Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The End Of The Start - Week 2 Update

Week 2! A polar opposite of week 1? Well not quite, but it does write a completely different story. For all of week 1's lounging, sunbathing and drinking (which are still ever present), week 2 contains a whole lot of walking, driving, snorkeling, hiking, diving and just generally doing a hell of a lot more.

With the addition of a car, the whole of the 40km long, 10km wide island is easily accessible... or so we thought, until we actually tried to drive round it. The winding, potholed, steep roads make even the slowest of drives across the east third of the island an adrenaline-fueled adventure, accompanied by the smell of cooking brakes and Kim's vomit (yes, again), in a car that makes Kim's 1L speed wagon (Toyota Yaris) look like it has the acceleration of a Ferrari.

Argyle Falls
Our first trip out, with only half the party daring to attempt the most heinous of holiday activities (exercise), was to go to Argyle Waterfall. The falls had been described as a must do in Tobago, with which I completely agree. When arriving at the falls we were quickly approached by our three guides who clambered out from under the car next to where we had parked; the first two appeared fit and healthy if not a bit small, the third looked to be rather crippled, unable to bend his leg, but after the initial showboating for attention walked around perfectly fine. The guides stuck with us all day, never once getting annoyed at us when we were slower up the trails than they were, but often getting in our way during the tricky bits. One even left us towards the end when he realised another group of tourists might pay out better than us, but that was the one covered in fleas so we didn't overly mind. Oh, probably should have mentioned they were three stray dogs, which we affectionately named Fido, Bruce, and Sheila. The Falls, a 54m stepped cascade had approximately 6 platforms with natural jacuzzis and deep pools for lounging around. Today was definitely 'an early bird catches the worm' moment, we had the whole falls to ourselves for all our dips in the cool, welcome water on a hot, 30 degree day. Several other groups had turned up by the time we made our way back down the falls, and whilst the pools were deep, more than a handful of people made them look incredibly crowded.
Fido and Sheila
Pigeon Point
After the first week's discovery of the idyllic Stonehaven Bay I thought we'd be hard pressed to find anything better, but Pigeon Point and Pirates Bay come very close if not slightly better.
      Pigeon Point is a stretch of Beach that stretches its white, powdery sand down the West side of the island, complete with crystal clear waters making the view truly majestic. The only downside is that to enjoy the most picturesque area (photographed right), you have to pay a whopping TT$20 or about £2.20.

Pirates Bay

Pirates Bay, a short but steep 15 minute walk up and down from Charlottesville lies in a cove with high forested hills all around, giving much the impression of being abandoned on a paradise island just like in Lost. This was also the location of the worst toilet we have seen so far, of which you will be pleased to see the photos once I have created an addition to our blog ...... Travel Bogs. Again, not to big these places up too much, they do have a downside; Pirates Bay is one of the most easterly points on the island, which despite only being about 25-30km away as the crow flies took us over an hour and a half to reach due to reasons stated earlier.

Manta Ray on Buccoo Reef
Definitely my favourite part of being on a Caribbean island has to be the opportunity to see amazing sea life. Along the rocks on most beaches and in reefs just off the shore, a vast range of colourful fish, eels, squids and rays are just waiting to be disturbed by some idiot splashing along, making Darth Vader noises through a plastic mouthpiece.
       An early morning glass bottomed boat trip gave by far the best chance to see the range of aquatic life, with the highlight being a flowing manta ray, which I almost got a video of trying to bury itself in the sand; but I now know for next time where the video button on my camera is!!

So a busy week, with next week looking much busier as everyone else flies home and we fly onto Panama to catch our 50ft Yacht

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