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.
Golden Streets, Diego Martin
A visiting morning patron at Kariwak and a sugar-eater
Hanging Papayas at a roadside fruit vendor
Crab and Conch Dumpling- a curry dish native to Tobago. Food vendors line the beach selling their best variation of the dish.
Cocoa Reef, Tobago
Rastafarian goods in the sunset.
The winding roads to Maracas Bay
My aunt's favorite of the many Bake and Shark vendors that line Maracas.
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.
. . .