Travelling around Tobago.

Speyside Travel Blog

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View of Great Courland Bay in Plymouth.
Hello All,

I woke up early this morning and decided that in order to see all of Tobago, that I would have to rent a car or scooter.  My guesthouse is located very close to the Crown Point Airport, so I figured that it would be easy to walk around and check prices.  I checked about five different places before I found a car that was under $50, so I took that one.  I also walked over to the airport terminal and got a ticket back to Trinidad for $24 for tomorrow morning.

The car was a little, silver Nissan station wagon that was a few years old and had a dent in the fender.  I drove out of the airport lot, and it was time for my first driving on the left experience.  Thankfully the Nissan was an automatic, so I wouldn't have to be shifting with my left hand.
The Beach at Castara.
  It is really strange to say that, because I am left handed, but it's all what you're used to I guess.  I drove around the area just getting used to things for about 30 minutes, and then headed back to the guesthouse.

I packed up my things for a day trip, and hopped in the car.  My plan is to head counter-clockwise around the island, checking out the sights and grabbing some food.  I took the Claude Noel Highway towards Scarborough, the island's capital, and promptly got into a traffic jam.  I sat for quite a while, moving about a car length a minute, before giving up and turning around.  I stopped to take a picture of the beautiful town wrapped around a little bay.  Oops, I forgot to bring my camera.

After going back to get my camera I decided to go the other direction around the island.
View of the capital, Scarborough, over Rockly Bay.
 I went through Plymouth, and visited the sight of the first settlement on Tobago.  The sight is the first, and I believe only, attempt at western colonization by the Courlanders.  The Duchy of Courland was located in the area of present day Latvia, and in 1654 they established a colony near Plymouth on Tobago.  The colony actually held on until 1689.  The Spanish, Dutch, and British all took an interest in the island, but the British finally took control for good until independence in 1962.

I then made my way towards Castara.  The road to Castara headed up into the mountains away from the coast, and it was a good training road for my fledgling right hand drive, left side driving skills.  It was about 10 kilometers to Castara on the islands north coast, and the little town had a great little beach in the middle of town on a sheltered bay.
The short beach at King's Bay.
 I noticed the gas gauge was getting pretty low, so I asked around about the nearest gas station.  Unfortunately it was back in Scarborough.  Crap.

I was seriously worried about running out of gas on the way to Scarborough.  I passed over the spine of the island, driving uphill to Moriah, down into the Courland River valley, up to Mason Hall, then back downhill to the highway near Scarborough.  I'm guessing I made it just in time, and I filled up the tank not worrying about leaving the car with a 1/4 tank.  The gas was pretty inexpensive, attesting to the fact that Trinidad & Tobago are oil exporters.

Back on the south coast of the island again, I decided to go back to my counter-clockwise path.  I was getting a bit of a headache now from the up and down, mountain hugging roads, and I regretted not bringing my Aleve along.
King's Bay beach looking east.
 The south coast was rugged and beautiful, and I stopped a few times to snap pictures and take in the view.

I had almost made it to Speyside on the Eastern end of the island, and stopped a a beautiful viewpoint looking down on the city, the bay, and two islands just offshore.  It was an amazing sight, although it was marred a bit by unmissable power lines going right through the view.  I moved into the city, and stopped to get a roti at a place recommended in the Rough Guide.

A roti is in East Indian treat, consisting of a traditional bread wrapped around stewed or curried vegetables, and some meat if desired.  This particular place was out of meat, so I passed and moved on.
View of Speyside from the power line obscured vista.
 In Charlotteville a short drive later, I stopped on the beach and ordered a roti and a beer.  I chatted with two women and their children from the UK and Ireland while waiting, and took some pictures around the beach.  The roti tasted good, and although I've never been a great fan of curry the flavor was light.  Then I was surprised to come upon tons of bones in the chicken meat.  Now I have a real problem with bones in a wrapped item.  Once you put something inside of something else I consider it ready-to-eat.  It ruined my whole experience.

I now headed back along the north side of the island.  The north side was rougher with a much more dramatic coastline than the south.  The road was also much more fun, with the 10 miles as the crow flies taking more than 20 miles to traverse.  I began to overlap my own trail once reaching Castara, and made it back to Crown Point by 5pm.  I headed down to the Store Bay Beach for a little while before heading back to the guesthouse for bed.

Tomorrow I plan on heading to the north coast of Trinidad to do some turtle watching.

Later, Phil
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View of Great Courland Bay in Plym…
View of Great Courland Bay in Ply…
The Beach at Castara.
The Beach at Castara.
View of the capital, Scarborough, …
View of the capital, Scarborough,…
The short beach at Kings Bay.
The short beach at King's Bay.
Kings Bay beach looking east.
King's Bay beach looking east.
View of Speyside from the power li…
View of Speyside from the power l…
Ian Flemings old place on Goat Is…
Ian Fleming's old place on Goat I…
The football field in Speyside.
The football field in Speyside.
House on the hillside as seen from…
House on the hillside as seen fro…
The beach at Charlotteville.
The beach at Charlotteville.
The beach at Charlotteville as see…
The beach at Charlotteville as se…
View along the north coast.
View along the north coast.
The little Nissan station wagon th…
The little Nissan station wagon t…
Speyside
photo by: gopackjo