Monday, January 7, 2013

Trinidad and Tobago

Last Christmas Nate and I visited the island of Barbados, where a few of our close friends met us. This year we weren't able to trick our friends into coming and seeing  us again (gosh-darn it), so we had to venture out alone. This year we visited the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.  Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island State of 1.3 million people whose economy is largely based on oil and gas. Trinidad and Tobago are separated by 21 miles of the Caribbean Sea. Since Tobago is mostly known for its beaches, that's where we headed first.

Christmas Eve dinner

The first two nights in Tobago we stayed in Bucco Reef where we were lucky enough to catch "Sunday School" (nope not what is sounds), instead an outdoor cocktail party full of steel pan bands followed by house music until the wee hours of the morning. Following Bucco reef we moved on over to Crowne Pointe (which is near the famous Pigeon Pointe beach), since we desired a bit more night life and eatery options. For a glorious four days we sat on the beach, went snorkeling in Bucco Reef, played in the sea shallow white sand pool that is located off Pigeon Point called Nylon pool (so named after Princess Margaret, who, on her honeymoon, announced the color was so crazy-blue it looked like nylon) and ate plenty of fish (specifically Kingfish and yeah we threw a lobster in there). The island of Tobago seems like a pretty well kept secret since most days we were the only ones on the beach, in the Jacuzzi at the hotels and often times the only patrons in a restaurant. The busy season apparently is in the summer, were it sometimes may take up to 5 minutes to get a beer (how adorable). Not only is Tobago not crawling with tourists, once you get there it is dirt cheap. Beer is less than $2 and for lunch, which usually consisted of fish, chips (fries) and salad, cost on average $10 for two people. Pretty amazing. Also, the views aren't to shabby. The sand is perfectly white/pink, the people are incredibly warm and welcoming and though the nightlife is lacking, there a few dive bars and a casino. The island seemed relatively safe so nighttime strolls with a good cigar (if you're into that) and nice conversation was really all we needed. Once our bellies were full of fish and our skins as tan as we could possibly get in four days we moved onto the island of Trinidad.

Nate has a Wake Forest friend that is doing internationally teaching at a school in Trinidad so he and his girlfriend, Jordan and Alicia, became our tour guides for the next three days. Our first day in Trinidad we took off our touristy hats and opted for a non-cultural delicious lunch of sushi and wine followed by going to see a movie at the movie theater, had to preface movie theater. Mind you, Nate and I have not been in a movie theater, nonetheless a mall with a movie theater in two years, so when we walked into the place, being overwhelmed is putting it lightly. Both Nate and I had a pretty emotionally charged reactions to being in such a developed/ over-the-top building with anything and everything our little hearts desired. A very strange emotion to feel;  guilt-that very few people in our village will ever experience something like that, excitement-that it's all coming back, out-of-place-that it's been so long we don't belong, and lastly confusion that the customer is always right. Let's just say a movie and sushi was all the excitement we could handle for the day and we retired earlier than usual to our guest house before meeting up with Jordan and Alicia later that evening for a few drinks at a hip little bar. (Side note- the island of Trinidad is extremely diverse. It is 40% Indian decent, 38% African decent, and 20% Mixed). So any little bar, restaurant, grocery store, beach we visited there was a plethora of races all just getting along. Most people thought I was Trini, in the mixed category. A truly beautiful thing to see. 


Nate under our snorkeling boat "Sugar lips"
Nylon Pool

The next two days we spent on the beaches of Trinidad. Yes  I know...what a surprise. We visited Maracas beach which is the most popular beach in Trinidad that is located in the north side of the island, an hour's mountainous drive from the capital city of Port of Spain. Maracas beach was featured on the show "Bizarre Foods" because of their famous snackettes that serve "Bake and Shark." Yes, I said shark. Don't ask me what type of shark, because when I asked I got a blank stare and the response "you know a shark." The Bake is kneaded flour usually made for roti that is fried in certain shapes to make the bread. Needless to say it was incredibly delicious.

View on our way to Maracas Beach

Maracas beach

Bake and Shark

The following day we went "sailing down de islands" always known as "DDI". We started the day with Trinidad's famous "Doubles" which are fried roti (or a flatbread type of bread) filled with Chickpea Curry also known as Channa Curry.  These tiny little islands are in the direction of Venezuela and aren't more than a few miles in length. Just beautiful. 


Vacation homes DDI

Jordan and Nate

Can't forget the frisbee
Me, Rihanna (Alicia's friend) and Alicia.
Unfortunately, our trip came to an end too quickly and though we got a good feel for the island, there seemed to be so much more to experience. We hear Trinidad's Carnaval is second to Brazil, so maybe we will have to venture back in some February and see this famous Carnaval the people of Trinidad and Tobago have scheduled for the next thirty years. That's correct they have the dates of all the Carnavals Trinidad will have until 2045. For Caribbean people to plan that far in advance, you know the party must be epic. 

Thank you to Jordan and Alicia for showing us the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and letting us experience such a rich place. Celebrating Christmas and our anniversary in such a charming place was awesome....just awesome.  

Till next time.  

Oh and we couldn't forget sharing this gem...Hard Wine (made with Siberian Ginseng and Horny Goat Weed)...De...interesting.