October  2009 

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - October 2009

So Trinidad - what can I say? Home of the tin pan (originally made from oil drums), liming and carnival. When you see a sign in a restaurant saying "No liming on mobile phones whilst on duty" you know you're in Trini. A real mix of cultures - the capital - Port of Spain has so much going on - the senses are treated to a plethora of different sights, sounds and smells. The centre for 'getting things done' in the Caribbean during the hurricane season and a meeting place for many cruisers - so a good social scene.

17th September - Arrived in Chaguramus on a public holiday weekend - 21st September - Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan) and the following Thursday - 24th - Republic Day so took the opportunity to go 'down de islands' - to Chacachacare - which used to be a leper colony. Interesting place - the abandoned village and doctors houses, old rusty power station, French Nun's cemetery all now being overtaken by the jungle. We walked up to the Boca lighthouse and met with the 2 delightful lighthouse keepers - Jerome and Gerald - we left laden with mangoes, avocados and breadfruits.

Back to Chaguramus and the search for our materials to complete the DIY tasks we had come here to do - new worktop in the galley, more insulation in the freezer, varnishing, alterations and additions to the bimini etc etc - the list seemed endless. We spent what amounted to several days on public 'maxi taxis' in search of various suppliers - all good fun - honest!  However each weekend we alternated between a few days at Chacachacare and Scotland Bay so we could swim, snorkel and generally have a bit of peace and quiet (until the locals appeared on Sunday afternoons - complete with booming speakers).

Not all working I admit - we took a few days off to see some other parts of Trinidad - hired a car (renta wreck) and armed with water, camera and map headed off - first stop in the industrial south - the Pitch lake - from which asphalt is used to pave many roads worldwide including Pall Mall in London. Interesting place - looks like a giant elephant hide! It had been raining but we got to have a tour and a walk on the lake. After millions of years it's still replenishing itself and is believed by geologists to last for another 400 years (give or take a couple).

I thought Matt might be suffering from withdrawal symptoms so as we drove north, we stopped at the huge oil refinery of Petrotrin - but actually to go visit the Point-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust which is in the grounds - saw lots of rare species of birds including the spectacular Scarlet Ibis. On then to the Temple in the Sea - an amazing feat - built by Sewdass Sadhu - an Indian labourer who was denied permission by Tate & Lyle (the sugar plantation owners at that time) to build on land so struggled for 20 years to carry rocks on his bicycle at low tide every day to build the temple.

In contrast to the flat industrial south, the north is very hilly, rain forest with lovely beaches in secluded bays. We visited Maracas Beach and had some fun body surfing followed by a 'Bake and Shark' - the local fish sandwich. A very winding, broken track (obviously this road was overlooked when the asphalt was being given out!) 20 km long, took us to the Asa Wright Nature Centre in the Arima Valley for afternoon tea on the veranda watching the feeding birds - very pleasant. So our time in Trinidad is coming to a close - quite an experience but certainly time to move on.......

November 2009.....







Scarlet Ibis Chacachacare with Venezuela in background (courtesy of Nichola Farfan) Sunset at Chacachacare (Courtesy of Nichola Farfan) Chacachacare village house Leper houses Doctor's house Nun's House Boca Lighthouse Jerome & Gerald - Lighthouse keepers View from the Boca Lighthouse towards Venezuela La Brea Pitch Lake Museum Composition of natural ashphalt A walk on the Pitch Lake Digging the liquid pitch Wild Muscovy Duck at the Pointe-a Pierre Wild fowl Centre 26 metre high staue of the Hindu God Hanuman Statue of Sewdass Sadhu Temple in the sea with funeral pyre in foreground Maracas Beach View over the Arima Valley at Asa Wright centre Beach BBQ Shelter from the rain after a very wet BBQ Our Renta Wreck Hire Car

10.40.70N   61.38.40W