Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago Travel Blog

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Right so before it all becomes a hazy memory and I
start wondering if it ever really happened I better
right down my experiences in blissful Tobago.

As soon as we landed we were greeted by a powerful
humid heat. It was around 5pm and still it was over 40
degrees. We took a cab to our hotel after exchanging
some money and were directed towards a delightful room
on the 1st floor (the top one), we had a huge balcony
facing the sea with only a few palm trees and a mango
tree between us and the beach. The room was big and
had a bathroom, a fridge and air conditioned.

I wrote “Paradise here in Tobago. The turtle season is
over here at Turtle beach but the rest is more than
enough. All our expectations have been surpassed. The
sun sets right in front of our balcony and we sit here
in the afternoons watching it go to sleep in its bed
of warm calm waters. My mum calls the sea a soup and
for the first time in years she spends more time in it
than out. She even swims and stopped caring about not
getting her hair wet. Numerous pelicans greet us in
the early morning going about their breakfast. They
circle the sea and suddenly tuck their wings and dive
at huge speeds and seem to do it enough times to feed a
whale. It’s lovely to watch them. When I am in the
water I swim quite far from the coast and the little
fish gather under me as if somehow knowing that if I
am between them and the pelicans they are safe.
It is
hot, very humid, stuffy at times, extremely tropical.
Always there are sounds of birds or crickets, it is
very soothing. Tobago is known for its numbers of
birds and bird watchers flock here (hihi). Different
types of birds come to our balcony. Mum took to
feeding them crackers and now we even give them
papaya!!! They love it.”
It was only towards the end of our trip that a local
artist – Jerry - told me about the little black and
yellow birds, so tiny, they come to eat the fruits of
the palm tree in front of our balcony, I could never
take a photo as they are so small and then Jerry told
me what to do – put some sugar on the rail and they’ll
come if you sit still. They are sugar eaters, I
learned, and sure enough, I did and they came, very
happy bingeing on pure sugar and chirping.
He told me
about the pig shit birds, like crows but much smaller,
more like magpies. And the dove which is a quarter of
the size of an European dove but looks just the same.
“Everything is very green here. It reminds me of
Cameroon, also with its thousands of shades of green.
I’m quite certain there isn’t one single shade of
green that is not represented in this magical island.
Lush vegetation everywhere. This is supposed to be the
rainy season, and I believe them, but for the first 3
days it didn’t rain at all and afterwards it just
rains torrentially for about 10 minutes in the morning
and then it stops till the next day. Usually I run to
the sea when it starts, there is something wonderful
about swimming while it pours on you.”
Tobago is the cleanest country I have ever seen.
There
isn’t a piece of rubbish on the floor. Even the leaves
of the trees in the gardens of the hotel are swept
daily. To my amazement even Scarborough, the capital
of Tobago Island, is immaculate. Everywhere there are
signs incentivating people to keep Tobago clean and
even warnings of a fine if someone throws rubbish on
the ground. Even the rubbish bins are clean outside.
“We wake up early, well my mum wakes up at 5.30 am and
makes so much noise dandering around I am usually up
before 6. We sit on the balcony and have breakfast as
the sun rises and the earth comes to life. Then we put
our bikinis and off to the beach. The sea is something
that needs proper wording to describe and I’m afraid
my poor attempt won’t make you understand its
immeasurable beauty. It touches all your senses.
First
you feel its scent pure and strong. Then you hear it
softly like a reassuring voice. Then you see it and
its shades of light green and crystal blue waters
stagger you. Then you go in and at any time of the day
it is always above 27 degrees, so clear and tranquil
and warm, like it talks to you. You dive and it is
very salty so you giggle. Somehow all of it put
together fills your heart with a kind of happiness I’m
unable to express.”
After several fruitless attempts at finding fruit for
sale a local told me about one of the trees at the
beach – it has sea grapes – whole bunches hanging and
they are sweet though they have a big stone in the
middle so there isn’t much to eat. My mum eats them
all the time now.
“Just had an amazing dinner with Jerry and Blacks.

