13 October 2013

Sweet T&T

A week in Trinidad & Tobago. 

I hadn't been in several years, and relished the opportunity to explore the island with a more seasoned eye. 

Impending thunderstorms brought sheets of misty rain across the island the entire week. Gentle breezes tossed around gauzy curtains. Soft light and humid air hit my skin, a toxic island mixture. A week of a makeup-less face was easy and freeing.

The scent of burning diesel fuel stings my nostrils as we sit in gridlock on the narrow roads. Roasted peanuts are sold on the highways, along with tropical fruits at roadside stands. An industrial flour mill stands eerily against the ocean and sky, five immense silos blackened with years of wear.

"Any time is Trinidad time."

Pink, yellow, green, and light blue homes. Hills dense with foliage. Glittering stars in the warm night sky. 

Two days in, we traveled 15 minutes by propeller plane to the small island of Tobago, off the coast of Trinidad. The turquoise-water-white-sand counterpart to the industrial Trinidad, Tobago is a place of holistic relaxation and strong energies. Goats roam the grass, a Rastafarian sells crafts at sunset, crab and dumpling was consumed in our bathing suits overlooking an expanse of palm trees and ocean. Produce is fresh, and the water blue. 

The week ended with dancing and celebration at a family wedding, soca music permeated the air. 

Maracas was the cherry on top, winding roads lead us to Trinidadian preserves of pineapple chow and tamarind balls and then on to the beach for a day spent with family and sandy feet. 



Hanging fruits

Golden Streets, Diego Martin

Tarot in Tobago

Breakfast of a veggie omelette and coconut bake at Kariwak Village

A visiting morning patron at Kariwak and a sugar-eater

Hanging Papayas at a roadside fruit vendor

 He introduced us to his goat out back. 

 The coconut man

First, the coconut water is drank on the spot, the coconut is then split open and a piece of the shell is used to eat the meat inside. 

Crab and Conch Dumpling- a curry dish native to Tobago. Food vendors line the beach selling their best variation of the dish. 

 The chef at Alma's 

 Condo life. 

 Caribbean dolls at Shore Thing

 Store cat 

 Shore Thing, a boutique and cafe. Patrons sit on a patio jutting out from a hill overlooking the choppy Atlantic. Waves lap onto the rocks below, guava trees provide shelter.

Fish pastels [cornmeal patty filled with fish, capers, olives and spices cooked in a banana leaf] and a fresh salad with pepper sauce; fresh guava and lime juice squeezed from the fruits in the trees above our dining table. 

The bar

The chef in the kitchen.

Inside Scarborough, Tobago

 Scarborough, Tobago

Pigeon Point, Tobago

Garden-herb encrusted fish with cassava, cauliflower and bhaji rice

 Bananas straight from the tree. I could not have enough bananas. 

 Another fresh-veggie omelette from Kariwak

 Sugar eaters join in on the meal, eating guava jam. 

Cocoa Reef, Tobago

Rastafarian goods in the sunset. 

 Flight Attendant, Caribbean Air.

The winding roads to Maracas Bay

 Preserves being sold roadside on the way to the beach. 

 The bay

Beach staple

 Child's play

My aunt's favorite of the many Bake and Shark vendors that line Maracas. 

 Bake and Shark with all the fixings- tamarind sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, garlic sauce, shadon beni, coleslaw.

 Impending storm

Beach fruit


The week rendered me carefree and full of life. Sea-whipped curls danced across my skin as we wound up the roads, windows open, back to Diego Martin. I was trigger-happy, snapping away at every opportunity, nearly getting my hand [and camera] clipped by the close proximity of the opposite-bound traffic. 

We stopped at a clearing and I hardly waited for the car to stop before hopping out in my safari print bathing suit. I climbed onto the tallest mound of earth, the breeze and last rays of sun hit me. I looked through the viewfinder, discovering angle after angle to shoot of the sky rich with painted color. I was lost in natural, blissful beauty. 

A passing car honked its horn, I didn't notice. I heard my cousin's contagious laughter from the car. After a few more shots, I heard another honk. "Aye girl, ya looking fine up there!" I realized the cars were honking at me and the Trinidadian men and whoever else were in the passing cars were seeing this girl up on a rock, snapping photos in one-piece against the sunset. 

I laughed. I felt free, happy, and at peace. 

 . . .

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