Day 8 |
Apr 11, 2012

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 

By Christian Walter, Historian

Co-ordinates: 10° 39’ 03” N, 61° 31’ 05” W
Weather: partly cloudy, windy
Air Temperature: 30,5° C
Pressure: 1010 hPa
Wind: 19,5 kmh

Having left Los Roques and sailed along the Venezuelan coast, it was time for the Silver Explorer to visit another port and another country -Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. The Silver Explorer arrived at 07:00 a.m. and an early breakfast permitted us to be off on our different excursions to either see the historical cocoa and coffee plantation of Lopinot or the ASA Wright Nature Centre.

Our local guide Shafena explained part of Trinidad and Tobago’s history, cultural set-up and racial mixture while we drove in an easterly direction passing several villages and smaller towns along the foot of the Northern Range. As soon as we left the highway and headed into the interior, the vegetation turned denser and greener and a more peaceful lifestyle could be observed while driving on the small and winding country road.

The “Lopinot Great House” was quite small. Martin, the local guide, apart from explaining the pictures and objects found inside, made three of our guests part of his impromptu Paranda band. A short visit to the cocoa and coffee plantation led to a visit at “Agua Viva”, a local provider of Tilapia fish and different herbs for healing, aromatic and/or culinary purposes.

Refreshments, local fruit-juice, and tasty fajitas were then served at “Café Mariposa” (the “Butterfly Café”). Five of the seven brothers and sisters of the Guerrero family, owners of the café, serenaded us at the end of our visit.

It was time to head home and coincidentally we arrived at almost the same time as the bird-watching group that had gone to the Nature Centre. Their impression was extremely positive, as they had seen many birds –many more than expected!

A short lunch was followed by a stroll into town to see what could be seen. The wind seemed to have picked up, grey clouds loomed over the western part of Port of Spain, but the wind drove those clouds away and I managed to reach the Memorial Park opposite the shiny National Academy for the Performing Arts Centre. Unfortunately, the National Museum was undergoing some kind of relocation, and only part of the different exhibitions could be seen, something to look out for when we return.

Back on board the Silver Explorer, Hans-Peter and I finished the inventory of our newest books for our ever-expanding Library, while Claire was about to give her lecture about “Caribbean Seafaring Pioneers”.

The following Recap & Briefing must have been one of the liveliest ones this season: Claudia did the briefing, then it was my turn to talk about different types of souvenirs to be expected tomorrow. Marco gave a precap about the turtle sanctuary we were going to visit, then Patri with her very informative and funny recap showed some of the birds seen, and Uli, who had bought a steel drum, playing a children’s tune, had us all sing along. This rounded up some very diverse topics and things seen during the day.