||TANYA ENBERG, Chic Savvy Travels
Adventure comes in many forms.
For some, it may mean trying a new food, day-tripping to an unusual locale or tackling oxygen deprivation during the slow, steady climb to finally reach the glorious peak of Mt. Everest. Whatever package it arrives in, there exists the excitement of experiencing something new. Like hopping on a float amid the colourful costume chaos during Barbados Crop Over, for instance.
A woman fixes her headdress during the Grand Kadooment carnival — one of the largest events of Crop Over in Barbados. Photo by Tanya Enberg
That’s where I found myself recently, as thousands of revelers took to the streets for the annual festival, which drew the return of homegrown star Rihanna this year, photographed flaunting a slinky ensemble at the annual Grand Kadooment parade.
The world-famous performer — who has surpassed Lady Gaga in Facebook followers — has signed on as an ambassador for Barbados tourism, starting with a Crop Over finale performance.
Over on the parade route, with heavy crowds snaking through the streets in barely-there, butt-shaking attire and adrenaline-boosting dance tunes, I found myself inappropriately dressed in a white cotton summer dress, which I hoped would keep me cool while photographing the lively, sweat-drenched fest.
While some might be inclined to check the weather before setting out, I, of course, am not “some” people. It poured rain, I got drenched to the bone, and my suddenly see-through dress clung to my body like a scared kitten. No bother, really. With the attire du jour consisting of sexy, bejeweled undergarments, no one seemed to notice, and even if they did, they couldn’t have cared less. If ever there was a time and place to be caught in a rainstorm wearing all white, this was it.
Revelers get into the carnival spirit during Crop Over in Barbados. Photo by Tanya Enberg
Zapping me way, way out of my element was the carnival itself. Not Crop Over specifically, but any carnival atmosphere.
Gravitating toward books and rather melancholy tunes, the culmination of dance music, costumes and rambunctious crowds certainly isn’t my scene. Here, I was a foreigner in a strange, new land — one that vibrated, gyrated and celebrated.
As the fat raindrops fell on fest-goers, myself and an Italian journalist managed to wiggle our way on to a float, complete with dancing girls, bombastic tunes and beer. With our cameras once again protected from the elements, we got back to the business of photographing.
A woman grips the side of a float while dancing at the Grand Kadooment. The festival marks the end of Crop Over festivities in Barbados. Photo by Tanya Enberg
As far as vantage points go, this one was exhilarating. From the flat-bed-style float, the energy soared with raw, gritty and hyper-sexual dance moves that would make a carnival newbie blush.
Regardless of soppy streets and grey skies, there was no rain on the spirit of this parade.
It has been more than 10 years since I attended my last truly large festival, and now I honestly can’t remember why that is. Likely something about crowds and extreme audio levels, but the wild, animalistic buzz of the day proved infectious.
When the rain lightened, I eagerly jumped off the float to get back to the street. Although the view from above proved fantastic, I was happy to be back on foot — nothing beats feeling the ripple of energy up close and personal.
It is the experience of the unknown that surged through me like a rush of caffeine, and there, in the unlikeliest of places among thousands of glittery, face-painted strangers, adventure took over and I found myself feeling completely at home amid the frenetic energy, all the while wearing my little wet, white dress, of course.
Copyright @ 2011 Chic Savvy Travels
Date Added: August 5, 2011 | Comments (0)
No comments yet.