A Day at Chaguaramas: Snack Time on the Marina

Friday, April 01, 2016

“Certain emotions bridge the years and link unlikely places.” ― V.S. Naipaul


The extended Easter holiday allowed us to see not only the eastward corner of Trinidad and Tobago but also the western and northern parts over the course of an estimated three days.

During my second year of medical school, I was told that I had to visit Chaguaramas before I left the country and spend some time on the boardwalk. My expectations were high and I was looking forward to a day on the boardwalk along the Caribbean Sea.

We journeyed through town along the Lady Young Highway stopping at the Lady Young Lookout where vendors are situated selling trinkets and other souvenirs along with the famous 'Trini Chow' which is simply green fruit or slightly ripened fruit that is marinated in a mixture of salt, goat (habanero) pepper, garlic and shadon benie (a kind of cilantro). I found the chow prices to be ridiculously high especially for fruits that were in season and plentiful.

Some vendors also sold 'bennie cakes' as they're called in The Bahamas. They are a sort of pastry that are made by roasting and then boiling sesame seeds with sugar until they begin to stick after which you spread them on a pan or wax sheet something that would allow it to be easy to cut.





From the lookout, you can see the Treasury Building located in Port of Spain, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) building, the marina in Chaguaramas as well as the Queen's Park Savannah. This is one of the most scenic points in Trinidad to take in most of the country in one view.




We took to the road again and saw the Hilton Hotel which is the only 'upside down' hotel in the world. Sounds strange doesn't it?  The hotel is situated in such a way so that the reception or check-in is at level with the hill on which it stands; therefore the rooms are located below the reception area meaning when you go to your room you take the elevator down and not up.

The landscape of the hotel was indeed gorgeous and bougainvillea lined the entry in colours such as peach, orange and purple. Did you know that in the dry season the bougainvillea blossoms are brighter due to the lack of rain water? The plant apparently puts out its brightest bloom because of the limited water supply- or so I was told.


We journeyed through Port of Spain to Maraval on our way to Chaguaramas. 

One of the most unsettling things about this drive for me was that there was only one road to and from Chaguaramas which translated to a delay in your journey if there were countless people on the beach or an accident had occurred. 


Surprisingly, the traffic wasn't at a standstill even for a holiday.

The shoreline was lined by eager beachgoers, anxious and giddy children who must have been more than elated to have such a long break from school in the middle of the school year.


This little fella was perched on the sidewalk with nothing but a fishing line and bait trying to catch something. I'm not sure if he was successful or not but I hope he was. It would sure make for an interesting essay for how he spent his Easter break.














As we bypassed the boardwalk, the disappointment enveloped me and I'll admit I didn't know what to expect as we continued to drive on a long road that seemed to be heading towards nothing but the sea.  

After being in traffic for 30 minutes the boardwalk seemed like a waste of an afternoon. Little did I know that at the end of the road lied a small world for the sea dwellers.

There was a Massy stores and all out there; this somewhat convinced me that it truly is Massy and Tobago.





The Sea was calm with few disturbances from the boats bringing back groups that spent the holiday on a tour Down the Islands.





So although the boardwalk was not impressive, the day was not a complete waste as Mr. Ali seemed to have a secret hideaway up his sleeve that he did not let on about.

http://trinichow.com/2011/11/16/caffe-del-mare-trinidad/

At Caffe del Mare, we grabbed a very light meal, a few desserts and coffee and spent the evening boat and people watching.







As the sunset on another day well spent in Trinidad, we engaged in entertaining conversation and laughter as we indulged our senses especially our palates.

Trinidad and Tobago has its fair share of spots that automatically transcends you, making you feel as though you're elsewhere in the world.







The Caffe del Mare serves an assortment of decadent treats such as this brownie (which was shared amongst the four of us, with enough left to tote) and the chocolate torte.

Our waitress Rhea, did not disappoint with her description of either; they were truly melt in your mouth delicious.









An unofficial tour of the northwest peninsula of Trinidad turned out to be an enjoyable evening to the point where the 45 minute stop and go traffic we encountered on our way out of Chaguaramas was far from a bother.


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