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Our Sweet Sweet Trinidad Adventure

by Naima Sanowar

in Lifestyle,Travel

Post image for Our Sweet Sweet Trinidad Adventure

Today I write my very last post of 3, on our Trinidad & Tobago adventures. Be prepared it will be the longest, I promise you, it will not be boring. It has been many, many years since I returned home to Trinidad. For those who have read my ” about” page , you will know already what brought me to NYC in the first place ” I migrated to NYC in my late teens because I was obsessed with the movie Fame and believed everyone danced in the streets and on top the roofs of cars. Upon arrival, and realizing this was not the case, I decided to pursue my studies at  Brooklyn College and  graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts”.

A  few weeks ago I booked a flight for The Epicurean Man, Karate Boy and I to Trinidad & Tobago. It was their first ever, it was my first in 18 years. I knew it was going to be emotional, beautiful, overwhelming, to re-unite with all my family and friends in Trinidad.  Before I take you on a photo journey of my adventure back to Trinidad, below I copied and pasted some facts about Trinidad & Tobago from the website Discover Trinidad & Tobago, this is their link below.

http://www.discovertnt.com/welcome

1. So where is Trinidad and Tobago, exactly?

We’re at the southern end of the Caribbean island chain, just seven miles off the coast of South America. You can see the mountains of Venezuela clearly from Port of Spain.

2. Two islands, quite different?

Yes — they’re about 21 miles apart, linked by regular air services and daily ferries. They’re quite different in character too, so it’s like getting two destinations for the price of one.

3. How are they different?

Trinidad is extrovert, lively, full of music and activity and energy. Tobago is more introvert, more peaceful, with wonderful clear water and white-sand beaches. Tobago is where Trinidadians go to relax.

4. How big are the two islands?

Tobago is quite small, only about thirty miles by ten, with a ridge of forested mountains down its spine, surrounded by cliffs and beaches and fringing reefs. Trinidad is bigger, about 65 miles by 50, though long peninsulas on its western coast add to its breadth. There’s a beautiful mountain range along the northern coast, and lower ranges of hills in the centre and south of the island, with flat or rolling plains between.

5. What about the people?

About 1.1 million overall (1.3 million, depending on who you ask), with only 50,000 in Tobago. The language is English. In Trinidad, the population is very mixed, descended mainly from Africa and India – each about 40% of the population – but also from Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, even China, and a few from the original Amerindian settlers. There are some wonderful ethnic mixtures; over 20% of the population identifies as being of mixed ethnicity.

6. Is Trinidad and Tobago very different from other Caribbean islands?

For one thing, it has lots of oil and natural gas, so it is wealthier than its neighbours in the Caribbean, and is not dependent on tourism. For a visitor, there’s more of a sense of being welcomed into somebody else’s life and home, rather than being channelled into special tourist enclaves where you don’t really experience the country itself.

7. Toss a Coin – Heads or Tails … You Win !!!!

There are two sides to every story. On one side, there’s Trinidad: energetic, exciting; a melting-pot of races, cultures and ideas. This, for the most part, is a place of stimulus and excitement rather than relaxation. It demands participation: in a sport, a festival, a journey of discovery. A place that gives back what is put into it.

The flip side is Tobago, serene, philosophical, dreaming beneath the sun and the wash of the waves. Tobago, where the sea’s blue is startling and the roads wind like snakes along the steep green hillsides, is the place for dozing in a hammock, snorkeling on a reef, sipping a rum punch at sunset. A place for rest, or romance; for regeneration.

Toss a coin, take your pick; choose one island or both. Heads or tails — you win. Expect an unforgettable experience.

8. Talk de talk: some local parlance to get you talking like a TRUE TRINI

  • Bacchanal: scandalous, social commotion, a rowdy event
  • Fête: party (both noun and verb)
  • Lime: hang out with friends (another noun and verb)
  • Maco: to be nosy (or someone who is nosy)
  • Mas: Carnival, masquerade. E.g. to play mas
  • Wine: both a noun and verb, describing sensual Trinbagonian dancing; ask for a demonstration!

