Blogs from Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago, Central America Caribbean

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If you were to close your eyes and picture the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Caribbean, it's a pretty safe bet that we would see stunning white sand, gorgeous beaches, and rows of palm trees. But when it comes to Tobago, the smaller of the two Islands that comprise T&T, the stereotypical image could not be further from the truth. Tobago is all about nature, with rolling hills and sheer drops down to the ocean from the winding roads a feature. There is also an extraordinary level of greenery on display, and tropical rains really make the colours of the Island spring to life. So it proved to be a pleasant change of scene when I arrived on Tobago after experiencing so many beautiful Caribbean beaches during the course of this ... read more
Englishman's Bay
Parlatuvier
Trail to Argyle Falls


Bella Vista Cottage is set on a hillside overlooking Charlottesville, a Tobago fishing village. The fishermen return to this beach throughout the day - the fish market is open from dawn to dusk with freshly caught red snapper, barracuda, tuna, sailfish and kingfish. Our wooden cottage is really one big room and an equally big verandah. The doors and windows are always open to encourage the breeze - it is like living outdoors but with home comforts. Interesting birds visit the garden and our bird table. Just after we arrived, two peacocks perched on the kitchen ballistrade. They were so tame that they fed from our hands. We have arrived in time for the carnival. This started on Monday at 6 am with loud music in the village, "J'ouvert" - the dawn wake-up celebration. We drove ... read more
View from our cottage
Carnival
Charlottesville fish market


19th February - 4thMarch – Fernando to Tobago This passage started ok, wing and wing, sunny, good sailing, even made a banana cake that turned out perfectly. Then however it all went downhill. Very squally, lightning, so much rain, waves over the side into the cockpit and no sun for nearly a week. Flying fish in cockpit and on deck nearly did my head in! No wonder it's called the doldrums. We all nearly got the doldrums. Rather than having no wind (which we all admit would've been worse) we've had very unsettled weather. One day after a particularly rough and very unpleasant night, John from Boomerang got on the radio sked and gave a very strong report on how unimpressed he was with the conditions overnight. We were all laughing as we were all thinking ... read more
My STUNNING banana bread
Squall approaching
surrounded by squalls


We arrived the day of "Carnival" What an sensory overload after 13 days at sea - but what an experience!! Music pumping out so loud that you could feel it in your bones, costumes that were out of this world - dancing, moving and gyrating to the music as they all paraded down the street. Only stayed at Scarborough for one day before moving around to the other side of the island to Store Bay!! Loved Tobago, very relaxed, calm and enjoyable. Fantastic beaches, freezing waterfalls, rainforest up the top of the island, we hired a car and circumnavigated it in a day.... read more
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the music trucks


We met a guy who knew a guy… In Castara’s Coffee Shop I asked a guy about taking us out in a boat. His name was Hilly. He arranged for a guy named Jed to take us out in his boat. Small boat, rough seas and an exciting trip along the rocky coast to picturesque Englishman’s Bay. On the way Marika and Will fished, but no bites. We put on our masks, snorkels and flippers and flipped out of the boat into the Caribbean Sea. Below us was an amazing coral reef. We saw more colourful and different sized fish than we could count. Endless groves of fan coral, dotted with brain and branch coral. Needlefish, banded butterfly fish, queen triggerfish, blue tang, blue chromis, sergeant major, scrawled cowfish, blue hamlet, harlequin bass, fairy basslet, indigo ... read more
Will's beach ball game
Reef snorkelling trio
Bromeliads growing on hydro wires

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Sun... Sand... Sea... Saltwater... Surf... Swimming... Sandals... Snorkeling... Sandcastles ... Shells... Stars... SteelpanBand... Superb...... read more
Marika's Caribbean Sea diving platform
Steelpan band in Castara Village
Will at work


Tobago sports the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere dating way back to the mid-1700s when the forest was protected as the watershed for plantations. Almost all Tobago’s fresh water comes from this rainforest. Newton George was the lead in protecting the rainforest for decades. Now he is known, not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but internationally as the islands’ pre-eminent nature guide. He picked us up early this morning and drove us to the rainforest where he led us on hikes for hours. He caught and showed us a beautiful black and red coral snake. I always thought all coral snakes were venomous, but not this species. "The colours were cool and it was cool that it wasn't a bird after seeing so many birds", said Marika. Imagine carrying something as long as a ... read more
Will Marika and Kim watch Manikans dancing
Coral snake . Photo by Marika
Will chillin' in a hammoock


By the time the plane cleared Trinidad and was over the ocean, we were already starting our descent to Tobago. While Port of Spain was a convenient launching site for our mountain rainforest and mangrove swamp adventures, I can’t imagine it as a tourist destination. For good reason. As opposed to the rest of the Caribbean which is largely tourism based, Trinidad is oil-economy based. No big surprise with Venezuela as its neighbour. Only steel mill in the Caribbean for example. From solely a tourismo point of view con is that the city caters to the business and worker crowd and not the tourist crowd. Good in that there is not the same sense of hostility I have felt elsewhere as a middle-class white tourist in other people’s country where they depend on “my” tourist dollars. ... read more
Stilt=man dancing
Marika plays her birthday present
Will Marika and Kim under Castara waterfall


As Tobago was celebrating 50 years of independence, we were celebrating our second wedding anniversary visiting the Caribbean for the first time. We were not greeted by the predicted 'severe thunderstorms' when we exited the plane. Just dazzling sunshine and THAT humidity that knocks the sense out of the body as we shed our heavy clothing. Flora and fauna luminesce and assorted spraycan coloured birds play about. One can understand why camouflage is illegal to import here. Both of us are not advocates of the all-inclusive choosing the freedom of exploring and integrating with the locals as well as the choice of eating and drinking elsewhere other than the hotel. With the locals having 'independent backsides' as indications of unhealthy conveniences, the local fare didn't excite us much. The best meal of the week being an ... read more
Les 'Crusoe' and his Woman 'Friday'!
Hummingbird
Pigeon Point jetty.


Accommodation on the beach; again. A little more rustic but management great; very accommodating with their computors/internet etc. managed to arrive on another public holiday like Antigua and very busy for first day. Weather still holding; there are tropical showers but these are a bessing to cool things down. Discovered Pigeon Point (right next door) the last day of our stay - just as well as we may not have ventured further. Pigeon Point is another picture perfect beach place; part of the Bucco marine park. Next day (travelling day) engulfed by wet weather and thought we might not make our short flight to Trinidad. ... read more
Breakfast
Catch of the Day
Sunset




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