I wanted to share with you a little of my birding trip to the West Indies (don't those two words ...West Indies...evoke mental images of old sailing scooners like in the movie Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World, sailing for days and then coming across an island in the ocean...exotic vegetation and scenery, beautiful people, all rather romantic and far, far away?)
I'm here to tell you that Trinidad and Tobago are rather far away as they are about 7 miles north of Venezuela, but sailing through the sky is much faster than the way Russell Crowe went about it in the movie. We flew to Miami and then on to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad. Here's a view from the airplane:
The West Indies were first a Spanish colony, then the French took over and lastly the British. They drive on the "wrong" side of the road like the Brits and have a lilting, almost Jamacian style of speaking. Everything moves much more slowly in Trinidad and Tobago.
Luckily for me, my friend Sarah's husband does not like to bird, so she and I get to traipse around the world looking at birds and animals in strange, far away places. So far we have been to Ecuador, Eastern Africa and now Trinidad/Tobago together. We're planning another trip to South Africa for the fall. But I digress..
Our guide picked us up and took us to Asa Wright Lodge high up in the northern range of Trinidad. After we left the little city of Arima, we quickly changed over onto unpaved roads that became narrower and narrower - with hair pin turns that made it impossible to know whether someone was coming from the other direction - which they usually were! I did alot of flinching on the way up, but I suppose got use to it through the course of the time we were there because that was the only road back down and we were often going back down to go to various birding locations.
The lodge was formerly a coffee and chocolate plantation in the 1800s and early 1900s (how good does that sound?) and they still grow and roast their own coffee for the guests. The main building is gorgeous in a very understated old world way with a beautiful veranda that looks over the valley and island.
Here's the hallway leading back to the Anteroom, the Anteroom and then the veranda:
All meals are taken at the property in the main dining room (although a lunch was packed if you were going out for the day). Tea was served every day at 4:00 p.m. on the veranda and then came Rum Punch at 6:00 p.m. with dinner in the main dining room (family style) at 7:00 p.m.
Here's a peek of the dining room at breakfast:
And this is one of the cottages although not the one that I stayed in:
Our cottage was 21 more steps up that walkway, right under a massive tree full of screeching Yellow Rumped Oropendulas (large vocal birds that make beautiful hanging orb like nests - the guys make the nests and then the gals come and check out the work. Sloppy work does not get you a partner! The gals want high quality construction before they will give a guy the time of day.)
Trinidad was lovely except for the chiggers - nasty little biting things they are! We met some very nice Brits while on the trip and we were all staying in the same place in Tobago, so it was nice to have the continuity of people to talk to and have dinner with. Next blog I'll show you a little of Tobago and the Blue Waters Inn.
This trip, of course, is why I have done so little sewing.
Aaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.