Barbados 2016

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My boyfriend, John and I just returned from our second trip to Barbados and I wanted to share some of the highlights of our trip.

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We stayed at a condo on the sea in Ginger Bay, which was amazing. The sun came up through our bedroom window at 6:00 a.m.and the sea breeze woke us up as it brushed against our skin. It was idyllic!

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Our intention on this visit was to do some exploring of the island and we did quite a bit of that. Barbados is only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, so it isn’t a big island, but the roads on the East coast are very bad, so any driving is slow and bumpy; many times we felt as though we were on a roller coaster.  As John said, there was no attention paid to leveling!

My favorite place to photograph was Sam Lord’s Castle,(http://www.barbados.org/samlords.htm#.VspASpwrKUk) which was just down the road from us. Sam Lord’s Castle used to be a beautiful resort but it burned to the ground and the rubble that is remaining is like something out of a haunted movie. (There probably are ghosts in the castle and some of the buildings, but I didn’t see any in broad daylight!)

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Our next stop that day was an abandoned lighthouse. The sea was even rougher there and the rock formations more jagged. This is on the East coast.

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The English were the original settlers in Barbados and built a lot of beautiful churches; most of which are still standing. Here are a few of them.

barbados 2 16 sm-16 barbados 2 16 sm-17 barbados 2 16 sm-18 barbados 2 16 sm-19One of the things that struck me about Barbados is the number of houses that have been started but never finished.

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There is  huge difference in the houses that people live in, similar to the rest of the Caribbean; a very definite class system. Some people live in huge, beautiful houses and other live in what to us look like shacks. barbados 2 16 sm-119 barbados 2 16 sm-120 barbados 2 16 sm-121 barbados 2 16 sm-122

These were taken in Spieghtstown( http://barbados.org/spght.htm#.VspAG5wrKUk ) on the West coast. barbados 2 16 sm-123 barbados 2 16 sm-124 barbados 2 16 sm-125  FullSizeRender

Chickens, cows and goats are everywhere. There is no difference between land that is agricultural, rural or urban.

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We had a great time. As always, it is difficult to leave 28C for our cold, dreary days but Winnipeg is home and I would not like to live anywhere else.

Next stop is Peru in March; a trip that has been on my bucket list for years. Can’t wait!!

Cuba: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when going to Cuba. Most of the reviews that  I had read talked about  bad food and great beaches. The beaches were great; fine white sad and green water but the food was actually better than I had anticipated. Yes, there was some unappetizing stuff in the buffet, but there were also some great choices.

The weather was probably the biggest disappointment for us. Yes, it was warmer than Winnipeg but when you go to a tropical place in the winter you expect sunny, hot days. We had clouds and wind for half of our week. There is no WiFi in Cuba, which was something I missed a lot and would probably be the number one reason I wouldn’t go back. And then, my girlfriend and I also were sick for part of the week. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling and have never been sick on vacation before. That part was not fun!

These are a selection of photographs from my trip.

This first one was taken at our resort and shows how choppy the water was.

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The waves reminded me of the ocean in Life Of Pi and I took a ton of them.

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We found these ducks with strange head markings in a park in Varadaro.

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This was taken in Havana. I love the look the pigeons  give to this photo.

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Havana was the highlight of the trip for me. I loved the old cars and the beautiful architecture. To me, Havana seemed part old Shanghai and part Madrid.

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This is a pharmacy in Havana.

cuba 1 13-31This fellow had a good thing going. He posed for you and let you take his picture for a Peso.

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One of my favorite memories of this trip were my interactions with this man.

I saw him working in his butcher shop as we were walking down the street. The meat was sitting out on a window ledge and he was busy serving customers with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I offered to give him 3 Pesos for taking his picture with a cigar in his  mouth. He was more than happy to oblige. His bloody, dirty hands were holding a cigar while he handling raw meat at the same time. Those things are unheard of here in Canada but very common in places like Cuba. This man was really happy to have me take his picture.

The really fun part was when my girlfriend and I were coming back from our walk and he was sitting outside his shop with another man. He was really excited to see me and wanted to show his friend the pictures that I had taken. I showed them on the back of my camera and at that moment wished that I could have given him some prints. He was a gem!

 

 

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The next few shots were taken inside our hotel in Havana; a wonderful place with the most amazing stained glass ceilings.

 

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I was surprised at all the stray dogs in Havana; dogs that were thin and often had sores on them. This particular one was also lame. That is contrast to my dog and his life of luxury.

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This is an example of the outside of a lot of the buildings; not pretty but certainly interesting to photograph.

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There are many plazas in Havana, where you find the most beautiful architecture.

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This lady and her friend were also happy to have me stop and take their pictures. Unfortunately, I only had my wide-angle lens with me on this day and so was not able to get in very close.

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The Havana waterfront.

 

 

 

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The sunsets were amazing on the beach.

 

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It was hard to narrow down my pictures of the waves. They were very impressive.

cuba 1 13-5We were entertained by these dancers on our first night at the resort. The girl in the first picture was totally amazing. Unfortunately, the entertainment on the other nights was a disappointment. These images were taken with a 50 mm lens at 2.2 and at 6400 iso. I was amazed at their quality!

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China: 2011 (Winnipeg Travel Photography)

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I finished my photo book of my trip to China a couple of days ago and wanted to share it with everyone.

By Christina McWilliams

I used Blurb to make my book. Blurb makes sharing books, as well as selling them very simple. Have a look at my book. If you are interested in buying a copy, you can do so right through the Blurb website.