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The Coconut Vendor on Coconuts' Island

"To climb a coconut tree you need to be strong in the mind and body. It takes concentration, you have to plan every move and anticipate: The tree can fall, the wind can twist and swing it like a bucking bronco. Rats bite, you catch them sometimes in the top eating coconuts. A man can tire and lose a grip, a foot can slip, the tree can be smooth with no grip. Coconut tree climbers do fall, trees fall and men can get hurt. A tree climber must be wary and not afraid, he must be strong, agile, determined and fit.", Keith Cumberbatch, Coconut Marathon Man ›››

Only a dollar or two, and for this the fellow climbs the tree, cuts down the nuts, piles them into a van, brings them to your favourite beach or street corner and, at your request, slices off the tops with the illusion of a magician.

Serious Skills!

The coconut bouncing in his left hand turns a full circle timed to the swing of the machete in the right; whack, whack, whack, and zap; three wedges angle off the top before the blade smooths off the pointed end and it is ready to drink. "If that's not the best deal in town, then I don't know what is."

See the coconut vendor in action, skilfully wielding his machete to open a coconut...

So you sip or gulp the delicious refreshing cool coconut water, tasting a little like melon with a hint of nut. And then, whoosh, the machete handled with the speed and agility of a marksman smacks the coconut in two for the soft white jelly to be spooned out and eaten.

Coconuts are a way of life in Barbados, they are a World Heritage for this tiny Coconuts Island. They support an industry of coconut vendors who climb the trees, load the nuts into van and carts and take them to the beachs, street corners, work places and homes of their clients. Many are tourist who enjoy the banter of the agile coconut man, with tales of tall trees. They too enjoy the tasty coconut water, full of vitamins and enzymes that are great for your health and wellness. More on this ››

Environmentally the trees are vital for soil preservation on the coastline. Their roots spread out 30 feet or more and a few feet deep. They create a mesh that holds the soil in place against the tides and surf constant erosion.

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©Ian Clayton, AXSES 2006-2024.

More about Coconuts...SEE MARATHON MAN - running on coconuts

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Can't wait to get to Barbados to enjoy some coconut water? Order this taste of the tropics online...

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