Jerry the artist who works on his stall right in front
of our balcony on the beach is 34, he does beautiful
things out of Calabash and also jewelry with sea
jewels. I like him a lot, he is sensitive and has
traveled, he's a virgo. He fancies my mother but well
she loves the attention but would never go for it. We
were sitting in our balcony and Blacks came to ask for
a cigarette and said Jerry was cooking fish and would
love for us to pop in. We did. The fish was divine,
caught in the afternoon and grilled right there on the
beach under the starry sky on open fire. Your senses
come alive in Tobago and it seems everyone is a
stupendous cook, they mix spices and the whole food is
incredibly tasty. Anyway the fish was truly well
seasoned and it almost melt in your mouths. Mum
brought wine and we ate and chatted at the pace of the
soft warm breeze under the dark night sky so full of
stars.
Live music was playing from the bar area and we
could hear it in the distance. It was truly a
wonderful evening and actually probably my best memory
of Tobago.”

“We went with Keith on a boat trip. He used to be
Tobago’s champion body builder and you can tell, he
sounds like Barry White and he is great fun. His boat
has a glass bottom so we could see the corals and
fish. We snorkeled – mum’s first time, she found it
scary as she kept breathing through her nose! Bless!
And then we reached Nylon pool. Picture the deep blue
sea, far out away from the shores and all of a sudden
this pool of crystal light green waters emerges with
white sand and you can stand on it and the water
doesn’t even reach your hip! They told us the sand was
not sand at all it was pieces of corals and if we
rubbed it on us we would leave 10 years younger –
guess what we all did? Hihi yep, I am now 24! Heaven
is in Tobago and Nylon pool is its heart.
So so warm,
no one wanted to leave but we had to go to No Man’s
Land where a beach barbecue awaited us – fresh caught
fish, chicken, wonderful tasty salads, rice and a
lentil stew. While Keith grilled the food we were
offered the typical Rum punch. We were all thirsty and
it is red and fresh so I had 2, wow, it is powerful
stuff. Good thing we were all sitting in the water as
we drank it, we just stayed there till it wore off!!
hihi The food of course was divine as always and
afterwards there was a limbo competition with Keith
demonstrating and everyone following. I managed to be
the official photographer as I could not miss my mum
doing it and guess what? She won the title of Limbo
queen and a bottle of Rum!!! Hihi Then we all danced
together at the sounds of their wonderful soca music
and on the way home I went on top of the boat’s roof
as the sun set.
Truly breathtaking.”
The next day was my birthday so this lovely couple we
met there offered to take us all around the island
since they had a car. I loved it, all the green mounts
and valleys and coast everywhere, the houses on
stilts, the bays, the villages, the waterfall. We went
for a drink in the evening and I had a pina colada as
the steal band played its happy tunes.
We went on one more tour a couple of days later, along
the coast but by sea and we had to fish –believe it or
not I was the only one who caught anything!!! I caught
a great big tuna which they prepared later and we all
ate it grilled on the beach!!! We snorkeled a lot and
I saw fishes of all colours, corals and even a turtle.
We finally settled in a bay where there were 2 huge
tame sting rays!!! I mean for real!!! Huge and they
swam with us, around us, on top of us and we touched
them and played with them, they sometimes came from
behind and tripped us so we had to lift our legs
quickly for them to swim under… soft as silk.
They
were fed every day so apparently they didn’t want to
leave and never hurt people. The bay was completely
open, they had had babies and the babies swam away but
not them, they found pleasure in our delight as we did
in theirs. After yet another delicious beach barbecue
we sped away with 70’s music blasting in our ears… It
was magical… something unique.
In every way Tobago was so much more than I ever
imagined. A choice by accident, an impulse and I know
now I will have to return again one day. Well next
time without my mum, though I must say I’m glad I did
it, she was happy and so was I and now it is done and
I’ll never one day say I wish I’d done it because I
did do it.
The people of Tobago are incredibly friendly and
charming. There is nothing about Tobago that one can
not like, every aspect is almost mystical.

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