Craving some sun? Jess’s post may make that even worse……!
Jess, aged 14, writes: Over the summer, I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at my friend’s house in Barbados, and I had the most amazing time. We swam in the sea, visited museums, went sailing, and ate lots and lots of food. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Welchman Hall Gully, a gully full of gorgeous plants and animals right in the centre of the island.
Prior to the trip, I didn’t even know what a gully was. It turns out that they only take up five percent of the island, but contain a third of its plants. I was fascinated by this, and ran around trying to identify plants that we had learnt about in geography at school!
As soon I walked into the gully, it seemed as though I was instantly transported to the middle of a rainforest. Plants stretched high above my head, monkeys roamed around me, and nutmeg and mace lined the floor. We kept running around to pick these up, and I delighted in finding a large one to take back with me.
The vast majority of Welchman Hall Gully is taking up by all of the incredible plants, but there were so many other aspects I loved. Upon walking into the gully, I saw a green monkey eating a banana on the feeding platform. At one point, there were lots of birds (I don’t know which type) flying above us, and at another, I held a millipede for the first time. I liked sliding down a short section of the gully on a zipwire, and seeing gorgeous views of the island after walking up some stairs.
For someone who is really interested in plants and geography, I really appreciated the signs that told you information about the gully – at lots of places I go to, I find myself needing more information, which wasn’t the case here. I also appreciated the amount of shade from the plants, as I really struggled in other places in the island.
My favourite part of the gully was a giant bamboo plant, which was definitely the biggest I’ve ever seen. Estimation is not my strength, but it must have been at least five or six times my height. Each stick was so big that I spent ages simply staring at it, as I never would have thought it possible for a bamboo to grow so big.
We finished off our trip to the gully with a walk through a cave. The gully was formed by the collapsed roofs of caves, and I really enjoyed walking through one. On the way up to the cave, my friend showed me a macaw palm tree, which both fascinated and scared me. It looks the same as a palm tree, except the trunk is covered with spikes. I wondered if I would have touched it, before realising that it was out of the way and the spikes were very visible. It was as very easy walk, although I have been told that there are harder ones! I was excited to see a stalactite and a stalagmite, and liked jumping down from a big pile of rocks.
Overall, I really loved my visit to Welchman Hall Gully in Barbados. It was so serene and tranquil, and everything was absolutely beautiful. I felt really removed from everything, and loved getting close to nature in a way that just isn’t possible in London.
Admission to the gully is $12 for adults, with a booklet included. Children aged 6-12 are $6, and children under 5 go free. I was not asked to review the gully and all opinions are my own.