Monday, 21 February 2011
We woke up to a fine morning, and after breakfast went spent most of the morning up on the top deck to watch the island of Tobago grow in front of us. The strong breeze up there keeps you cool whilst the sun sneakily turns your skin bright red without you noticing.
We had a tour planned this afternoon, “the Argyll Waterfall”, and had to be ready in the Neptune Lounge by 1.15pm. The boat actually docked about 12.30, so we ate lunch on the rear deck whilst moored next to a Celebrity Cruise ship which was easily twice the size of our little ship, mebbe three times. Many of their passengers were looking down from their balconies at us as we ate. Weird!
So after lunch we followed the number 8 paddle to board our tour bus. It took us along and up the narrow and winding coast road through various villages to our destination. They drive on the left in Tobago, but they are mad. The passengers were constantly gasping in unison as cars overtook us and narrowly missed the oncoming traffic.
The view on our right side was fantastic. The Atlantic Ocean is far too rough for bathing in, and beats up the beaches, so there weren’t any people, but the coves, and the sea, and the rocks and the hills were stunning.
Once we got to the conservation park, and after a short wait, we started walking. It was easy to start with, and on the way, our guide explained a few trees to us, named the birds that we saw and generally entertained us. We were effectively in the Tobagoan rainforest, which, unlike the Amazon rainforest is very noisy. The birds were making a right racket!
Along the way, we saw quite a few birds, one or two of which sat and posed for us, not minding our noisy voices or the flashes of the cameras at all. Peter chased a lizard with his video camera for best part of a hundred yards, and we spotted a caiman sun bathing just down the bank from us. I also got to see a humming bird and a pair of noisy parrots, unfortunately from underneath, so I didn’t get to see the colours.
The walk got more difficult for some as we got closer to the falls, but everyone made it . The reward was not only to see the falls themselves, but also to be able to swim in the plunge pool. Me and Peter didn’t have costumes with us, so we settled for a paddle. Nice and refreshing.
Eventually we had to go back to the tour bus, which brought us back to the ship. We decided we didn’t want to go back on board yet and had a little wander around the market stalls just outside the port.
Bearing in mind it was Sunday, and gone 5pm, we weren’t expecting any shops or stalls to be open, but surprisingly, there were loads. I hunted around a few and eventually came out with what I was looking for, a printed wrap for tropical night on board ship. Actually, I bought the skirt and a wrap, cos they were cheap, and I liked ‘em.
The ship is due to sail at 11pm and tonight’s evening meal was served on the rear deck whilst we still in port. They’d put tablecloths on the tables and laid them out, turning the area into a restaurant. The lit the oil lamps and played tropical music. With the lights of the city around us and the stars above, the atmosphere was lovely and we really enjoyed our meal.
The boat has just fired up its engines ready to set off. The noise in this little cabin is quite spectacular at the moment, with everything in it rattling – the door sounds like it is going to come off its hinges, the glasses sound like they are going to smash each other into little pieces and the television is having a go at outdoing everything else. It’s actually funny.
Anyway, thas me for today. Tomorrow we are at Kingstown,St Vincent. No tour tomorrow, we’re gonna see how much trouble we can get in by ourselves