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Published: February 8th 2015
Trinidad: Fueling Up and Carnival, 7 Miles Off Venezuela
Well, we’re moving onto island time and its 10am before we even head to coffee in the International Café. There are big windows in this area and we are shocked to see a huge tanker ship just feet away from us. We are 7 stories up and we are looking directly at the deck hands on the “Panda”. Yikes! What is going on?
Cope wanders outside to the top deck to take photos and see what’s going on. Meantime on our own ship there is a crew emergency training drill, so crewmembers are donning life vests, clearing staterooms and cordoning off some areas of the ship. Cope returns and tells me that the tanker next to us is refueling the Ruby Princess. The Panda ties up to the Ruby Princess and the fueling process begins. This is amazingly interesting. We have never seen this process, up close and personal ;-).
Loved spending the morning on the ship in port, drinking good coffee from the coffee bar, visiting with other passengers sitting and writing the blog and reading. So many interesting people from 51
countries are aboard. We visited with people from the states, England, Scotland, Canada, Brazil, and Germany. We were so interested in what was going on that we even skipped breakfast-that was REALLY unusual! As noon rolled around, we decided we should at least get off the ship and wander around downtown Port of Spain. The last time couple of times we were here, we took tours to the other side of the island and never really visited the downtown area.
The dock had a number of steel drum bands playing (Trinidad is the home of steel drum music) and we got right into the island vibe. The cruise terminal was packed with crew and passengers sitting on the floor, leaning against the walls and trying to get on the internet ;-0 With so many people, it takes up to 15 minutes to just connect. Cope gave it a try but quickly gave up and we headed into town.
About 4 blocks from the terminal, Trinidad is a very modern, bustling downtown. There is a beautiful modern high rise Hyatt connected to the terminal. There are modern large buildings, a new Parliament building, shops and,
lots of financial offices. Traffic was extremely busy and it’s totally unclear who has the right of way or which light is green or red, so we joined groups of locals to cross the streets. We were lucky and there was a group of crew people who knew where they were going so we just followed them ;-) After a 15 minute walk, we reached the local market and wound up at a local bakery for a potato pastry and a Caribbean pastry. We decided to get a Coke Zero and sit in the park to eat.
While Cope found a bench I went in search of a Coke Zero and struck out. A woman vendor told me that she thought I could find one at the Wang Li market down the street. The street toward the market was soooo crowded with people as it is Carnival here that I decided to just join Cope on the bench and pass on the Coke.
Downtown Trinidad was extremely busy and incredibly noisy with music and cars. All around you could get assistance from red coated tourist guides. When a tourist guide saw we had asked
questions of the vendor lady, he came to see if he could be of assistance. When we told him we were looking for a Coke and the vendor lady had suggested Wang Li market, he said that since this was Carnival time and so crowded that it might not be safe from pickpockets. He suggested a market closer to the ship.
As we sat eating our lunch on the bench, the woman vendor came over to us. She had gone to the store and bought us a Coke Zero! Can you imagine? It was incredibly nice of her to leave her street vendor stall unattended and do this for us. We thanked her profusely and gave her $5 in Eastern Caribbean dollars, just over a dollar US. People are incredibly nice throughout the Caribbean.
It was getting quite warm so we made our way back to the ship. Spent the afternoon relaxing, reading, and watching movies in our room.
Early on-board today, 3:30pm. We left Trinidad and headed west toward Venezuela which is only 7 miles away. We can see the mountains of Venezuela off our port side. We then turned
north then east around the tip of Trinidad and going between Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago, for the beginning of our 5 day voyage to Salvador, Brazil.
On our walk around the deck before dinner, we saw dolphins herding tuna for their dinner ;-) off the starboard…had no idea that dolphins were herders ;-) Dinner tonight was a quick meal at the Horizon court buffet, which continues to be excellent…. jambalaya-not spicy enough for Cope, but good! Then, up to deck 16 for a night under the stars movie, snuggled under our blankets on chaise lounges we watched -“Non Stop” with Liam Neeson. Deck crew came around with chocolate chip cookies and milk ;-) Next Port-Salvador, Brazil Note: We are at sea for the next 5 days so this blog will be on hiatus during this time. See you in Brazil in just a few days!
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