Leaving home in -22 degree weather on Monday sure felt good. We had a snow-free drive to Toronto airport and finally made it through security, despite a real going over due to my artificial shoulders and a few screws in my ankle. The flight was a good one and we landed in Trinidad at 10:30 pm, to be greeted by Gayle and Paul and a cold Stag beer.
We started our Trini vacation with both feet in by attending Carnival. It is one BIG party with many bands, lots of noise (and I mean LOTS), drinking and very beautiful costumes. The temperature was hot but not too bad and there was usually a breeze as we watched hundreds of masqueraders dance across a stage.
Wednesday am Gayle and Paul took Heather and Katie (Gayle's sister and niece) to the airport. After they returned we toured to the ocean and walked through an area called Bamboo cathedral where the bamboo trees form an arch you walk through. It was quite neat to see a former hash route. Supper that night was different, but tasty. We ate roti (mix of chickpeas, potatoes and a curried beef or chicken) for the first time and really liked it.
On Thursday we saw and visited a really beautiful sight - a hummingbird sanctuary. Yerette is a private home in the mountains where hundreds of hummingbirds (13 species to be exact) feed and show off for visitors. It was quite the show and the owner talked about the birds and some of their amazing traits and habits. After coming home and having a swim in the pool at the complex we headed out for a seafood buffet on the water with a marina with some huge private boats in the slips.
Friday had to include a trip to the mall. Mid afternoon we took a boat tour through the Caroni swamp where we saw boa constrictors, caimans (little crocs), four eyes fish, crabs and thousands of scarlet ibis. They land on a certain island every night at about 5:45pm. It was quite a sight. Supper consisted of messy doubles (chick peas in a wrap with a mango sauce) that we ate out of our hands on the sidewalk, like real Trinis. Then we had gyros with chicken, beef or shrimp which were really, really good.
Saturday was a real treat as well. We had a maxi taxi (small van) take 9 fellow Canadians to the southern end of Trinidad where we toured an asphalt lake (called Pitch Lake), a Trinidad declared 8th wonder of the world. It is mined and keeps on forming like a volcano. We were able to walk out on it as a guide explained interesting facts to us. Rare water lilies grow there. After we toured a wildfowl centre and Temple in the Sea on the way home. You can see the pictures in the Gallery!
It has been a busy week with Paul and Gayle being great hosts. We've had a great time seeing, learning and trying different Trini foods. We are sure glad we came to Trinidad.