Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Been Ten Years - And She's Been Gone So Long

The Endless Beach on Barbuda Where Princess Di Once Romped

While I was in Antigua over the weekend someone asked me. What do you think? Will Paris Hilton be in jail or out when we get back to the states? It was a joke of course, but my immediate reaction was, she is a master of PR, if she only had something to sell other than herself, maybe someone would care. Another pop icon queen, Britney Spears came up into conversation when someone pointed toward a distant purple roof and informed our group that was where Britney had recently attended rehab when she shaved off all her hair.

In contrast to these little darlings, I had the privilege to visit the nearby island of Barbuda, where Princess Diana used to take her children to frolic on the beach, seeking seclusion from the relentless paparazzi. It's rather ironic Princess Di went to such lengths to attain privacy while these two aforementioned icons seek exposure in so many ways.

Barbuda has a 17 mile stretch of undeveloped beach, and we had the good fortune to be toured around the island by Calvin, a lobster fisherman who also had the honor of knowing Princess Diana. When Calvin told us this, we teased him by saying, "can we touch you?" He held out his large capable hand and we shook it, making us think metaphorically about our connection to the iconic princess, who yes, had many attributes to endear her to a fanatic public who adored her.

Calvin took us to a spot on the pristine beach, nearby the now defunct resort, where Princess Di and Princes Harry and William must have walked along the same exquisite strand of sand and stared into the blue topaz sea. I felt her presence and mourned the world's loss. Ten years later still caring that she lived and cared about so many others.

We felt a little like Princess Di after a lunch of spiny lobster served to us at the Beach House, a place that surely Di would choose were she here to revisit her old haunts. Calvin told us the great Castro is particularly fond of the lobster from Barbuda.

We also got a tour of the same local Frigate bird enclave the Discovery Channel had recently filmed nesting in the Mangrove. One of our band, Terry Baker a Brit now living in New York, was a bird expert who seemed to know birds from all over the world. It was through his pursuit of viewing the very rare Barbuda Warbler that our entire group got to experience this unusual treat.

More to come on the Adventures in Paradise.--Ruth Mitchell

No comments: