CARIBBEAN ES­CAPE ROUTE

Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Women - BY PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.