Tobago 214 (Medium)

While I was in Tobago recently, I popped over to Trinidad for the night.

Flights leave every hour (roughly) and take 25 minutes. But you have to check in 1 1/2 hours before, or you might lose your seat to standby passengers!

Trinidad and Tobago are completely different islands. There’s a lot more happening in Trinidad, while Tobago’s more leisurely and laid-back.

Driving from the airport, we went to the top of a hill, where we could see Trinidad spread out below us.

Freetown grew with a population of escaped slaves.

Belmont was made up of free slaves, but they were given the worst land, up the hill, where the land was harder to grow on.

15 kms away, you can just see the coast of Venezuela. They’re having a hard time at the moment and a lot of them are travelling to Trinidad and Tobago to find work.

We drove around the main areas of the city, Port of Spain, where some of the houses were built in the New Orleans style.

The National Museum was interesting, showing the very varied history of the island.

Tobagobig 856 (Medium)Then we stopped for lunch in RuStreet.

The food is a help-yourself buffet, made up of traditional recipes – all prepared by Jimmy the Chef, who is Venezuelan!

It was all hot and fresh. And I thought it was a good idea that everyone had to put on a plastic glove before helping themselves.

After lunch, we went to visit one of the carnival suppliers; Harts Carnival.

The Trinidad Carnival is a very important event. More of that in a future article.

Tobagobig 866 (Medium)I walked in, and gasped out loud. The room was lined with dummies in the most amazing exotic colourful costumes. Oh, they were GORGEOUS!

Off we went again and I asked if I could have a drink of fresh coconut from one of the coconut vendors beside the road. I’d had fresh coconut in Cuba so I knew how tasty and refreshing it was.

Tobago 167 (Medium)There were adverts around the top of the stalls, so they obviously get an additional income from them.

Tony the Coconut Seller, picked up a lethal-looking machete and hacking the top off the coconut, handed it over.

I saw a sign listing the healthy properties of coconuts, but I couldn’t help noticing the physical state of Tony. He was extremely thin and had missing teeth.

On the other hand, he could have been 102!

In the evening, we went to Chaud, It was a very high quality restaurant. Again it served traditional Trinidad food, but the contrast to RuStreet couldn’t have been more different!

After the meal, we asked the driver if he could take us to see some night life. Most bars were closed although it wasn’t late.

The driver stopped at a lively venue where it was packed outside. To our surprise, it was RuStreet!

It was totally different to the lunchtime, with Karaoke in full swing.

In the morning, our guide for the day, Yvette, took us to see the Indian history of Trinidad.

From 1845, after slavery was banned, Indians were recruited – or rather, conned – to come to Trinidad to work on the sugar plantations.

A lot of them were under the impression that they were going to work in a different part of India (The West Indies.) The journey took around three months.

They signed five year contracts and they were free to leave after that. But they couldn’t afford to leave!

They were Hindus, but were often forced to change to Presbytarian to get their children educated.

We arrived at the Temple in the Sea.

I must tell you all about it in another article as it’s so interesting!

The area was packed with mourning families and by the sea were funeral pyres, which worried me.

I know it’s their religion, but I didn’t want to see a burning body.

Luckily I didn’t see anything like that as we were too early.

The tiny temple was built jutting out into the sea.

As we went along the road to the Indo-Caribbean Museum, funeral processions passed us, their loudspeakers blaring.

In the museum were artifacts showing the history of the Indian workers.

A lot of them were skilled at crafts like weaving, pottery, jewellery making, and basket making.

Gradually these plantation workers managed to buy their own land, and mainly grew rice or worked on their crafts.

Tobago 219 (Medium)As a complete contrast, we next visited an ornate temple called the Shoba Vishaan Dattatraya (I think I’ve got that right.)

The temple looked like a giant meringue, and there were groups of brightly-attired wedding guests everywhere.

A huge statue of their God looked like a cartoon character.

Roti

Roti

Next, we drove to the swamp, where we sat under a shelter and ate Rotis, which are Indian-type meals encased in flatbreads.

They’re not very attractive to look at, and not very elegant to eat. But they’re very tasty.

We waited for our boat to be prepared. It looked home-made, and the engine had to be unloaded from a truck.

Finally we set off with Captain Victor, the owner.

He pointed out various types of fish and bird. And then he suddenly stopped under a tree, making me disappear in a cloud of petrol fumes.

He pointed up and said there was a boa curled up asleep on a branch.

Tobago 245 (Medium)It took us a while to focus our eyes, and I accused him of planting it there, and said it was probably plastic! But after seeing the third boa, who all sat on branches above our head, I changed my mind. And if one of them had fallen into our boat, I’d have probably dived over the side into the murky water!

We saw a gorgeous little Silky Anteater, all curled up and cuddly on a branch.

A pink flamingo seemed to performing a miracle walking on water. But it was strolling along a sandbank.

But the most popular of all just had to be the Scarlet Ibis.

ibisOh the amazing flash of red as they took off and flew above us. Stunning!

After that it was time to leave and head for the airport.

It had been a short, but memorable trip.

See also; http://b-c-ing-u.com/2016/08/13/10-reasons-not-go-tobago/

Tobago Ladies; Big, Bold & Beautiful!

www.gotrinidadandtobago.com

www.tobagostyle.travel

Twitter: tnt_steelypan

Facebook: Adventures of Steely Pan

British Airways: www.britishairways.com/Tobago

Flights from £567 return

Www.bluebaytravel.co.uk
They can put together great value packages including accommodation and
flights to Tropikist and Blue Waters

Rust Street Restaurants Limited,

20 Rust Street,

St Clair,

Port of Spain

email 20ruststreet@gmail.com

Harts Carnival

www.hartscarnival.com

Our hotel for the night was;

http://www.trinidadhosthomes.com

L’Orchidee, Trinidad

Prices from £84 per room per night including breakfast

 

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.