Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year from Trinidad

We have had a rather eventful first week in Trinidad. We arrived at about 10 PM, finally got through customs and were picked up by Bonnie’s department chairman and brought to his house for a bite and hence (at 1 AM) to our flat (photo above). We have done a lot of walking around, though that is said to be a bit dangerous for foreigners. We do rather stand out, being significantly paler than pretty much everybody. Two walks have been nice, one up into the rainforest back of the St. Benedict monastery.

For the other we took a maxi (a van acting as a public bus) up the Maracas-St. Joseph valley and then did a particularly strenuous walk over the Northern Range and down to the Caribbean Sea at Maracas Bay. The trail was indistinct and had been reclaimed by the jungle in parts. This was quite steep and slippery and we were feeling beat up when we finally emerged from the rainforest at the squatters shacks above Maracas. We took a swim in the Sea, asked around for how to get another Maxi to Port of Spain, and then waited around till one showed up. The maxis sort of have a schedule, but it is inconsistent. One did indeed come, carrying us to the Charlotte Street market in Port of Spain. Charlotte St was very hectic, with so many people getting food and grog for the Old Years Day celebration (New Years Eve in the USA), but we eventually got through. Bonnie had a slight scare from a stern, old and mostly naked Rasta man who came rushing up to us with his arm pointing straight at her. He demanded “where you going?”, Bonnie said “Curepe” and he then showed us which way to go to the station. So we got home before dark (we have been told over and over that it is too dangerous to be out after dark, and it is a bit un-nerving) and went to a fine party to end the day.

Today the shops were open so I got a new machete (sorely needed) and walked the 10 km to the Tunapuna bike shop and asked advice on riding around here without getting killed. It’s sketchy, but if a person can’t ride then he’s already dead, right?


LarsTheGeek said...

Looking forward to visiting you soon! Love and happy adventures, James

Jennifer Killpack-Knutsen said...

the photos are fun! Too bad about the danger though.