For some reason, the first question a fellow Trini asks those who have not returned in many, many years is ” so what did the air smell like once you got off the plane and outside” ? Well for me it smelt humid, wet and like HOME. I had organized our Trinidad & Tobago adventure down to a detail. I knew we only had 10 days to get so much re-connecting and exploring in. The first leg of my trip was in my home-town San-Fernando. There ,we were the guests of my dad’s brother Uncle Robert and his wife Aunt Irma. This was our base from where we visited with other family members. The middle leg of our trip was in Tobago ( I already published 2 posts about our Tobago adventures at Stonehaven Villas) and the last leg of the trip was in Port-of-Spain ( the capital of Trinidad) by my cousin Natacha.

San- Fernando

My Mummy with Karate Boy at her home in Siparia

My Granny at her home in Siparia

My paternal grand-mummy who is 99 years young

My Dad's brother Uncle Omar at the Pharmacy

My dad's brother Uncle Robert and sisters Aunt Lee and Bina

My Dad's sister Aunt Jaqueth

Aunty Irma took us out for a lovely breakfast

My cousin Cochise and his wife to be Tamara

Family Drunken Karoke with the family led by my Uncle Robert and Aunt Irma

Family Drunken Karoke led by The Epicurean Man- Bille Jean

Arcade fun at the Palladium in San Fernando

My high-school in San- Fernando ... Naparima Girls High School

Port – Of – Spain Adventures

Trni lime my cousin Natacha hosted for us at her home

The Epicurean Man gets ready for a Trini Lime at my Cousin Natacha for us

Kids get ready for our Trini lime

So lovely to meet with my old high school Nap's friends Nadine, Maria and Natalie

Karate Boy and his Trini friends

My amaing cousin Natacha prepared for us pancakes with an apple compote and champagne

Movie Town in Port Of Spain

Karate Boy ran into his favorite people at Movietown

Karate Boy hangs with his Trini friends at Movie-town in Port Of Spain

A very sleep boy after a fabulous night in Port Of Spain

The Epicurean Man and my Aunt Jaqueth

 Natacha had planned our itinerary for the last 3 days in Trinidad. An Adventurista like myself, I knew major fun was in store for us. First stop was Maracas Beach , famous for it’s Bake & Shark and it’s backdrop of mist-covered mountains, fishing village and beautiful crescent beach. Off we all went, including my cousins Brandon and Amaya and beautiful Granny.

Maracas in all it's glory

Fishing village in Maracas

The best Bake and Shark at Maracas Beach

Maracas Beach- a must, Bake and Shark

Immediately after our wonderful time at Maracas, my cousin Tach had a treat for us. She was taking us to Paramin, a community that literally lives in the hill-tops, one can practically touch the clouds it seems. Tach had worked on a documentary the year before on Paramin and was welcomed by it’s villagers.

” Paramin is like this: a people who live virtually cut off from the rest of the world. They speak Patois(or Kwéyòl), a variety of the (Caribbean) French Creole language, quite unlike the Spanish spoken among elders in other parts of Trinidad. The farmers work their land intimately, with a tenderness that would not be out-of-place in a pediatric nurse. Their crops of cabbage, tomato, thyme and sweet peppers provide the basis of a famous brand of seasonings and pepper sauce, prepared by hand and bottled here with the same sense of detail and correctness”.

It felt like a death-defying ride up to Paramin, Tach said I was being a drama queen. My Granny exclaimed  “thanks for letting me see Paramin before I die”. The Epicurean Man & Karate Boy were in awe by all the majestic vistas Paramin had to offer. Once we made it down the hill safe and sound, I shouted ” It was well worth it!”.

