Blogs from Trinidad & Tobago, Central America Caribbean

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The past two weeks have really been getting properly started with my research and, of course, getting ready for carnival. Most week days we spend working - either going out and doing interviews or phoning around and sorting ourselves out. Thats another thng I love about Trinidad - everything is done by phone, no emails/texts. Its refreshing to actually talk to people and get to know them. Last weekend we went out again (standard) and ended up drinking at the main junction by our house at 4am with a guy who works in a shop which is basically a cage and our taxi driver. In hindsight, probably not the safest idea weve ever had, but being drunk and with two pretty big men, it seemed like a great idea! The next day we went to the ... read more
Mt St Benedict
Mt St Benedict
Mt St Benedict


Thursday February 12th, 2015. Scarborough, Tobago Trinidad and Tobago is an independent nation and Republic within the Commonwealth. Tobago, the smaller of the two islands and 22 miles north east of Trinidad, features lush rainforest and glorious beaches and is surrounded by colourful coral reefs with more than 600 species of fish. Winner of the World Travel Awards 'Best Eco Destination in the World', Tobago has over 6,000 species of plants and animals including one of the highest densities of bird species in the world. It is a nature lover's paradise. Although it is only 26 miles by 7 the island has hundreds of species of birds, plants flowers and wildlife and the oldest protected rainforest in the Western hemisphere. The climate is tropical and the island lies just to the south of the Atlantic hurricane ... read more
15. Castara Bay
19. Pigeon Point Beach
23. The Pier at Pigeon Point


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


For almost forty years when I worked in the hotel and tourism sector, international visitors invariably asked the same question ... Where do you go for vacation if you live on such a beautiful island? the answer is obvious. I go in search of what I don't have here.... Continents, teeming cities, large landscapes, ancient and prehistoric existences and the like. South Africa is 471,845 sq miles vs Tobago's 116. That's four thousand times bigger. Populations compared - 44million in 2002 vs 50,000 is 880 times bigger. it contains renowned prehistoric antiquity, awesome wild life, proud tribes people their cultures and turbulent colonial history, beautiful landscapes and cities teeming with lively action. So Africa here I come for the ride of a lifetime!!!!... read more


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
ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS CENTRE
CHILDRENS CARNIVAL
CHILDRENS CARNIVAL


Today was the best day yet - we went on a short hike through the jungle to a waterfall which we climbed over/in and went swimming in the little pools!!! The jungle area of Trini is so nice and clam - you could be in a different world when compared to the busy city/towns that we live in even though its literally up the road. In the jungle its slightly cooler, way more humid and there a few cocoa estates/small houses and villages. Its so quite and peaceful, apart from the occasional house blasting out Soca music! We walked for a few kilometres along a 'path' and nearly died a few hundred times but we made it to the most peaceful waterfall ever. And it was just us there. So good! I can't even begin to ... read more
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So, from Monday we decided we should probably make a start on our research and sort ourselves out properly. This involved my first exploration of Trinidad and its public transport system alone, as well as signing for our new house and sorting ourselves out to move in today! I'm so excited to be able to cook and eat proper food!! So far ive had lucky charms for breakfast, bread which tasted more sugary than the lucky charms and several takeaways. The Caribbean diet certainly isnt the healthiest!! Anyway, so on Monday I went to meet a friend of a friend who lives in Trinidad and who is involved in the Cocoa industry. This showed my a whole different side to the island that what I've already experienced. Where I am currently staying, El Socorro, and the ... read more
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Fourteen days to go.... I haven't been this excited for quite some time... and it's not just because I will soon be travelling. I have done that for years and always loved doing it. This time it's because I'm going somewhere I never dreamed I'd visit - to the African continent. Now, here I am on the threshold - soon to be climbing the steps to board the aircraft. Wow!! How did this happen? Simple. My sister has a long time Uni friend from the UK who now lives in the Western Cape. Her name is Alison. She visited us at home in the Caribbean last year and now we will visit her in Africa. And just like that, in a snap, I'm about to visit where I'd never imagined going. My tiny peaceful island neighbourhood ... read more
Flowering yellow poui and flambouyant trees
Goats in training for the Buccoo goat races
The day's catch


Sooo, the past two days we spent at beaches/going out in Port of Spain. On Friday we went to Chaguaramas beach, the owner of our hostel, Earle, took on a drive round the city and to see some other AMAZING beaches and then dropped us off so that we could spend the day there. Trinidadians are so eager to help - we'd only asked him what beach we should go to and he insisted on driving us there, giving us a tour and everything!! Anyway, we spent the day at Chaguaramas, which was pretty empty give that it was a Friday, but the sea was so warm (slightly ruined by the massive oil refinery in the background). We then got a 'maxitaxi' - basically a bus back to the flat. The traffic was HORRENDOUS, but Trinidadians ... read more


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
Guesthouse
Coconut Water
Doubles




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