The Spice Necklace Blog

Ann's Blog

Chaguaramas, Trinidad:
November 21, 2010
5 things to love about this place

Today’s cruisers’ information net on the VHF radio was dispiriting: A gang of thieves is at work in the Chaguaramas anchorage, stealing outboards from the dinghies of cruising boats, even when the dinghy is raised on davits and the engine is bolted on. The latest victim awoke at 3:30 a.m. and saw the robbery in progress – but when he tried repeatedly (for more than an hour) to raise the Coast Guard on the radio, there was no response. Last night there was also a nasty diesel spill in the harbor, likely from some commercial vessel. We didn’t need the net to learn this; our noses told us when we got home to Receta after midnight, and our eyes revealed the massive slick this morning.) Still. There are so many things to love about being here. Five quick ones from the past week:

1. The Port of Spain fresh market on Saturday morning. I couldn’t help myself. I bought too much, almost to the point of not being able to schlep my bags back to the maxi-taxi.

Things to love #1: The fresh market. Yesterday, I bought
homemade tamarind chutney and mango kuchela at this stall, as I've done
in past years. The friendly woman who makes them always offers a taste.

2. The brown capuchin monkeys I saw on a walk through the “Bamboo Cathedral” on Friday afternoon. (The Bamboo Cathedral is on a side road (open only to foot and bicycle traffic) close to where <em> Receta</em> is docked. Huge stands of bamboo form a “roof” across the road, and with the afternoon light slanting through, the effect is indeed churchlike. Lovely, even when you don’t spot monkeys.)

Things to love #3: Southern lapwing out for a stroll...
3. The handsome southern lapwings – crested wading birds – that brazenly stroll the docks and marina grounds here, paying us no mind.
...and considering a dip in the pool, perhaps

4. The orange-winged Amazon parrots that fly overhead in pairs, squawking noisily, every morning at sunrise and return to their roosts in the trees (with just as much noise) every evening at dusk. I can set my watch by them.

5. Last night’s pan and parang (Venezuelan-inspired Trinidadian Christmas music) at the Silver Stars Steel Orchestra panyard. This tradition of music at the panyard on the weekends leading up to Christmas has been going on for 20 years. It was shivers-up-the-arm wonderful last night. I wanted to bottle the sound and the feel of being there, in the hot yard under a full moon, to carry around with me for the rest of the year – hell, next year, too – and send as a gift to friends.

Things to love #5: At the Silver Stars panyard. Played by a pan orchestra, "O Holy Night" becomes something magical

Back to top

Sign up to be notified by email when I post a new blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

HTML tags are not allowed.