ABC = Anteater, Boa constrictor, Caroni swamp


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Published: March 13th 2013
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We all want to thank all of you who have posted comments. Each of us enjoys all of them and we always get excited to see who has commented and what they have had to say. Also, always scroll down the page for more pics.

If you could only do 1,000 things before you die, the New York Times bestseller by that name thinks eating at Veni Mange is one of them. Good call. Chock full of art and personality, it is the place in Port of Spain where local food and creative cooking come together.

“Not just a meal, but an experience” says Will. “An interesting taste of Trinidad” says Marika. We shared Will’s oxtail stew, Marika’s grilled red snapper fish with tamarind sauce, Kim’s fish broth and yam cheese balls, and my curried pork. We sipped fresh lime juice, tamarind juice and passion fruit juice. Lentils, fried banana, rice and carrots completed the meal. The hundreds of pieces of art were supporting an artist’s collective of about 20 artists in Haiti (we picked up one from an artist named Petit Zil Micheles)

Then Everad Madoo picked us up at the hotel at 2:00 to take us to the Caroni Swamp where really, really cool critters awaited us. The largest mangrove swamp in Trinidad is an endless maze of small mangrove channels. We had hired Shawn to take our family in a small boat so we could explore lots of the swamp. “A neat ball of adorable” is how Marika describes the incredibly tiny and huggable Silky Anteater, the smallest anteater in the world, who’s tiny two-toed feet remind me of a sloth’s. We saw four-eyed fish with two above the water and two below, two Cook’s Tree boa constrictors curled up on a branch two feet above our head, and countless red mangrove crabs. The coolest birds were the flaming red large Scarlet Ibis. We also saw Northern Scrub Flycatchers, Bicoloured Conebills, Straight-Billed Woodcreepers, Pied Water-Tyrants, Black-Crested Antshrike, Common Potoo and lots of Kingfishers and Herons.

As the sun dipped we sped off to Caroni’s real highlight – the roosting of the Ibis. Thousands and thousands of Scarlet Ibises come in all at once from throughout the swamp to roost on one island, turning the green island scarlet. Truly awe striking. The bonus was a Peregrine Falcon dive bombing the Ibis and herons seemingly for sport rather than hunger. The falcon would bomb them and they’d drop into the water or hurtle into the bush to get out of the way. Looks like Mr. Falcon needs to have some anti-bullying education…

Unforgettable.

Then back for a lovely sushi meal, even though one tasted suspiciously like raw four-eyed fish…


Additional photos below
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13th March 2013

Scarlet Ibis
I wouldn't have believed they could be so brilliant without the photos! What a sight. Tree boas also impressive! I'm glad there were no spiders on the menu at Veni Mange. xoxoxo
13th March 2013

ABC
The anteater looked sooooo cute!!!
13th March 2013

Totally cool!
The scarlet ibis are amazing! I'm loving the stories, pics and especially the quotes. hahahahaha! Lots of love to you guys, your trip looks unbelievable so far! p.s. mmmmmmmmm passion fruit........LOVE it!
13th March 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIKA!
Happy 10 Marika! Can't wait to hear what bizarro thing you end up eating, seeing or doing today for your birthday :-)
13th March 2013

DEF
drink, eat, frolic for marika's bd xxx isa and stephen
14th March 2013

OMG Silky Anteater!
Most wanted or what?!? So jealous. You guys probably felt a special bond with it as you eat termites too.
14th March 2013

Marika's b-day
Happy Birthday Marika!! There is a card and present waiting for you on your dining room table. xoxox Kathie and Peter P.S. I am glad we don't have tree boas here:)
14th March 2013

Special Day
Dear Marika, I am sure you will have a very happy birthday today doing all the wonderful things you enjoy. Love, Grandmama
14th March 2013

Happy birthday Marika
What a wonderful place to have a birthday party! I'm anxious to see what unravels on this special day! Love Uncle Greg
14th March 2013

Fun and Fancy Free
It sounds like you are all having a fantastic time! A trip of a lifetime! I also wanted to wish Miss Marika a very very happy birthday!!! I'm sure you've found an amazing way to spend it!!! Continue to have a blast and I love reading about all that you have done! Can't wait to hear more stories! Make it home safe! Love you all, Amber xo
15th March 2013

Looks like heaven!
Hello Tate Team! You are visiting some extraordinary places- I love the golden orb spider and the little anteater--Big hugs to you all, Anne and Victoria
15th March 2013

Scarlet ibis
So glad that you saw the ibises (and the roost). That experience was definitely one of the highlights of our trip as well! Nice to see all the photos. Jodie

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