Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trinidad --> Tobago

Thursday, Day 14

Got up at 7am, grabbed the laundry that was hanging in the garage area, packed up, made scrambled eggs for breakfast, got ready, and was out the door by 8am!  Pretty good!

Sad to say goodbye to these cute dogs - who sat at my feet waiting for any drop of food to come their way.

Good thing we left early, because traffic in Port of Spain was horrendous -- just like Zach said it would be.  Took forever to move half an inch it felt like!  Rush hour.

Stopped for gas, and as we got closer to the airport, it started pouring rain.  Again, isn't this supposed to be the "dry season?"

Checking in was no problem, but today was no my day for bag checks.  My checked bag got checked before I could even give it to the lady to tag.  And he had to pull everything out, of course.  Ugh.  So annoying, because that thing is packed full and not easy to zip.  Took both of us to get it all back in and arranged properly to zip up.  And all for nothing!  I have nothing in there of interest, I promise!

So made it through that, got to the gate and did some tricep dips on the chair and some squats beside it (I've been so lazy on this trip!), and when it was time to get on the plane, guess who got selected for another bag check of my carry on.  

Yep.  Me.

This seriously took for.ever.  I mean pretty much the whole plane boarded while he pulled every single thing out of my again packed full backpack.  I mean everything. And then he went for my fanny pack!  Come on!  I must look suspicious today or something...

Anyways, I made it on, and it was a quick easy flight in to Tobago.  I slept the whole way.  That's the norm.  Wake up when we hit ground.  

Tiina (host) wasn't there yet, so we walked across the street to the Rituals Coffee Shop where she said there would be wifi.  And as soon as I put my bag down and turned around, she walked in!  

She is probably in her 50's and is from Finland.  She's been living here in Tobago for over 25  years now with her husband (he's a local).

She lead us down the street and down an alley to a little local car rental shop.  I presume her friends.  Got a crappy little car for the next few days and took off down the road following Tiina to her cottage.

And was it ever a good thing idea to follow her.  As soon as we got off the main highway, it was a maze of tiny windy roads up and down hills, sharp curves.  I couldn't believe how bad the roads were!  Absolutely no room for two cars.  If one came, you had to pull over or sometimes even back up to where there was room.  And to top it off, there's not parking whatsoever, so people literally just pull over on the side of the road.  Which is really more like the middle of the road.  That's just where they park!  

Lots of stray dogs, lots of trash, lots of dudes sitting around on corners smoking pot, and bad roads.  But there are road signs, so that's still a step up from Aruba! ;)

We finally made it up (it's up on a hill) to her little cottage, and I wouldn't say it's in the best area.  She assured us it's very safe, and everyone we drove by knew her and waved, so I guess if we're with her, we're fine.  It's so far from any tourist area it's almost funny, but that's what I like.  Get in with the locals, right?

It's a very tiny house, up on stilts.  Bathroom is a separate little building outside.  Inside is a kitchen and small bedroom, separated by a curtain.  But there is electricity and lights and a toilet and shower.  What more do you really need?  It's decorated all cute and it's clean and pretty nice.  Wifi doesn't work in the room, you have to walk down closer to her house to get it, but whatever.

                                                                (Her dog, Spice, was there to greet us!)

Before she left us (today is her birthday and she had lunch plans) we got directions to a couple of local supermarkets and set off to find them.  I was doubtful I would ever find the way back to her place again...that's how confusing the way up was.

But made the way back down to Scarborough (main city) and tried Cost Cutters first.  No good.  Didn't have much of anything I wanted. Next stop was a small one in the middle of town, and it was just like the first one.  Then we found Penny Savers, and it was a little better.  Got most of what was needed, and even splurged on some granola and almond milk.  Can't wait for that treat!

Once the groceries were put away and we had a snack, we set off to see Castara.  A sleepy little fishing village up on the northwest coast that was highly recommended to visit.  

The drive.was.awful.  I was sick almost the whole way from the roads!  It's like being on a roller coaster for like an hour.  No joke.  

It took a minute to get accusomted to having my two feet back on solid ground in Castara.  Talk about a beautiful place.  And sleep, in deed.  Not much of anything going on there but fishing!

Found a great lunch spot for a very late lunch right on the beach  Walked up to the window, asked for a menu, and she said they didn't have one but she could tell me what they had:  fish, chicken or beef.  HA!

The locally caught fish was excellent.  Some of the best I can remember having in quite some time.  And I don't even think the place had a name for me to write a glowing review for it!  Just a building up on stilts right on the beach.  Can't miss it if you go. :)

I was so not pumped to get back in the car after the ride there, but I mean, we had to go back.  Instead of the same way, we took a road all along the western coast, which was maybe slightly better than the interior roads.  Stopped at a few beaches along the way, but nothing was as good as Castara.

Ended up at Pigeon Point for sunset, all the way down on the southwestern tip of the island, not far from the airport.  We lucked out and the ticket office had just closed so no admission fee to get in!

Hung out around the pier and walked along the shore waiting for sunset, but it didn't do anything too magical.  I still love watching it though.  Sunsets are definitely one of my favorite things.

The drive back wasn't so bad because it was mostly highway, and we managed to find the way back up to the cottage in Whim without two wrong turns.  I'll call that a success!

Dinner was granola and almond milk.  I'd been craving that all day and it really hit the spot.   Didn't need much more than that after such a late lunch anyways.

I was really looking forward to sleep (like I always am) but wasn't expecting much.  The place is another open air type accommodation.  Windows open for some air circulation, even though there is a fan.  It's not like an insulated building or anything at all.  So the loud music on the street corner (I'm talking LOUD, you guys, like 4 giant speakers blaring), along with the constant barking dogs and crowing chickens might make for an interesting night... 

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