Hmmph! The holiday is over and I'm back. An eight hour flight and a four hour car drive. There was no milk in the fridge so I couldn't have a cuppa, no food, (not that we need to eat again for a week), and I was ready to collapse into bed, unfortunately it was only 2.30pm so it might have been a tad early.
We swam in the Carribean Ocean everyday, went sailing most afternoons in a catamaran, snorkelling and got stung by a shoal of jelly fish, (not on my list of repeat activities), and drank champagne as we watched the sunset each evening.
We dined in fine restaurants enjoying the native Carribian cuisine, French haute cuisine and Japanese Tempanyaki, all whilst overlooking the beautiful bay and the surrounding countryside.
I am an early riser and so even when in paradise I like to rise and watch the dawn break, what a dawn, glowing and shimmering over the Piton mountains the sun would creep into the sky to herald the start of another beautiful day. I would sit on the wall by the sea just a few yards from our veranda with my early morning cup of tea and marvel at the spectacle. As I sat there the resort staff would amble by to start their day and each would give me a wave and a cheery good morning. Every morning I would reply to each of them and wish them a good day.
When the sun rose to it's full strength throughout the middle of the day his Lordship and I would retire to our blossom trimmed veranda to read and watch the lizards as they darted about on the look out for a tasty morsel of two, they would join us occasionally basking in the heat of the day on our walls watching as we sat reading.
Humming birds would beat the still air to a frenzy as they came to drink from the flowers and we would marvel at their beautiful jewelled colours. Later in the evening cane toads would appear on the lawn and croon to their mates as the bats whirled and swooped out over the sea catching insects on the wing.
However I am always mindful that my experience of this 'paradise' is not always reality. Those same people who greeted me every morning with a cheery hello, who cleaned our rooms, who served our meals and our drinks, who made every effort to ensure that our holiday was outstanding live there year round. My paradise does not involve living in a 'shanty town', without sanitation or running water or electricity or working long hours on banana plantations for a few dollars a week. Does that put me off visiting again? No, because without the tourist industry there would be even fewer jobs, less wages, and fewer opportunities for those people living there to fulfil their ambitions. I met several of the resort staff who have taken opportunities to gain qualifications in various areas and they have used them to their benefit. I was pleased to note that the majority of the management staff were native islanders.
Some people may say that the tourism industry erodes the natural way of life and the customs and culture of the area, maybe they are right and that is a tragedy. Some also say that without tourism and outside influence those living in these places would not aspire to the trappings of that lifestyle. I honestly do not know the answers but I will ask the questions. And some unfortunately, like so many of the visitors I met during our holiday do not give any of it a second thought, they are oblivious, immune, or uninterested in the lives and fortunes of their gracious hosts.
2 hours ago