Blogs from Port of Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago, Central America Caribbean


Tuesday July 30* - It started to rain just before we were about to leave, and we waited for the downpour to end before heading out to Caroni Bird Sanctuary. We left at 3pm and it only took about 15 minutes to get there. But Ally said if we had left 15 minutes later, we might have been caught up in some serious traffic. The main thing to do at Caroni is to take a boat ride/tour out to see the Scarlet Ibis, who come in to roost for the night. There are about 20,000 of them in this mangrove swamp, but this is their breeding season, so most of the birds are paired up and nesting in other parts of the swamp. We were taken around many parts of the swamp for a couple of ... read more
Yellow-headed Caracara
Boat getting ready to leave
Me and Ally

Monday July 29 - The flight to Trinidad was only 30 minutes, so I barely got any reading done. Immigration was fast and then I had to walk to baggage claim. This is the largest airport I’ve been in in the Caribbean. I stopped to change money, but felt their rate was crap, so skipped it for a future date with an ATM. I also stopped in a bathroom, and by the time I got to baggage claim, I figured I’d still have to wait a bit, since the conveyor belt wasn’t moving. But then I noticed there was no one standing around, and then I saw my bag sitting next to the conveyor belt. That must have come out lightning quick. The customs line was a bit long, but it went quickly. Then I was ... read more
I never want to fill one of these out again. I've lost track how many there were this summer...

Farewell to Dominica, then Couva & Carnival After posting the last blog we still had a couple of days in Dominica which so far has been our favourite island as we loved the forests, waterfalls and geothermal features. We returned to Portsmouth, site of Fort Shirley, but this time to visit Indian River, only a short walk to the south of the town. On the way we met up with a character, Gregory. At that point we did not know he was a boatman/guide from the river and at first Jim was reluctant to engage in conversation. But we soon realised he was looking for his first clients of the day and as we chatted it became clear he knew his fauna and flora. So on reaching the river we hopped into his rowing boat, preferable ... read more
Buttress tree and red ginger flowers
Green backed Heron
Iguana, fascinating how they vary from region to region

Listen up y'all, what we have here is an extraordinarily special public event for which the entire nation is famed. It takes place once in the annual calendar, but preparations for it occupy the main bulk of time in between, and by the time the event is upon us, nobody has any right to hold back on the celebrations - folks, it's time to usher in the multiple tropical-coated delights of Trinidad carnival! Needless to say, flight and hotel bookings need to be made as far in advance as possible in order not to fall into the trap of inflated prices and limited selection, and then, for all the budding up-for-anything participants, it is time to go online and take your pick from the variety of mas(querade) bands on offer so as to be able to ... read more
A gingerbread house
Carnival mas band
Jama Masjid temple

Second Test Match : West Indies v. South Africa (Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad, March 17th – 21st 2001 So-called 'Golden Test' – the 50th staged at the QPOval. A golden Test for me, certainly. - I queued up 2 days before the match for a ticket. While queuing, I saw Sarwan & got his autograph. Scoreboard : modern, covered with Benson & Hedges ads ; video screen showing action replays in gaudy colour ; words – "Howzat!", "Shot, boy!" flashed up. Various ads on the screen – for Fernandes Black Label Rum (girl with enormous phallic bottle rising between her outspread legs). One effect of action replays is when lbw's are replayed, the crowd reacts hostilely to a dodgy-looking decision. Concrete, steel & plastic stadium. Individual plastic seats (in Georgetown, wooden benches), concrete floor (in Georgetown, ... read more
Carl Hooper

We have just returned from a Habitat build in Trinidad. On this trip, I achieved my long awaited objective of visiting 100 countries, based on the rules of The Century Club. Trinidad was number 99 and St Vincent got me to number 100. We left home on March 2nd in order to have dinner with friends in Vancouver and take in the Cavilia Odessey Horse Show-quite an extravaganza. The next day it was off to the airport at 9.00 to check in and have a White Spot breakfast. I was wearing my rather beat up Blundestone boots on this trip so decided to search the airport for a shoe shine kiosk. It appears that many airports in Canada have had their shoe shine programs franchised by Aurora which may or may not be progress. Ten dollars ... read more
Trinidad coastline
The build

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 ... read more
Refuling from the Panda
Steel Drum Band on the Dock
Local Bakery for Lunch

Another very early docking but we had a leisurely breakfast with a lovely Canadian couple from Vancouver then embarked on a 15km walk around town. Trinidad is the southern most island of the Caribbean and only about 7 mile off the coast from Venezuela, also the first inhabited island of the Caribbean. Population of Port of Spain is 128,000 and Trinidad 1.2 million. It produces over 100,000 barrels of oil a day, a good industry for their economy. Although only 31 degrees very hot and humid - we strolled up Brian Lara Promenade before taking one of the side streets up to the Art and Culture Centre - quite a modern architectural building - then noticed across the road at the stadium on the side of Queens Park Savannah that the Red Cross Childrens Carnival was ... read more

The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago Episode 1 Trinidad - 27th January 2015 'Strictly for the Birds' It was -8C a day-or-two before we left our home in the east of England. Snowdrops poked their heads above frosty ground like sparkling snow and our garden birds sat huddled together amongst the branches, sheltering from a bitterly cold wind. But a nine-hour flight aboard a half-full A330 Monarch Airbus took us to another world. Crossing the tarmac at Tobago’s Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson Airport, we were engulfed in a blast of hot air as though hit by a barrage of hairdryers. I had never dreamt I would soon be complaining of being too hot. An hour or so later we were transported on the short flight to Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the first week of our ... read more
Blue-chinned Sapphire
Asa Wright
The secretive Oilbird

So, another flight from Miami to Port of Spain and we made it to Trinidad!! Only to be held up at immigration because our return flights left Costa Rica and not Trinidad itself, which apparently is against their Visa laws. Potentially the nicest immigration people in the world managed to create a flight for us to fake book ourselves onto and then let us go... all a bit underground/illegal, but we made it in! Leaving the airport and being hit by the 30 degree heat, the Northern Range mountains covered in rainforest and the palm trees was amazing! so worth the 40 hours with no sleep and millions of airports! A taxi took us to our guesthouse for the next week in El Socorro, which meant driving through a lot of the citys surrounding areas. Whoever ... read more
Coconut Water

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