There were a few days in Barbados when the rain fell in a spectacular day. Deciding not to be deterred by the rain, we ventured out to take a trip to Culpepper Island.
Now, I don't know about you, but when someone mentions the word 'island' it conjures up wonderful images of paradise - pretty much like Barbados really. So when John started talking about Culpepper Island I thought that it might be like a miniature version of Barbados & sounded like the perfect adventure.
John was very excited about re-visiting this island which is home to a lot of little hermit crabs, and I shared this excitement, imagining this beautiful mini Barbados with hermit crabs as its only inhabitants, this is what dreams are made of. So off we went while there was a little break in the rain, to find this nearby island. One of the roads we needed to drive down was a little on the flooded side so we parked at a different bay and walked in search of Culpepper. John lead us over marshy ground which felt quite nice underfoot - subtly squelchy grass that gave way to our feet just enough to let us know that we wouldn't sink beyond the point of no return.
Then came the clay. We removed our trusty flip flops and relied on our feet to safely slip-slide us down to the sea shore. The clay took us as far as the rocks. Oh, the rocks. Not just any rock but coral rock. Before this trip I had not experienced coral rock & was in for a great shock. Boy was it painful to walk on, and even worse to snag our bare skin on. I kept thinking to myself,
'this is character building, this is character building...there are lessons to be learnt here and maybe I'll learn them later once I've overcome the pain...'
Meanwhile, John is thanking me for being such a good sport and so up for going on adventures with him.
Eventually we made it to the shore where we had to now swim the very short distance of about 30 metres to the island. I know this really doesn't sound very far but when there are rocks all around you and lots of choppy waves (we were in the Atlantic at this point, not the Caribbean), 30 metres can seem like a long way. Holding our flip flops in one hand and our waterproof cameras in the other, we flailed our way over to Culpepper Island, musing over all of the slimy things that kept slapping against our legs & tummies, not daring to imagine what they might be.
After scrambling over more coral rock, with a little bit more confidence in our ability to do so this time, we made it to the top of the island. By this point the black cloud that had been looming in the distance was now almost over our heads. When I say black cloud, it really was as black as black can be, the kind of cloud that you know is just bursting to pour big heavy drops of rain at any second. Although the distance we had swum to get to the island was tiny, I suddenly had a feeling of we have to get off this island soon, otherwise we might get stranded! In reality, we were quite safe and it all felt far more dramatic than it was, but it was fun to think that it might just be possible for us to be stranded on an uninhabited island - wouldn't you find that exciting?!
We said hello & goodbye to the tiny hermit crabs who loved to try and grab on to John's thumb with their little claws, and scrambed back down the rocks, over the seaweed, into the sea, and back to shore as the rain came down.
It felt a bit like the story We're going on a bear hunt when they have to get home as fast as possible with the bear chasing them, back through all of the obstacles they encountered along the way but at ten times the speed. The only difference was that we did not have a bear at our backs.