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When work doesn’t give you enough time, Trinidad and Tobago is your spot

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO | Tuesday, 18 June 2013 | Views [738]

When work doesn’t give you enough time, Trinidad and Tobago is your spot

While in  Trinidad & Tobago for work, I found myself knowing  nothing about these fairly new independence achieving islands. For starters, I had NO IDEA where T&T was even located and as a former expat child that made me feel dumb. So upon arrival to Trinidad, I gathered all of this historical info from my knowledgeable taxi driver:

1) In 2012, T&T hit its 50 years of independence from the British Empire.  For such a short span of freedom it does pretty well for itself. Crime (which isnt that high) is secluded to specific areas. Its got oil to the wazoo and you’ll end up paying Washington DC prices.  Don’t forget your cash and leave your credit card(s) at home.

2) T&T also been colonized by many; the Spanish, the French, the Dutch and the English. Today, the two largest populations are of African and Indian (from India) descent. You’ll find Chinese, Europeans Creole mixes but its not as common.  If you get my taxi driver, he’ll tell that ”We were brought here as workers in the early 1900s. NOT as slaves, as WORKERS, we could leave when ever we pleased.” Your encounters and the food will tell you that most of them stayed.  For curry lovers, that’s a very good thing.

3) They drive on the same side as the Brits. Unlike the streets in London and Dublin, they dont tell you which way you should look. Nor do their streets seem to be correctly marked. So for anyone who drives on the other side of the street, be careful.

I started to wonder why my taxi driver knew so much and after many drives with different taxi drivers, i realized why. Everyone in Trinidad seems to have a car and I think I saw one bus zoom by. EVERY TAXI DRIVER  drives ordinary cars which will be distinguished by the letter H on their car plates. If you travel by taxi a lot be warned theyll want to take you on a tour and be your escort back to the airport. They won’t have a cost meter either so you won’t know if you’re overpaying. Keep his business card though, because you can’t just hail down a cab at 9pm, nor much later.

TRINI FOOD!!! 

I live for food,  so  I was astonished by what these places had  to offer:

1) Trinisushi @ Morevino.  Sushi when the main delicacy is curry based? I was skeptical. I became even more curious upon glazing at the sushi menu. Teriyaki chicken and cabbage inside my roll? Most of the rolls were filled with items that you would not find at a sushi bar in Washington DC. Island-based sushi everyday, YES PLEASE.  The place has plenty of seating outside (not that it has a view) which should be enjoyed at nights.

2) Fish and side salads @ Skippers.  Inside the city’s only Yacht club, its a great place for eating a mass amount of food.  If you order any type of fish, you’ll get 5 difference courses of salads, all which might change your tastebuds (I dislike eggplant based and scarfed it down yes i did.  At lunch time they have a buffet with over 15 different courses. The service is superb and if you’re lucky, the owner, who will enthrall you in details about his sailing ship and crew, the candyman, might even give you a ride home FOR FREE.

TOBAGO’S NATURE HOTSPOT:

There’s two ways to get to Tobago.  Either take a 20 minute ride on Caribbean Airlines for US$200 (roundtrip) or take a 2 .5 hour ferry ride for US$50 (roundtrip).  I’m a lover of the sea and boat motions have yet to make me feel sick so I highly recommend the ferry.

1) Turtle Watching. This is a two hour process of a mama turtle coming upon shore to lay eggs. Nature at its finest.  They come out at night, between 8-10pm. DO NOT SHINE YOUR FLASHLIGHTS IN THEIR EYES for they just trying to be good mothers :( .

2) Hike it out (picture displayed).  By the end of a 3 hour hike, Harris Mcdonald, my tour guide, will most definitely make you a bird and tree naming expert.  He follows the off paths and guides you straight into solitary haven.  Though he carries a machete and may jokingly tell you that no one would ever find you in the 10 foot deep moist grass, I’m proof that I made it out alive.  If you’re lucky, he’ll bring along his owl man buddy.

3) Englishman’s Bay  (picture displayed).  I distaste crowded beaches.  My feet avoid stabbing rocky sands. Sometimes I don’t want 383528 resorts distracting me from picturesque view. Englishman’s Bay provides just the opposite, offering  just one small restaurant and one vendor selling shawls.  On a sunday afternoon, with just one couple walking at the far end of the beach, I breathed in Tobago’s secret paradise.

Englishman's Bay                 Jungle

Tags: beaches, trinidad & tobago, trinisushi

 

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