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Hidden Gems

A Gem in Barbados

BARBADOS | Wednesday, 15 April 2015 | Views [246] | Scholarship Entry

Far south in the Caribbean, on the Island of Barbados, where the winds whisper gently and the air caresses your cheeks is the community of Gemswick. Nestled in the far southern corner of St. Phillip, Gemswick is in every sense a gem. I've often wondered if it was named because of its rugged beauty. During my most recent visit to Barbados I was introduced to this gem by a friend who shared that Gemswick has been well hidden from the exploits of tourism and retains the natural charm that has been enjoyed by its residents for generations. Most who live here are family and friends who may be considered gems themselves. In Gemswick you will not find museums, fancy restaurants, or hotels. There is no hustle and bustle due to traffic. What you will find in this community is peace and tranquility. You will breathe some of the freshest air you will ever breathe and interact with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. You may witness a man walking along with his cow, or visit a corner shop that does not sell antiques but is an antique itself. You may find a resident willing to show you into his/her backyard which likely contains one or two cows, a few sheep and/or goats, and some chickens. You are likely to pick a papaya, mango, or coconut from a tree or pick some herbs from a kitchen garden. Your sense of gratitude spikes several 100 meters as you encounter some of the most profound panoramic views on the rugged sea coast just as you exit the residential area to the south. Gemswick is nestled just south of the Airport and residents are as accustomed to the roar of airplanes as they are to the beating of waves against the coastal edge. The backside of Gemswick is framed by rugged rock formations perching above the coast. The coast below offers nature made fishing banks and swimming coves. Climbing down coast is great for those who enjoy a good rock climb in its most natural form, and for a more leisurely climb man-made tracks are often available. Resident swimmers and divers offer stiff competition for the fish. In most areas the rugged coastlines are framed by beautiful pastures where the occasional cow or sheep may be spotted grazing. At some points along the rugged cliffs a local fisherman may be spotted enjoying a leisurely catch; disengaging briefly to greet you. The area, to me, represents man living with nature at its best. I have learned that finding friends when you travel is an excellent path to locating such gems.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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