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68 year-old Barbadian Frank makes our day! What a gentle-man. He’s only too eager to please, and to share stories of his life, and of the island.
Frank worked with his mother in the sugarcane fields from age 10 bundling sticks of cane and putting it on her back. (Slavery was abolished a century earlier, but I wonder . . .) Today, a grandfather, Frank is totally accepting of his lot, and a terrific, unassuming local guide (and driver).
We tour the tranquil west coast past waterfront mansions of the rich and famous, and of course the famous Sandy Lane Hotel. But Jim has a recommendation for a lunch stop. Under a canvas canopy on the deck at ‘Cin Cin by the Sea’, waves roll in and quietly break on the sand beneath us. This is a highlight.
New Zealander Michelle and her Barbadian husband have created a world class Mediterranean experience here. I enjoy an excellent New Zealand Pint Gris from Central Otago in the South Island with my Caesar Salad at a price less than in a good restaurant in Sydney.
Frank patiently waits and then continues across the island through the remaining cane fields to St Nicholas Abbey, one of the island’s oldest surviving plantations. The great house, a Jacobean Mansion featuring elegant curvilinear gables and ornamental detail, is well preserved. Of course we have to sample the famous 8 year-old Mount Gay rum in the old Rum and Sugar Bond out the back.