Driving up to Paramin.. top of the world it seemed like

Drivng up a mountain in Paramin and this is what we spotted. Beautiful

The Epicurean Man & Karate Boy in Paramin

Heading to Paramin we stopped to be in awe of this spectacular view

My little cousins Brandon & Amaya ( Tach's kids)

Hanging with My granny and cousin Natacha

The Villages of Paramin

Granny and the kids hang out in Paramin

My cousin Natacha and I exploring Paramin

Sunday, our last day in Trinidad , Tach and her dear friend Philip who with his two teen-age sons are competitive sports fisher-men. They were so nice to treat us to a day Down De Islands-Boca Islands, a diminutive chain of Caribbean islands that span the Dragon’s Mouth between Trinidad and Venezuela on the coast of South America.

The gang drove to Chagaramas, on the northwesterly tip of Trinidad, to meet with Philip his wife and two teen-age sons. As we cruise past the diminutive Caribbean islands of Gaspar Grande (fondly know as Gasparee) and Monos, on our journey to Chacachacare – the most westerly point in Trinidad – you cannot help notice the beautiful island homes. We spent the most lovely day at one of these homes, swimming, and liming. The Epicurean Man, Karate Boy and I were blissfully happy but a bit sad knowing this was our last day in Trinidad.

Karate Boy heads Down De Islands

Scotland Bay, the last point in Trinidad

Boating - Down De Islands

The Epicurean Man and our captain, Philip

Lovely homes Down De Island

The Epicurean Man & Karate Boy soaks up some sun - Down De Islands

My little cousin Brandon

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to take my two guys with me on this very special adventure heading Home. And we plan to return for the holidays. I love you sweet, sweet Trinidad… and all my family and friends back home.

Our last sunset in Trinidad- simply beautiful

Xxx

Naima

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Natacha August 22, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I am so happy that you enjoyed your visit to Trinidad and Tobago as much as we enjoyed seeing you, Joe and Jaden here. I know that you were a bit concerned about coming here in the height of the rainy season, but it also a lovely time of the year…cool and lush! You write so beautifully. Got to celebrate my country again through your eyes! Thank you.

Naima Sanowar August 22, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Thanks Tach,

I have such sweet memories of our special time in Trinidad. I cannot wait to return.

I loved all the lush landscapes during the rainy season. I had no complaints, especially since we also had many days of beautiful sunshine.

xxx
Naima

Bina Jones August 22, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Beautifully and accurately discribed Naima. You captured the islands perfectly, You do not only see with your eyes, but also feel with your heart. Love to the family.

Love, Auntie Bina

Naima Sanowar August 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Thanks so much Aunt Bina,

This means alot coming from you.

Love, Naima

Kirstin McKee August 23, 2010 at 3:30 AM

I have loved reading about your exploits in Trinidad and Tobago. Your photos are stunning!
Where’s next on the agenda Mrs Adventurista?!?

Maxie Garrett August 23, 2010 at 4:45 AM

I have been enjoying all your posts and your beautiful pictures, makes me homesick! I can’t wait to get home :) Wonderful job Naima.

Naima Sanowar August 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Thanks Cuz,

I am sooo ready to go back to Trinidad and Tobago.. Next up you hopefully? feel free to post away. Hmmm The Adventurista is attending a fabulous event this week, on a sexy roof top pool in the City. Also gearing up for Fashion Week.. And posting our first contest this coming week.

X
Naima

Naima Sanowar August 23, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Dear Maxie,

Thanks so much for the compliment and for supporting my Blog. I miss home so much, plotting away for my return. It is such a lush and beautiful country we are from. I am so happy to have been able to share this thru my photographs.

X
Naima

Helen Houlder October 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Hi Naima

Such a wonderful article. It was a pleasure reading it. I am glad u finally had a chance to come home. You have put all your emotions into this. Hope to see you soon!

Naima Sanowar October 28, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Thanks so much Helen, it was such a blessing and I cannot wait to return soon.

X
Naima

Wendy November 18, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Hi Naima

Lovely article…if I did not live in T & T…well you would certainly make me so homesick. Sorry we did not get the chance to lime when you were here ( I think I was in Nashville) but certainly hope that we do when you next visit. :-)

xoxox
Wendy

Naima Sanowar November 18, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Thanks Wendy,

I truly miss Trinidad, we must connect when I return.

X
Naima

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