On Island Time in Paradise – Trinidad & Tobago

April 13, 2012

It has been a while since I wrote last. It is not that I haven’t had
a lot to write about, rather it because I have been staying so active
that I haven’t found the time to check in with my friends in other
parts of the world. Every time I post I could write about the
wonderful weather, but I suspect the weather is pretty good back in
the much of the United States now, too. It is great here as always.
The crowds are diminishing and the islands are more to my liking as
they slow down and revert back to the relaxed pace of the off-peak
season. I am still on the island of Tobago and honestly, I have
stayed here longer than I expected to. I am growing to love this land
and her people and her relaxed way of life. I have done a bit of
camping on some of the remote beaches. Hiked and walked and ridden my
scooter all over the island.
Earlier in the week I was invited to play golf with a couple of guys
from Florida. They were down here for a 14 day fishing trip. They
said they had chartered a boat and spent the past few days fishing and
drinking rum. After going with them the Blue Horizon Resort where
they had stayed since they have been here, I suspect they have been
drinking more than fishing. I haven’t played much golf in the past 20
years and don’t really see much point in the game as a whole but I do
realize that I am in the minority in many parts of the world. You
know the main reason that I probably feel this way is that I am not
much good at it. At any rate, I decided to go with them to play.
Once I got to the course I decided after my first drive I figured I
would enjoy the day a lot more if I didn’t swing clubs. So, I made it
my task to drink beer and watch them play. I drove a cart and really
enjoyed to company. The course was pretty and the experience was a
good one so I considered the day a success. These guys told me that I
should find my way to the King’s Bay Café. They said it is known for
its great food and as they said “the most beautiful view on the
island.”

The next day I found my way to the café and discovered that if
anything they had undersold it. Since then I have been there four
more times. It looks a little like a brightly colored small cottage
overlooking the sea. The view is wonderful and so is the food.
Sitting on the porch looking out over the bay below, you can almost
imagine seeing Captain Edward Teach (Blackbeard) sailing his ship into
the safety of the tall hills surrounding the protected waters far
below you, under his frightening demonic black white and red flag of a
satanic skeleton, stabbing a heart with a huge arrow shaped spear.
This island was a haven to pirates. Buccaneers from the early 18th
century chose Trinidad and Tobago as a jumping off point to “take
advantage” of the Spanish and Portuguese shipping lanes. They moored
in these harbors and bays to steal away and hide until they were
ready for their next encounter with a ship loaded with rum, sugar and
gold. If you are ever on this island, I highly recommend you find
your way to the King’s Bay Café. It is a gem in this jewel of an
island and let your imagination transport you back to a time when
pirates worked these waters and enjoyed the relative safety of these
islands.

You know, when you are traveling in this part of the world you need to
remember that there really is an island of Margarita. I don’t know if
this is the place that Jimmy Buffett has found in the bottom of a
tequila bottle, but just may be. This trip isn’t taking me there, but
rest just north of the coast of South America and is about 200 miles
west of Tobago. In fact, this was there that Captain “Red Legs”
Greaves claimed his biggest booty. He captured a huge quantity of
gold and pearls there and spared the towns and villages by not
plundering them in the process. If there is truly honor among
thieves, Red Legs was the most honorable. He is known for “rewriting”
the pirate code to make certain that women and prisoners were treated
properly when they were captured. He was never known to rob the poor
so, in a sense, he was the Robin Hood of the Caribbean pirates. He
is probably best known for being captured in Jamaica where he escaped
from jail during the terrible earthquake that submerged the old city
of Port Royal, being one of the few that escaped alive from that
horrific natural disaster. Okay, that is pirate history lesson for the
day. Back to Tobago where, I have to share, that I have honestly
thought over the past few days that I might like to settle…if I ever
decide to settle in just one place.

Tomorrow, I will be grabbing my pack and my sleeping bag, turning in
my rental scooter in order to find passage to another piece of
paradise. I am trying to find my way to Grenada and, if I can get a
cheap enough ticket, find a friend with a sailboat headed in that
direction or someone that is willing to let me crew for them for the
trip, I will be underway. It is only about 90 or 100 miles from here
to there, but that is too far to swim so, tonight I will be searching
for a lift to Grenada. Hopefully tomorrow I will be in Garfield’s
beach bar
.

William Fair Roberts…on island time in paradise