January 2002, Tobago 


Tobago - beautiful island in the sunny Caribbean sea. And it really is :) I started of from Gatwick airport - flying with Monarch - and the plane was 2 hours late because of an emergency in Cuba. I flew home again (at the end of the Vacation!!!), again with Monarch on a flight that was delayed 5 hours because of a medical emergency. You can get a great price from Monarch - but if you get stressed out by delays - well you might want to pay the extra rates and go with one of the other airlines. The plane stops off in Grenada - so I took a couple of pictures just to prove I had been there, but I lost those when my camera was stolen.

One evening in the first week of my holiday Carole and I were dining on Tracy's porch, when Tracey spotted someone by Carole's house. Clark and I ran over, and Clark chased him away. We went back to get Carole and the keys so that we could report the incident to the police - and on the way back to the house discovered that the backdoor had been wrenched off of its hinges. It was a very dramatic few minutes I can tell you. They stole Carole's computer, my camera and watch and about 150 in cash. Still it wasn't as bad as it could have been. they missed more cash and portable electronics. I think it was a very good job we disturbed them.

Over the next few days I was introduced to the Tobagoan Police force. I must say they took the matter seriously. They sent forensics out looking for fingerprints, two uniformed officers and a plain clothes man. However, they are not very technologically advanced. The police reports are all written up in a hard backed book (A la Dixon of Dock Green) and there was no photocopier, they hand wrote me a letter for my insurance company - so it should be interesting to see if that is sufficient for the claim.

Clark and Carole both lent me cameras for various parts of the holiday - so I have a visual record after all. Sorry Cark. I didn't get a picture of you. Next time, I promise!!


There is only one picture that I couldn't replace. One day while Carole and I were walking along the beach in Englishman's Bay, we came across a couple of tiny leatherback turtles heading for the sea. It was completely out of season - so it was a very special moment. And that photo was in the camera when it was stolen. However - there is one small consolation. The thieves wont be able to use the camera - it needs a special cable from Fuji and they have stopped making it.

This is a picture from the second time we visited Englishman's Bay. We tried to snorkel around the rocks at the far end of the beach - but the swell was too much for me - so I gave up pretty quick. However, there is little bar on the beach that sells Roti and Carib. So we sat there and watched the sea instead.

Roti is a local lunch dish - a tortilla like wrap filled with vegetables (and sometimes meat). Carib is the local beer, it has to be ice cold. It has to be really, really cold :).

We went to visit Anne and Bjarne in Charlotteville, which is probably the most isolated village on the island. The picture to the right is the view from their veranda. OK. Hands up! Who doesn't envy them that view. :) They run Man Friday Diving (or see the Danish version). Anne gave us a lift round to Pirates bay (the second little cove you can see in the picture) in their dive boat and Carole taught me how to snorkel. I saw a few nice fish - perhaps the most interesting was a yellow trumpet fish.

I forgot to take Anne's picture (Sorry Anne) and stole the trumpet fish :)


I also had a couple of trips into the rainforest, one with Carole to see rainbow falls, and another with a guy called David Rooks who is somewhat of an expert. he has been involved in a couple of David Attenbrough documentaries about the area and really knows his stuff. On the trip to Rainbow Falls, it was so wet that the mud sucked off my sandals, and I finished the trip bare foot in the rainforest.

Apparently this little plant has been practically unchanged since the times of the dinosaurs, and still grows in the rainforests.


One afternoon we went to the Arnos Vale Hotel for afternoon tea. At 4pm they put food out for the birds and all sorts of things come along for their tea. We had tea and cake and sat in luxury as we watched the birds come and go. It was a very nice afternoon. These are Banana Quits, a Blue Something and a Humming Bird.


And here are few pictures that don't really go together but will remind me of some of the things that I saw in Tobago.

The first is a picture of The Jambalaya Cafe, it is painted in lovely bright colours and is newly opened. Every time we went there for lunch Warren (the owner) had sold out and closed down. Good on him. Notice the bars up at the windows? Most of the cafes, bars and even homes have them. It was only after I had been there for a while that I realised that almost everyone lived with all the doors and windows open all the time to catch the breeze. So no more than a very basic security precaution.

The second picture shows a cow grazing at the side of the road. Just about everywhere we went there were cows or goats grazing, even inside the villages. In the early evening you would see the men come out to take them home - although a few were left over night. There often seems to be an Egret or two close to the cows - but not near the goats. Perhaps the egrets know something we do not?

Then there is a picture of Carole and I playing with her webcam. It is also acts as a basic digital camera, and is the camera that Carole lent me to get most of these pictures.

Then there is the sunset on Grange Bay, it is close to Carole's house and we often got a couple of cold beers and went to sit on the sea wall to watch the sun go down. Along side it is a picture of me paddling in the Caribbean sea. Jealous? You should be....

And then a banana tree in bloom. I love bananas and wanted to pick my own from a tree, but never saw one ripe enough or easy enough to get to. So we have to settle for the flower instead.



And finally, me in a bar on the last day - we had crab and chicken wings to eat - and I was drinking a mixture of Rum Punch and Carib. But I only had one of each. Honest, Mum.