has it been 2 days in Trinidad already?

Trinidad and Tobago Travel Blog

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not illegal to drink and drive here... like Texas!

Hey ya’ll. I made it, I’m just starting to feel like I’m on vacation… well… except that my Blackberry data and email works, but not my phone. (ironic huh?) Which means I can stay obsessed with checking email, and before dinner I got a flood of emails that there’s a power outage at work. *cry* I know before the end of the trip I’m going to make like that Corona commercial and end up skipping the blackberry across the water like a rock.

My travel went off without a hitch. Well, except that I decided to bring a lot of emotional baggage with me this time. Stupid me. They wouldn’t let me check it in cause it was toxic. Then it was too big to fit into the overhead bin. I almost had to buy an extra seat for it but I just kept it in my lap instead. Fortunately it’s getting better now, I had let it go and remind myself I can’t control everything.

SO! Trinidad - Port of Spain! Crazy ass place!

When I got dropped off at my first choice of guest houses (which I didn’t make a reservation) they were full. It was a bit disorienting at night, cause it kind of looked like we were in a sketchy neighborhood of Miami or something. There were like 8 people hanging out in the street, 3 of which were like shadowboxing for exercise, including this little 5 foot tall Latin chick with cornrows, drenched in sweat, who looked like she could have beat me sideways. I was like… whoah, where the F am I?

He took me to my second choice just 2 blocks away, and it was great. Funny enough this “sketchy” neighborhood called Woodbrook is just a block away from where all the upscale bars are, so that’s kinda cool and unexpected.
Also disorienting about Port of Spain is just the crazy mix of old and new side by side… New high rise hotels, next to old run down industrial factories, next to fenced yards that - like I said - kinda look like Florida with ramshackle houses only a few blocks away from really nice houses, all gated. But after 2 days you realize Port of Spain isn’t SO big and daunting, and it’s the biggest city in the country.

Right off the bat in the morning, I made a couple of friends at the guest house. So what better way to get right into things than to tag along with wherever they were going that day! This virtual Bennetton ad of cute British med students (and 1 of their boyfriends) had plans to visit one of the little islands between here and Venezuela, and there was a mention of caves and swimming, but I didn’t realize the two activities were going to be together!

I do have this habit of doing things I’ve NEVER done before on my first day of arrival.
my first glimpse of South America... oh it's so close!
I guess it’s such a great way to dive in and force yourself into vacation mode.

After boating to the island we have a little hike to the cave. You’ll notice in the photo gallery, a foggy outline of Venezuela I took from the top of this concrete structure that used to hold a military canon to guard the Bay. Well right after I snapped that photo, our tour guide started talking about the concrete canon holder, and I got shy and took a step back, lost my footing since it was all uneven, and fell down about 3 feet to the ground in between these concrete walls. It didn’t hurt that bad, I was more embarrassed, but then there was a fair amount of blood. It could have been MUCH worse as the concrete had tips of rusty rebar coming out parts of it. Ugh.

Now, if you’re going to fall and injure yourself on a hike on an island, you might as well do it with a Bennetton ad of 5 cute British med students (and 1 of their boyfriends) packing a first aid kit.
Fortunately it was mostly a lot scratches and nothing too deep, not nearly as deep and nasty as my knee accident in Thailand that proceeded to get infected when diving… I won’t make that mistake again.

So back to cave swimming… never done it before. It was pretty damn amazing. The cave had two holes in the roof letting streams of light in and lighting the clear, blue water. The water is from the sea and goes up and down with the tide, but much cooler. It was just us, our tour guide, and the bats! No one else! It was so rad. You could jump off the rocks, you could float on your back and just stare up at this giant hole in the top of the cave with trees growing around it. One of the guys brought goggles. Occasionally a couple of bats would chase each other for a minute.
So rad.

Quite an excursion and nothing I could have done by myself.

Our tour guide tipped us off to a big steel pan show in the park that night. Perfect! Everyone else was into it too so after getting cleaned up we all headed over. It was looooong but very worth it. This is the REAL DEAL. It’s cool cause all over town the famous steel pan groups have their rehearsal “yards” even marked on maps, so you can occasionally just catch rehearsals on the street, more often around Carnival time. But this was a championship competition of groups from both Trinidad and Tobago.

I took a couple of videos with my new camera, but there’s no way I can upload it over this slow, hijacked wifi. (yes I brought my laptop, hah!) So I’ll link it up later. There was ONE group out of the 24 songs performed that REALLY brought the house down, and I caught just the final long note of their song on the video.
swimming in a cave

That was yesterday… today I ventured alone to Maracas Bay for beach and the notorious Bake’n'Shark! But I’m too tired to write about it now…. and heading over to Tobago tomorrow. Later.

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not illegal to drink and drive her…
not illegal to drink and drive he…
my first glimpse of South America.…
my first glimpse of South America…
swimming in a cave
swimming in a cave
swimming in a cave
swimming in a cave
the islands are mostly uninhabited…
the islands are mostly uninhabite…
merely a flesh wound
merely a flesh wound
Sweet, hot, and spicy... i was the…
Sweet, hot, and spicy... i was th…