A Travellerspoint blog

Day 21 – Scarborough, Tobago

View MV Discovery - 2010 on dpedler's travel map.

07 Dec 2010

Tobago takes its name from the tobacco plant. When the sugar market collapsed in 1884 resulting in economic disaster, Tobago was made a ward of Trinidad. Today, the two islands form the independent republic (1962) of Trinidad-Tobago.

A wonder around town this morning taking in the sights including the markets, the Botanical Gardens (many of the same trees and plants as you would find in Brisbane), the Main Street and a solid walk in the humid heat to Fort King George (150m above sea level) and a visit to its small museum. Traffic is, as in all places so far, totally chaotic. Crossing any street is a huge challenge and requires nerves of steel – although most drivers seem to be very considerate to pedestrians.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

Day 20 – St. George, Grenada

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06 Dec 2010

Grenada is a Commonwealth country that obtained its full independence in 1974 and is the principal spice growing island in the western hemisphere (producing a fifth of the world's supply of nutmeg, as well as cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, saffron and mace).

The morning was spent walked around the very colourful town of St George. This included:

a.. Market Square with its typical West Indian open-air market – bags of saffron for $2;

b.. The many churches, including the clock tower of the damaged Anglican Church (hurricanes hit the island in 2004 and 2005 destroyed most buildings);

c.. Fort George; and

d.. The Carenage – the inner harbour below Fort George.

The font was first built during the 1660s by the French, before the British ousted them in 1762. The British are then driven out in 1779. The Treaty of Versailles (1783) award the island back to Britain.

Fort George was where in 1983 the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet were killed resulting in the subsequent invasion by the US (without the British being advised).

The afternoon was a private tour piloting a small inflatable boat – 4 boats consisting of 6 tourists and one guide. We started at Port Louis and headed to Black Bay Point where we snorkelled the coral reefs with their colourful tropical fish. The reefs were covered in black spiky Sea Urchins which are extremely painful when touched. I did get a chance to hold a white Sea Urchin (not dangerous) as it sucked onto my hand.

We then travelled south past the MV Discovery to Morne Rouge Bay for a swim and short break on the beautiful golden beach, before we returned to the ship at 5:15pm (last passengers were due back no later than 5:30pm – so a little too close for my liking).

I really enjoyed Grenada.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

Day 17 to 19 – Bridgetown, Barbados

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03-05 Dec 2010

I took the “Coast-to-Coast” half-day tour taking the bus across this island to sites such as St John's Parish Church on a cliff 246 metres above the sea; the Highland Adventure Centre some 300+ metres above sea level and the surf beaches of the east coast.

Wandered around Bridgetown in Barbados on Saturday morning and I was fascinated by the shop dummies, extremely voluptuous with very generous buttocks. Maybe this is because Barbados women outnumber the men 4 to 1. The town seemed very run down and everything very expensive.

Sunday was the “Catamaran Cruise & Snorkel“ tour. Travelled north and snorkelled with green turtles, then back south where we had lunch and a swim at an inlet. The water temperature is so high that you can comfortably swim for ages. Swimming with the green turtles and snorkelling was lots of fun. After much fun and rum punch, we finished the day with reggae music and dancing at the front of the boat as it arrived back into port.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

Day 16 – Castries, St Lucia

02 Dec 2010

The morning started slow with no particular plans. It was obvious from high on the ship that Castries is much more developed than the previous Caribbean islands I had recently visited. I decided to venture into the capital for a look around. I must say I was not very impressed – it was not as friendly and it was all about sell, sell, sell.

The only highlight I could find was the Catholic Cathedral – very nicely done on the inside with the painted wooden roofs. I wondered 3 blocks from the cathedral (away from the city centre) to an area that was still extremely busy with people (although by now only locals) and was advised by a policeman that I should turn back for my own safety. I took his advice.

That afternoon I took another cruise tour called “Scenes of the North & Beach”. It is a lovely island with plenty of vegetation, however has nothing on the Dominica rainforests (that I saw). We visited Pigeon Island for a brief photo shoot and onto Rodney Bay for a swim. Rodney Bay hosts some “very posh” houses and resorts and it's hard to believe you are in the same country as Castries. We stopped at the Windjammer Landing Beach Villas (a beautiful time-share facility) for my first swim in the Caribbean - the water was lovely and I could have spent all day there.

That night all the lecturer’s went to the Yacht Club for a goodbye dinner – lovely meal and lovely company. On the way back to my cabin I stumbled across the cabin stewards erecting the Christmas tree in front of reception. Very funny to watch 15 men working on the one 12 foot tree (photos still to come).

No doubt if I ever return it will have to be to one of these wonderful resorts on the north of the island.

Posted by dpedler 19:26 Comments (0)

Day 15 – Roseau, Dominica

01 Dec 2010

The morning started with a ship's tour to the “Rainforest Aerial Tram”, a cable car ride through the pristine tropical rainforest. At the top of the ride it was off for a stroll through the forest and over a wire bridge probably 50 metre above the bubbling stream. The round trip is approximately 70 minutes long and finishes with a lovely glass of rum punch – it went down a treat.

Dominica is very mountainous right to the sea, is one of the youngest islands in the Caribbean and this gives rise to all the lust rainforests and some 365 streams. It has very few beaches all having black volcanic sand.

That afternoon I wandered into town in the 30 degree winter heat and humidity. Based on the jumble of buildings (many being little shanties mixed with two-story wood or block buildings) I would say it is a very poor country even compared to Antigua and St Kitts. Walking the streets can be dangerous if you don't look where you are going – some gutters can drop a few feet without any warning. The pavements (when they do exist) can be very uneven and great care is needed.

A very rugged and beautiful country for anyone who prefers maintain fresh rainforests to beaches.

Posted by dpedler 14:31 Comments (0)

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