Monday, January 21, 2013

The taste of Trinidad

Brazil nut

There is a taxi and tour company in Chaguaramas called Members Only. His owner, Jesse James, is the most happy person I have seen and an excellent entertainer. He, not only drives on the tours, but also have a very eloquent speech, that includes sound effects and DJ's style animation.

He offers different tours and services. The vegetable and fruit market on Saturdays, the movie town on Tuesday nights, The Angostura Bitters factory and steal pan tour, the leader back turtles, the taste of Trinidad and so more that we didn't have time to find out.

One of the fun things we did on the first week was the tour around Trinidad, tasting different kind of food. The bus picked us up at 9 o' clock, and from there on we started a trip that included history, sightseeing and a lot of food. We try 60 different kinds of food; traditional Indian food, local fruits and nuts and desserts. A lot of it was starchy, fried and spicy. Some Jim and I like, is a breakfast dish call doubles. This is a finger food that is served in a paper sheet, it consists in two fried split pees flour tortillas, filled with garbanzo beans and different sauces like green mangoes sauce and shadow beni sauce (like a cilantro sauce). It is messy, but very tasty.

On the list of all the things we ate, appears barbecue pig tale, salted fish, curry mango, Brazil nuts, milk fudge with ginger, mauby juice; made out of the bark of a tree, chicken gizzards and on and on and on.

The country side is beautiful and we went from the city to the coast and from there to the mountains. We stopped at a watermelon plantation, at a river's mouth, bakeries, a water park, a fruit stand, tasting, buying and eating. The last stop was in Port of Spain, at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. We got back to the marina at 9 o' clock, after twelve hours eating.

Next day we were still stuffed, we didn't have breakfast until three in the afternoon and it was just fruits. It took us two days to recover from that, but it was really interesting and fun.


At a river's mouth

Little river fish for sale

Sale stand in watermelon plantations

Crews Inn Marina

Sunset at Crews Inn Marina

Despite all the comments we heard about Trinidad; that is dangerous, that you need to walk looking around all the time, etc. We got there, rented a car, travelled all around, took the local transportation, got mixed between the crowd in down town and never had any problem. Trinidad is a big island, with 1,5 million people. Is a melting pot, you can find west Indians; east Indians, with their saris, British descendants  Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and more. From Indian to Mexican food, very interesting. We were staying in Crews Inn Marina, in Chaguaramas, very nice place with all the facilities.

There was a very interesting group of cruisers there. Those who come every winter to get the boat ready and sail and those who don't go any where out of that marina. This was the first place we met with a very active political rehearsal. Because a lot of them have been there for so long that they are fighting for the Major position. There is a competition to be the first to talk to the new arrivals, giving them the advantage of votes. In our second day one of the ladies in our dock came to us, gave us a map, a telephone guide for all the businesses in the area and suddenly filled us up the scoop about an English lady: “You have to be careful, she will come to you very nicely, hand you a map and try to become your friend, but she hates Americans”. In short words, the place is a soup opera set.

We stayed out of the drama, talk to everyone and accepted help from everybody, finding out that the English lady was a very interesting character. One night we went to a sushi bar with one party and the next day we sat on a coffee shop with the other, because we are citizens of a peaceful world and social animals.


Maracas Bay from the hill