A Caribbean surprise

Published: June 16th 2014
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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 trip. There is so much diversity even within the Caribbean, and this hidden gem proved to be the perfect example.

The journal left off at the conclusion of a hair raising taxi ride to the airport in Trinidad, and Caribbean Airlines provide a phenomenal deal to fly return to Tobago for just fifty dollars. There is also a ferry that plies it's trade daily between the two Islands, but in the lead up to the weekend it was not possible to get a ticket for the 2.5 hour journey on a fast ferry. The plane journey, however, is an absolute breeze, and a small propellor plane gets you to Tobago in less than thirty minutes. There are no customs formalities to go through, and the tiny conveyor belt produces bags in absolutely no time. It's the closest thing to an airborne taxi ride that I have come across, and is an excellent service that runs several times per day between the two islands. I hooked up with a predictably friendly and competent taxi driver, who drove me through the hills and windy roads until we arrived in Parlatuvier, which is famous for the magnificent forest reserve. I came across the accommodation option Wings within the reserve through Air BnB, and will never forget the superb place Trevor has high up in the forest reserve, with gorgeous views of the ocean on offer. Trevor is a local institution, and seems to know everyone in the community, and had me sorted with a hire car in absolutely no time.

So there I was, in a self contained hut with a balcony that looks straight out on to the canopy of the forest reserve. The sounds of bird happily singing their tunes has become a staple of my life over the course of three days, and I could not be happier in this beautiful setting. Trevor's place is a little isolated and off the main road, so it proved very handy to have a hire car to get down to the beach and head out for meals, as well as using the car for tours of the Island. As long as you have a map it is surprisingly easy to get around the Caribbean. There is generally one main road that circles the islands, and if you follow the majority of the traffic at intersections you simply can't go wrong. Of course the bigger towns can prove to be a slight challenge, but again by following the the traffic around I never missed a beat in the car. A small car can be snapped up for fifty dollars a day in the Caribbean, and you hardly use any petrol as the islands are so compact anyway.

On my first evening at Wings the neighbours invited me to dinner with Trevor at their bungalow. We had a superb meal of locally prepared fish and other delicacies, and chatted amiably while enjoying the gorgeous views from their well appointed bungalow. My friends are from the USA, and both couples have come to Tobago to celebrate twenty years of marriage in idyllic natural surroundings. They are well into a ten day visit, and have fallen in love with the accommodation, and the beautiful scenery on offer in this gorgeous little Island. They are also fond of Trevor, a local man who is so content with his life in this beautiful setting that it's hard not to take a shine to him. I spent the first afternoon just driving around on short legs to get a feel for the area, and waited until day two before I headed out on an excellent island adventure. The scenery on offer as you drive around the winding and hilly roads is spectacular, and it's so much fun having your own wheels when overseas. That familiar sense of freedom is enhanced by the excitement of exploring new horizons at your own leisure, and in your own time. I found hiring a car in the Caribbean a terrific travel experience, and the West Indies drive on the same side of the road to Australia so getting around is an absolute breeze.

On the north coast of Tobago is the beautiful town of Charlotteville, and I spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the town, and stopping off at a local restaurant for an excellent fish meal. It's easy to strike up a conversation travelling in the West Indies, as the local people are warm and friendly by nature and seem interested in talking to visitors to the region. Another great drive is to head right through the centre of the island to the large town of Roxborough, and I stopped off to visit the gorgeous Argyle Falls on the edge of town. It costs ten dollars to visit the falls, and the walking trail that leads to the attraction is gorgeous with the most luscious green colours I've seen in quite a while. It's absolutely beautiful, and there is hardly anyone around so it makes for a very peaceful experience. I loved paying a visit to Argyle Falls, and it proved a highlight of my visit to Tobago.

On the final day after packing and getting organised I said goodbye to Trevor and his other guests, and drove south to the other main town Scarborough, which is on the way to the airport. I had organised with the hire car company to drop the car off at the airport, so it proved to be the perfect finale to my visit to Tobago. The little island is laid back and relaxing, and features an abundance of tropical greenery. We had plenty of rain during the three days of my visit to Tobago, with the colours of the island at their brilliant best. Come to think about it, basically all of you should be here now!

"Keep the faith. We know we are heading in the right direction." Dwight Yorke

It's home time so until next time, I'm signing off for now


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16th June 2014

I'm loving Tobago too! We're staying at Castara for a while- took a walk to Englishman's Bay the other day. It's beautiful there!
16th June 2014

Hi Katie
So it's not just me then. What a great island, so relaxed and enjoyable with beautiful scenery. Enjoy your trip!
18th June 2014

Island hopping the Caribbean
You are getting a good look at the Caribbean. We'll be interested in a summary at the end. Go to Dominica and you'll find similar drivers and severe drops along the roads. Hope you had the time to go scuba diving. Plenty to look at below the sea also. Stay safe.
18th June 2014

Thanks Dave and Merry
I appreciate your comments. There is so much to see, and I really hope I can come to this magnificent part of the world again. Dominica would be great, wow, they all sound so great. I loved my visit to the Caribbean!
18th September 2014

I love Tobago
I am Trinidadian but I live in Canada and I always love to come to Tobago to just relax. My favorite is swimming in the sea, when it's nice it's so beautiful and calm. I'm coming back next year, I can't wait.

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