Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sandy Bottoms

While my folks were in town a couple of weeks ago we decided to go see the beaches on the north east coast of Trinidad. Buh, bye city life! We're heading to the beach, suckas.

This was a fun little trip because BF hasn't had much time to explore the island like I have. He is a working machine! It was a long trip to our final destination so we made a couple of stops along the way. Did I tell you that we drive on the left side of the road here? On the right side of the car?

Grande Riviere (final destination) was a good 3 hour drive from Port of Spain so we made a stop at a local farm stand for provisions. Here we purchased the BEST watermelon that God ever made. It sure beats Whole Foods. That sweet little woman weighed all of our goods on her ancient scale (see bottom left corner) and the total was super cheap by American standards.

Back on the road. Once we reached the east coast of the island we started to take in some beautiful Atlantic views. You'll notice that the road had zero guard rails...more on that later.

Our second stop on our journey was the Toco Lighthouse, located on the north eastern most tip of the island of Trinidad. From here you can almost see Tobago 22 miles north. This is also the point where the Caribbean waters meet the Atlantic Ocean. The water is much more blue the further you get into the Caribbean.

This is the Mama. Isn't she cute?

My dad was checking out the scene. We saw a guy fishing for eels. They were super gross.

The Mama caught BF and I reviewing our photography skills...and our newly wed affections.

But seriously, isn't it pretty? The shore around these parts of the island are very rocky and are like nothing that I had ever seen. I have some better pictures but my camera won't give them over to my lappy.

On the road again...Now allow me to address the roadways here in Trinidad. Down in the city they are okay but up in the mountains their "2 lane" road is narrower than a standard single lane of traffic back home. Driving was a true adventure. For most of the journey we were driving along side the water, no guard rail, with pot holes that could swallow a SmartCar, and locals driving 50 miles an hour. Suffice to say, we had a blast. You get used to cars being very very close to you as they drive by. Did I mention that we drive on the other side of the road AND car?
Check out how narrow the road is. Whew. This particular section had a much appreciated railing.

We made one last stop in Toco and that was to a horse farm that I will fill you in on tomorrow. Too much cute for one post. After hours in the car, one car sick passenger, and many horses we finally made it.

Grande Riviere is one of the major egg laying grounds for Leatherback Sea Turtles. These Sea Turtles are the size of cars - HUGE. Averaging in size from 5-8 feet long and weighing between 500-2,000 pounds, you can see what I mean. HUGE.

They come back to the beach where they were born every year to lay their eggs. One turtle was tracked at traveling over 12,000 miles, from Indonesia to Oregon. Most often they lay their eggs after dark. You can find evidence of hatching in the tiny leather-like egg shells strewn about the beach. It is amazing.

We had the perfect beach weather. The sun was out and the water was warm. My dad and I were floating around a sand bar a good 50 yards from shore when we met one of these gentle HUGE giants in the water. No kidding. Here I am just floating along minding my own business when I look to my right and see a Leatherback 5 feet away from me. She was looking straight at me.

I love the aquarium but this was too close to nature for me. Those who know me know that I hate being in the same water as fish (razor sharp fins, need I say more?) Not knowing if she would take me out to sea or eat me I began to freak out. In my attempt to swim to shore the tide went out. I wasn't getting very far and realized I should alert my dad to our big lady in the water. He had no idea what I was saying and just floated right over her.

This was a very rare occurrence as the turtles don't usually come to shore in the middle of the day. Just my luck. It was pretty cool. But you can see below that my mom captured me coming out of the water, pretty frazzled. Pardon the bikini shot.

Any who, that was our beach adventure for the weekend. After spending a couple of hours at the beach we made the long trip home to Port of Spain. What a day.

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