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Barbados Naturally with Glory Tours
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By Karen R.

 Arriving in Bridgetown, I was greeted by Sarah Taylor, owner of Glory Tours. We had corresponded by email and although we’d never met, I felt like I’d known her for years! Aware of my interest in eco-tourism and environmental issues, I let her plan my day.

 We drove past rich, tropical fields along the most beautiful shade of blue ocean. The pastel colors of the old, original chattel houses, once plantation workers homes, with the bright, vibrant colors of the roadside fruit stands gives Barbados a charm of its own. A non-volcanic island, Barbados is predominantly composed of limestone-coral. The limestone acts as a natural filter, giving the island excellent drinking water. Some less developed areas of the country contain tropical woodland and mangroves. Other parts of the interior which contribute to the agriculture industry are home to large sugarcane estates and wide pastures. Two functioning sugar factories are providing sugar for rum, the island’s biggest export. The soda is made locally with sugar cane, as well. Barbados is also an oil producer and partially satisfies its own oil and gas requirements.

 Taking a break from the drive, we stop in St. Peter, Barbados, home of the Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary. In this tropical haven, animals, some threatened with extinction, some disabled, are all compatible and free to roam where they wish. Many of the animals have been donated by generous Barbadians. The Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary is a project of the Barbados Primate Research Center, a non-profit organization. Their main objective is the conservation of the Barbados Green Monkey, considered one of the island’s natural resources. Next to the Sanctuary is Grenade Hall Forest and Signal Station. Here you can walk along educational nature trails. This organic, mahogany forest was once a dump. Signs are posted to identify the various trees and plants and to learn how people around the world use these natural remedies.

 Barbados is promoting nature-based tourism with their Adopt-a-Beach program. They are publishing brochures citing hotels such as “Casuarina” for adopting clean operations.  Almond Resorts are “Green Globe Certified” and have implemented programs minimizing use of energy, water and non-renewable resources. They invite others to participate in these efforts to protect and enhance the environment, promote local food, art, crafts, music and culture, as well as to mitigate environmental impacts to precious ecosystems such as tropical forests, mangroves, beaches, sea grass beds, coral reefs and beach vegetation. But most importantly, Almond reviews their environmental policies annually and monitors their performance in order to maintain their continuous commitment. http://www.almondresorts.com/AboutAlmond/GreenGlobe/

 My final request of the day, visiting Simon Cowell, was not possible. However, I was happy to learn how much he has supported the “Hope Sanctuary,” http://www.thehopesanctuary.com/ an organization in Barbados which rescues cats and dogs, cares for them and tries to help place them in new, loving homes.

A descendent of one of the oldest British and Irish families from the island, Sarah has many original and entertaining stories to share. This made the tour most enjoyable. She looks forward to meeting new people and obviously loves her job. I had a wonderful, informative tour of Barbados, one of my favorite Caribbean islands. I hope to return soon and visit with my friend, Sarah. She will certainly make everyone feel welcome.

www.glorytours.org

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:o ) Attitude Dolls ;o)

By Sarah Taylor     Jun 22, 2010

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