Monday, June 30, 2008

Tobago Vacation - Day 3 - June 2008

Tuesday morning I woke up, ate a light breakfast, and lounged in the room for a while. Around 10am there was a knock on the door. I assumed it was the hotel owner, Paul, coming to ask me to check in. It WAS Paul, but he said, "I'm taking a couple next door to the beach in about 10 minutes. Would you like to go?" I said I would and hurried to get dressed.

We piled into Paul's car and took a 5 minute drive to Pigeon Point, one of Tobago's most famous beaches. As a matter of fact, the thatched hut pictured below has become Tobago's trademark shot for travel brochures.

There weren't many people around which was really nice. I had read that petty theft was a problem at some of the beaches. Sure enough I caught this fellow trying to steal an unattended banana.

The area had several of these shady characters as well.

There are TONS of "stray" dogs like this on Tobago. Most are friendly because they are cared for to some degree by the locals. I was informed that the Caribbean people are very superstitious about dogs. They believe that if you mistreat a dog in this life, the dog gets his revenge on you in the afterlife. Karma with teeth.

The "Most Decorated Person on the Beach" award goes to this guy. I wish I could have gotten a clearer photo, but not knowing local customs on taking photos of strangers, I opted for the sneaky shot.

This wasn't the most bizarre hairdo I saw during the week. (The island has a few Rastafarians.) I grew up being told to wash, cut, and comb my hair regularly. Now I'm 40 and bald and I find a WHOLE SOCIAL CASTE OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T GIVE A CRAP!!! Sigh....

By the way, notice the Roti on the menu? I ate the fish and chips instead. Flying fish battered in a mildly curried batter then fried. It was great.

I really wish I knew more about photography. The photos posted here do absolutely NO justice to the beauty of Tobago.

Fruit trees exist in abundance. I have never seen so many types of fruit growing in one area in such large quantities. Later in the week I would stop and pick wild, tree-ripe fruit to enjoy as a snack.

There are almonds, cashews, oranges, mangoes, jackfruit, breadfruit, bananas, cocoa, papaya, dates, guava, pineapples, and I even found some small crabapples on the beach that I was tempted to eat but thought twice about since they were just laying in the sand. From what I've read about the indigenous fruit, it's a good thing I passed on them.

It seems they aren't "real" apples at all, but the sweet, delicious, and very deadly fruit of the Manchineel tree. Also known as "Manzanilla de la Muerta" or "Little apple of death."

The tree is so dangerous that even the sap from them will ulcerate your skin and eyes. The tree releases it's milky sap at the slightest provocation, including rain. Many tourists have taken shelter under these trees during a rainstorm only to spend the rest of their vacation suffering in a hospital.

Don't eat strange fruit you find on a beach!

These papayas were screaming "EAT ME!!!" but I'm not much of a tree climber. Plus it was taller than the surrounding coconut trees!

One last panorama before I leave the beach.....

These photos were taken walking back to the hotel:

Waterfall at the entrance to Pigeon Point.

This is a "Seagrape" tree. The berries are edible but I didn't know that at the time.

The above is Soursop / Guayabana. The palm tree is some sort of date I didn't care for. (Unripe?)

This next photo is for my mom. Her maiden name is Spence. Perhaps these are some long-lost relatives. (There was a "Spence Apartments" on the island as well, but I don't think I got a photo.)
The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful. I got back to the hotel, ate a little supper, showered, and crashed until the next morning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are having a very interesting and beautiful vacation. I can't believe you didn't tell me you were heading home for a bit. Next time, okay? Love & Miss ya!!!