Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A few Days in Tobago

"The contents of this [blog] are personal and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps."

I arrived in Tobago via the ferry less than 12 hours after starting the Trinidad marathon that morning and I must say the ferry is plush. Air conditioned with plenty of reclining seats, restaurant and separate bar and a movie playing. All for 50TT which is less than $10.

I disembarked and immediately was offered taxi rides for 80TT to where I was meeting my host for the night. I declined, instead walking 50 feet further to a shared taxi where I was driven in about the same amount of time for 7TT. And since I was the stinkiest one by far, I really cannot complain ;)

My plans originally were to take a later ferry but upon reviewing the schedule I saw that there wasn’t one running on Sundays so I quickly had shot an email to my host, Sayida, hoping she’d get it and know to pick me up at our predetermined meeting spot early. I was dropped off by the taxi and she wasn’t in site. This was my first “real” couchsurfing experience, because while Cleve and I arranged it through couchsurfing, I had already met him and knew him through the marathon. Sayida and I had never met and only briefly talked online. So after a half an hour and still no sight of her, I started getting worried.

Which I needn’t have been. She arrived with her friend thinking I had had the opportunity telling me that she’d be there at 6:30. It was 6:15. So she arrived, what she thought, to be early. I just didn’t have any opportunity to get that email. So anyway, she takes me back to her place and has dinner prepared for me! She also has a separate room with new sheets on the bed all set up for me. I took a well over-due shower and the three of us settled in for the night watching a couple movies.

I awoke the next morning to her making me breakfast and, having read that I like coffee, a FULL pot of it for me. She had to go for work but offered for her brother to show me around the island. I politely declined because, not  only did I feel badly about that, I also wanted to just hang out at the beach. So she drew up a map for me to get there as well as to see a few other sites, gave me her only set of keys and said she’d be back to make me dinner before I had to leave for my overnight ferry back.

Side-note: I am choosing to take the “slow boat” which takes about 6 hours and goes overnight. I could have taken the twice as fast boat but this way I didn’t have to find a place to stay for the night(although I’m sure both Sayida and Cleve would have offered had I mentioned it to them).

Any way after fully digesting my great breakfast, I packed a small bag and took off on a slow jog to the beach. Her place was actually close enough that I had to do an extra loop just to get thirty minutes of running in. I then just hung out. The water was beautiful, the crowds were small and the sand soft. After spending an hour in the water and another few on the sand, I headed down the road to Fort Milford which like many of the Caribbean countries have a long history of various colonial overseers. Which was apparent in the cannons as 4 of the five were marked with British emblems while the fifth was French indicating the short period of time that France held dominion over the area. It’s not a very big fort so that only took me a few minutes but then I headed to the pier. The pier was something Sayida had recommended and was definitely off the beaten path. I didn’t know what to expect as her description was “I like it”.

Well, so do I. It was down this side street past mangroves and a long enough distance that I was starting to think I had made a wrong turn. Then out pops this tiny little pier that could maybe hold 3-4 small boats at most. But behind it was crystal clear water with rocks(as opposed to sand) and even from my vantage point, thousands of brightly colored fish. Oh and did I mention the island? There was an island about a quarter mile across that looked like it did have a beach. If I had brought my snorkel gear(or at least goggles) I would have been back in the water in a heart beat. As it was, I was getting hungry so instead I went back to the house to have some late lunch that Sayida has set aside for me.
When I come back to Trinidad with Kenny in June, I am definitely going to making her come over to Tobago with me and I will be before prepared to explore that island.

That evening, I caught up on some reading and relaxing in her air conditioned (and bug free) house, had dinner with her and watched a movie and she suggested that rather than spend the night uncomfortable on the ferry to just stay the night and  then take the early ferry  the next morning. 

Which meant she had to 5am to drop me off. But another good day’s sleep and an air conditioned quick ferry ride back to Trinidad and a laid back morning before getting over to the airport made for a nice Tuesday. Then I headed over to Barbados but I’ll save that for another post. While the stay was relatively short in Trinidad and Tobago, it was spectacular and like I said, it allowed me to plan out my trip when I return.

Until next time,


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