CARIBBEAN ESCAPE ROUTE
The precipitous forests of Morne Diablotin separate the stormy windward from the calm leeward waves. Our horses pick their way for days through an immense green wilderness. This is the world before the Fall. Mountains and canyons, fleecy with vegetation, surround us with spires and lose us in leafy labyrinths. Bottomless, dragon-haunted tarns sink through mysterious watersheds. Hummingbirds thrust their beaks into the trumpets of hibiscus, blue parrots cross the air and the sad note of the siffleur Montagne, that rare and lonely bird, sounds high overhead in the dark and liana-tangled branches. Here are the glades of the Caribs, kingdom of the last few survivors of the Indians whose poisoned arrows opposed the landings of the first conquistadores. They used to be cannibals, I am sorry to say. They devoured their rivals and married the widows. Now we discover them weaving baskets and mending their fishing-lines under the coconut palms; black-haired, bronze-skinned creatures with beautiful heavy eyes like the models of Gauguin.
Just outside Roseau there is one last treat: the most beautiful botanical gardens I have ever seen. We lie down on the grass in the hot afternoon and wonderful unnameable trees troop away in vistas and stretch their lengthening shadows across the soft, sun-lit lawns of Eden. My cigar smoke drifts lazily through the many trunks of the sheltering banyan trees. The afternoon wears on, and soon you are asleep and I steal off on tiptoe, and away; away, over the Sargasso Sea and the Azores and down into the boreal mists.
Right: a Derujinsky shot for Bazaar.
Below right: Richard Dormer’s cover for the
February 1964 issue