Gombey Dancers Tearing Up the Dance Floor

Today I woke up and went down to the breakfast bar again and grabbed a yogurt with granola and ate outside under the pergola with great views of the ocean. And today I decided to go back to St. George’s to go jet skiing for the first time!

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On the way to St. George’s on the local bus we pass by some more colorful homes, and the Atlantic Explorer, which is a twin screw general purpose oceanographic vessel, with the main capabilities of deploying and recovering deep ocean instrumentation and moorings, conducting CTD casts, chemical sampling, and gear tests.

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Atlantic Explorer

We finally arrive in St. George’s and the first thing I do is stop at The Bermuda Perfumery (also known as Lili Bermuda which was established in 1928 and it has a great old school French charm to it. And they even have their own perfumery lessons so you can make your own perfume! The classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-5pm, with no more than 5 people per class (book early!) and it costs $275. You get to experiment with 5 trial versions before making your own 50ml finished fragrance. I ended up going on a Wednesday so I missed out on this event. I did end up purchasing Fresh Water which is a great citrus scent and my mom purchased oleander which is a powdery, warm, floral scent.

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Next we ate lunch at a cute deli/bakery around the corner from the perfumery and I had a New England Clam Chowder which was delicious and very similar to the ones I eat at home (I live in New England). Then as we were strolling back to the King’s Square, we noticed that there was some sort of parade going on. It turns out it was a children’s parade, that had groups of little girls and boys dancing, with the girls dancing to more modern songs, and the boys doing a traditional Gombey dance. Gombey is a native folklore dance reflecting the blend of African, indigenous people, Caribbean and British cultures, incorporating colorful costumes, dance and drumming. The long feathered headdress they are wearing is representative of past Gombey dancers, and how they actually used to dance using stilts, and the colorful costumes are all hand made.

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What a typical Gombey dance looks like

If you would like to see a short youtube video of them dancing click here, and also if you want a more detailed version that explains the drums and the costumes click here. And I also found 2 other great videos explaining the footwork (and a chance to hear a Bermudian accent) and a great lively performance (if you can’t watch it for some reason in your country you can possibly look up videos about Gombey dancers-it’s a must see!) After the great performance I finally get in the shuttle that takes about 5 minutes to the dock for the jet-skiing. I got debriefed about the different buttons to press on the jet-ski and how to increase and decrease my speed, and to stop. I didn’t bring my camera with me, but the tour lasted about 90 minutes, and I was able to see parts of the island I haven’t seen before, and I even went by Fort St. Catherine and the sea glass beach, and other stopped at several coves and beaches. Since it was a bit windy that day, there were some great small waves to go over, and I was able to reach a speed of 49mph and when I went over a wave it felt like I was flying! It was the coolest feeling ever!

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Once we arrive back at the hotel we spend the rest of the day relaxing at the beach and ate dinner at the hotel again. Unfortunately I don’t have any more photos from today but tomorrow will be another great day exploring caves and a mission to to find the Bermuda Parrotfish!

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“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” – Mary Ritter Beard

 

 

 

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