North Coast and Maracas Waterfall
Fri 30 Aug 2013 20:50
You are soon going to think that we haven't been doing any work on the boat at all, as I still don't plan to post any 'jobs done' pictures yet. You see, feeling rather trapped in Chaguaramas we hired a car for a few days so we could go exploring. The car hire people warned us that the car wasn't new but when we picked it up and had to fill in the sheet showing the bumps and scratches there was more ink than white space on the diagrams! This suited us fine as we didn't need to worry when we navigated the raised curbs, potholes and random bumps which make up a lot of Trinidad's roads.
So we packed some drink, swimming togs and camera and set off to cross the forests and find the beaches on the North Coast. Getting lost now and again was all part of the fun, we found ourselves in areas we'd never have found if we'd know where we were going; some places were beautiful, other places we felt that it wouldn't be wise to get out and wander around in, however we found our way through the little towns and villages over the mountains to the coast. It was worth the trip...
There were some lovely rollers coming in and we had fun body surfing again. People watching was brilliant as Trinidad has such a diverse population. We were swimming alongside muslim women in dark full length trousers and long sleeves tops, complete with headscarf, who in turn were next to blossoming young black girls in skimpy bikinis and shorter than short shorts.
Whatever your race or creed the thing to eat on Trini beaches is "Bake and Shark", the equivalent of Fish and Chips in the UK. "Bake" isn't baked at all, however, it seems "bake" just means a kind of bread; you can get "ros' bake", which is roast bake (Trini's leave off the last consonant if there's two on the end of a word we've figured out) which is baked, regular "bake" is fried, like a large johnny cake. On the subject of breads, there's also roti, of course, which is a flat bread, used to make sort of parcels with meats and dahls, but there's another bread, accompanying curries usually, called "Buss up shut", which we kept misremembering as "Shut up Boss", it turns out it means "Bust up shirt" as the bread is all layered and sort of flaky, like a ripped up shirt.... We is gradually figuring it all out! The shark part of "Bake and Shark' is simple, it's just straightforward shark, served with lettuce, tomato, tamarind sauce and, if you want it, hot pepper sauce of course!
Bake and shark served with solo pop - you get grape or cream soda flavours.
If you're not full from the bake and shark there are plenty of snack stores available, selling mostly chow, which is spiced fruit with garlic and cilantro (which is s'posed to be the same a coriander, but it tastes and looks different!). It sounds a really strange combination but the pineapple is to die for. We took the windy road back, from Blanchisseuse to Arima, windows down, breathing in the sights and smells of the rainforest.
The next day we headed back up into the mountains and followed the trail to the Maracas waterfall. On the way we passed a pickup with four or five chaps besides it cutting down bamboo - it grows huge here, 60ft or more. They were collecting it to make flag poles for the upcoming independence day celebrations. The path was beautiful: it was raining so there was sparkling emerald green all around and the path was paved with shiny silver stones, some kind of mica I guess. Huge iridescent blue butterflies, up to 20cm wingspan, fluttered by, and we actually got to see one of those tiny frogs that manage to make such a disproportional amount of noise! The actual waterfall, when we got there, was a little disappointing, more of a spray fall, as there'd not been much rain recently, but we enjoyed sitting eating our packed lunch of doubles (I know, shocking, doubles should be eaten for breakfast!) whilst watching the locals playing in the pools. It was so good to take some time out from getting the jobs done to really start to appreciate beautiful Trinidad.