Trinidad and Tobago: The Other Side of the Caribbean

Thursday, March 31, 2016

“Small things start us in new ways of thinking” ― V.S. NaipaulA Bend in the River


The home of bake and shark, doubles and any kind of pelau you can imagine, Trinidad and Tobago gave me a greater appreciation for island living.

Also known as the land of 'fete', Trinidadians can be described not only as 'fiery spirited' but also as laid back and overtly relaxed.

With the end of year 3 well behind, I was able to indulge in the local festivities that spanned across a long Easter weekend which began on Good Friday (March 19th) and ended March 31st.

I will truly miss having so many holidays to either use as extra sleep days or ones where I could get caught up on studying.

To my knowledge, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the only countries with so many holidays in a year-28 to be exact.

My mother and cousin blessed me with their presence during the break and we spent most of our time touring the country.

The Island Circle Tour was our first tour. It granted us the opportunity to see most of Trinidad in just one day.We were able to experience the lifestyle of the people, the agricultural belt of the country as well as the industrial aspect all while appreciating the nature and wildlife which is unique to this side of the world and climate.

     


As we traveled along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway we passed various schools and trees such as the Poui 'poo-e' (left) and the "red tulip" (top center) tree and areas that showed the red rich soil (lower center) that the country possesses.



We continued along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway eastwards passing Arima until we came to Valencia where we stopped at the Valencia Visitors Centre which is also opened to the general public throughout the year including holidays.


 Here we were able to see local, macaws, green parrots and howler monkeys which are indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. The centre also has possums, anteaters and other animals for viewing as well.




From Valencia we journeyed through Sangre Grande and our tour continued along the coastline where we stopped and allowed the ocean breeze to wipe the sweat off our brows at the picturesque Manzanilla Beach, which is situated along a lush coconut plantation, stretching a distance of 14 miles.










We proceeded eastward passing sugar cane plantations, small villages and countless papaya and cocoa plantations until we came to the coastal village of Mayaro.

As we traveled through Mayaro, there were so many things to see. Things you won't see on a daily basis in The Bahamas. Such as corn being roasted on the side of the street by a local vendor outside of the market. 



 In Guayaguayare (which lies at the southern end of the county of Mayaro) we enjoyed lunch which consisted of  fried snapper also known by locals as 'red fish', fries, potato salad and cole slaw washed down with fresh Portugal juice (similar to a tangerine) as local soca tunes serenaded us at the restaurant The Ranch. This was the only restaurant since I've been in Trinidad and Tobago where the fish was cooked as close to what I'm use to at home in The Bahamas. It was seasoned nice and a lime wedge topped it as well.

From Guayaguayare we drove southwards along the west coast passing counties such as Rio Claro and Princes Town. Along this route we came across a road where a Hindu temple is situated across the street from a Catholic church. Each having its own unique architecture added something special to the route.






We continued through San Fernando, the second largest city and commercial centre of the south and then as we ventured home we made our way through Chaguanas and onto the Uriah Butler Highway.

All in all it was an enjoyable day touring Trinidad.
















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