winning a bout and mating with a female, thus passing on their larger
size to their offspring. Species with smaller males evolved because smaller
males are more mobile and can mate with a large number of females, thus passing
on their genes (Berry and Shine 1980). In natural habitat, mating takes place
after the rainy season, from July to September, and clutches vary from 5-15 eggs
(Medem 1962). Red-footed tortoises
and many other tortoise species, are slow to mature and do not reach sexual
maturity for several years. This, coupled with a relatively low clutch size,
makes the Red-footed tortoise susceptible to over hunting. With over hunting,
more sexually mature animals are removed from the population than can be
replaced by maturing juveniles, consequently, the overall population begins to
decline. Although the Red-footed tortoise is not currently classified as
endangered, if the hunting rate and habitat loss continue at their current
levels, it will most likely be so in the future. Conservation efforts include
the establishment and protection of wildlife reserves and national parks, where
Red-footed tortoises and other animals are protected from hunting ( Walker,
The Maras (Dolichotis) are a genus of the cavy family. They are the sole
representatives of the subfamily Dolichotinae. These large relatives of guinea
pigs are common in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina but live in other areas
of South America as well such as Paraguay. Maras are the fourth largest rodent
in the world, after capybaras, porcupines and beavers, reaching about 45 cm (18
in) in height. There are two species of maras
recognised, the Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum), and the Chacoan Mara
(Dolichotis salinicola). They are known as the pampas hare. Patagonian Maras are often kept in zoos or as pets and is also
known as "Patagonian cavy" or "Patagonian hare". They can be quite social with
humans if raised with human interaction from a young age, though in the wild
they avoid humans. Maras may even change their habits from coming out in day to
becoming nocturnal, simply to avoid social interaction. Maras mate for life, and may have from 1 to 3 offspring each year. Mara
babies are very well developed, and can start grazing within 24 hours. They are
supposed to be shy and skittish but they were happy to pose for me.
Other things to see at the reserve: a cayman, a reticulated python,
terrapins happy to stay very still for a photo, a gecko and an endangered iguana
happy to smile for a picture.
My plan was to get a photo with the carib grackle
(the black bird), guinea fowl, mara, tortoise, peacock, rooster and monkey. The
carib grackle, guinea fowl, rooster and tortoise
obliged in the first. The mara sat down and waited,
then lay down, the guinea fowl hung on for a while. I
came over all Johnny Morris in Animal Magic asking them all nicely.
The best I got,
the guinea fowl had to go to roost, ditto the carib grackle. The monkey wouldn't
pose and the mara rightly got bored.
Reading from the information
sheet is thirsty work, time for a rum punch, with a
tortoise next to the tree. Seeing them trot about made me think of the
theme song to "One foot in the grave".
Does my bum look big in this
? "not as big as mine sugar"
All the paths are made up of bricks that came to the island as ballast for the big
ships. Bear by the exit, our
little hire car. They drive on the left and we did about 250
We left the park and went to Eddie‘s in
Speightstown for shopping and then went home.
ALL IN ALL a cracking day