A Shoe Washing Session on Crane Beach
Crane Beach is one of Barbados' most outstanding beaches. Dramatic cliffs tower above the softest white "hint of pink" sand, abundant sub-tropical vegetation caps the cliffs, and a coral reef creates a natural harbour providing a safe swimming area. The name "Crane" originates from days long gone when a large crane used for loading and unloading the cargo from the ships in the harbour below was permanently situated at the top of the imposing cliffs.
The Crane Resort is perched on top of the cliffs. The Crane Hotel at the core of the existing resort was originally called the Marine Villa Mansion. This property and accompanying land was purchased and developed in 1887 by civil engineer Donald Simpson, resulting in the first hotel resort in Barbados. The Crane Hotel's secluded location has always been ideal for celebrities wishing to escape publicity. One of its first visitors in the 1890s was renowned cowboy "Wild Bill" Hickock, who paid for his room with his gold chain, an artefact still owned by the Simpson family in Barbados. Since "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", a US series that ran from 1984 to 1995, and looked at how much money Hollywood celebrities spent on homes, cars, and other luxuries, assigned Crane Beach as "one of the world's top ten best beaches", the tourism industry has continued to use this prestigious label when describing this Barbados location.
We strolled along the surf in our sodden footwear. A few brave souls were tackling the surf, despite the red warning flag fluttering in the fresh breeze. An army of Bajans busied themselves with the endless task of raking the seaweed off the beach.
At the far end of the beach I spotted a man made path cut into the cliff face, and I could not resist exploring it. Up I climbed and rounded the corner of the cliff where the path ended abruptly. The next cove was a jagged mass of cliffs and rocks with a cauldron of boiling foam slopping around below. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a crab scuttling across the path in front of me. What on earth was he doing up here so high above the waterline?
It was too rough to swim here, so we retraced our steps and drove a short distance down to Foul Bay. The turn off for this beach was not easy to spot, but eagle-eyed Rex picked out the sign among the flaking paint on a rickety sign-post. We slowly bounced down a track, and were confronted by a staggering vista when we turned the final corner at the bottom.