Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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Tobago 2006 Day 1 – Travelogue

Posted by Rishiray on March 6, 2006


Got into Tobago from Trinidad at about 11:20am. Now that isn’t really a bad thing except that our flight was supposed to leave at 8:20 and get there about 18 minutes later. In Trinidad, the one thing you learn very quickly (well Tara learned very quickly) was that in Trinidad, nothing generally leaves on time. The reason for the delay was ‘engine trouble’, but I had read in the newspaper earlier that morning that there was a labour strike by airport workers, so I knew what to expect, so of course, I went for a couple pieces of KFC in the Airport and started reading my newspaper.

Now as we got into the Crown Point Airport (Tobago’s only Airport), a couple things struck me instantaneously, there is only one terminal (typical of the island), how small in comparison to a typical North American/European airport it is and that while walking from the airfield into the terminal, the lovely sea breeze that hits you, since the ocean is only a couple hundred metres away from the airfield.

As we got off the plane and into the terminal, we happened on a piece of good fortune, that actually made the entire trip. [One must remember that this is the post Carnival period, where everyone leaves Trinidad and goes to rest in Tobago on the beaches] We had not thought about a car rental and as soon as we disembarked, we were greeted by a car rental agent who politely inquired, as to whether we needed a car. I replied affirmatively of course, and within 10 mins, we were on the road having signed for the car.

Travel Tip: Although Tobago is a small island, a car rental will increase your appreciation of this island exponentially. So plan accordingly!

It was the last car they had, and while we were in the rental office, three couples came in to plead for a rental. It was quite a stroke of very, very good fortune! We drove off from the rental agency to the guesthouse, it was a long drive, all of about 800 metres!!! Now this was at 11:35 and the guesthouse was packed with people looking to check in. So of course we were waiting for a bit to check in at 1pm, so I went to the manager to inquire as to the status of our room. She said that as it was the weekend after Carnival people were still checked in and that we wouldn’t get a room till about 2pm. Of course, anyone that knows me, knows how pissed I get at these types of things, but no matter, I asked the manager about storing our bags, which she said she would, and Tara and I took off in the car to drive the entire leeward coast of Tobago. (this was quite impromptu to Tara, but I knew once we took off to drive, I fully intended for her to drive on this coast during the day, because it is an absolutely amazing drive and some of the pictures enclosed in this travelogue show how panoramic and stunning this drive can be)

View of Charlotteville from Flagstaff Hill

View of Charlotteville from Flagstaff Hill

We drove from Crown Point right up to Flagstaff Hill over looking Charlotteville – this is the Leeward Coast of the island.. The drive can be an extremely challenging drive for someone who doesn’t have a Trini guide, simply because in T&T, people drive as if they are insane!! In addition to this cultural driving nuance, there are many, many blind corners, and potholes on this road, so it can be very challenging, but the views and vistas are beyond comparison and many will leave you simply breathless at the sheer beauty of nature.

View of Charlotteville from Flagstaff Hill

This drive is about 2 ½ hours each way, of course we stopped for many pics and to climb down and enjoy the view from Flagstaff Hill. The pictures I have included that we took during this drive cannot begin to describe how blue the ocean is and how amazing the views are.

Going to Speyside

Going to Speyside

Going to Speyside

Once we got back to the guest house at about 6pm, we checked in, had a shower and then went off to have dinner. Now having been to Tobago a number of times, I have come to expect two things, the water in Tobago will usually be superb and the service in almost any eating establishment will be horrific.

Going to Speyside

Going to Crown Point

Travel Tip : During the day in Tobago, eat at the smaller shops and roadside restaurants, the service during tourist season is abominable but at least the prices will be very cheap and you will get a LOT of tasty food. At night, if you have to eat in Tobago, expect decent food in the restaurants, but horrible service and very, very expensive prices compared to Trinidad. [Everything in Tobago is basically imported, and the tourist economy will accept higher prices]

The restaurant that we ate at was called Dillon’s Seafood Restaurant and I will never carry anyone there again, and it is my mission to make sure people know how bad the service was and how bland the food was. Tara and I, had an appetizer each; Stuffed Crab Backs and Callaloo soup and two entrees; Fish Platter and Kingfish filets and a drink each. The total price of the meal about 448.50 TT, which for Trinidad, is quite expensive. However on holiday, I don’t mind this. What I did mind was the horrible service, the attitude from the waitress and overall nonchalance of the serving staff. We left 450 TT, so you do the math as to what the tip was, and if the change in my pockets didn’t irritate me, I would have left nothing.

Going to Speyside

Going to Crown Point

Going to Speyside

Going to Crown Point

Going to Speyside

Going to Crown Point

After dinner we were totally spent, so we crashed! We didn’t even bother walking down the street, because of a good breakfast, tons of photos, amazing drive and the island air, what more could you want for a day on travel?

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