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Caribbean (Trinidad)

Date: March and April 2004
(all pictures are clickable)

My boat spent 3 months (February to April) on the Aikane wharf in Trinidad. It was its second visit there. The first time I fixed the most urgent matters (replacing rusted thru hull fittings, making the boat waterproof again, ...). Now it underwent mostly layout and comfort changes. I worked on the boat too, but took some opportunities, this time, to visit the country.

I experienced that the people are nice. There are in fact 2 big communities (black and indian) and one minor one (asian). If you read the newspapers, you notice that there is a lot of violence, but I never encountered any violent scene ! The people are very religious, which makes me wonder all the (non-religious) violence... One characteristic of the Trinis (as they call themselves), is their way of driving ! Although the speed limits are low (to Europeans) - 50 km/h on all roads and 80 on the 2 highways of the island - they have a great number of dead by traffic accidents. It seems though, that the government is making some efforts to reduce traffic accidents and criminality.

One thing is for sure: Trinis like to party ! They have one of the best carnivals in the world (some say it is the best !), but especially in the weekend (and even in the week), you'll notice that bars are very well visited where they enjoy music and drinks (they call it "liming"). A local specialty are the steel bands, where they produce nice music out of "pot and pans". Each neighborhood has its own band.

I've also seen a kite competition in Queens Park Savannah. This park is in the middle of Port of Spain (capital) and in front of the presidential house. That day I've seen hundreds of kites at the same time in the air (even if there wasn't much wind) and as well children as adults had great fun! A lot of kites were self build. The smallest one was about 10cm long, the tallest one about 6-7m in diameter (self-made and towed by a truck) !

Low kite activity

In my eyes the north of the country is the nicest, but it probably is because I like nature...

In Port of Spain (the capital), there is a little zoo. The labelling of the different animals is not always good, but they do show a lot of local fauna which is a practice that I like a lot.

Snake Snake Frog Iguana

Next to the zoo, you'll find a botanical garden with some an amazing collection of trees...

Botanical garden

There are also 2 bird watching centers. One of them is Asa Wright, but it was raining when I went... It'll be for my next visit !

The northern part of the island is wild and green. There you'll find the mountains, the rain forest, nature...

To Maracas Bay

In the south, Trinidad has a pitch lake. Although this natural richdom, their roads are in a bad state !

Pitch lake Flowers growing on the lake

Trinidad is a country which I will visit again. I've made some friends there and there are places I still want to visit.