Diary Friday 29th
This morning the team took breakfast in the hotel and began making plans for the day ahead. As one of only two non-shooting days on the island of Trinidad we really wanted to make sure we saw some of the important sights but also had several errands to run.
We soon mustered in the car park by around 9.30 and headed off first to see the Tucker Valley Range where we bumped into a local, Geoff, practicing before the matches start tomorrow. He took some time to tell us about the range and allow us to walk along it.
The range itself although not far from the hotel complex was accessed by a dirt track threaded through tall grasses and bamboo and we were all grateful we had rented 4×4’s. On arriving at the range the first thing to hit us was the humidity, being at the bottom of the valley and enclosed on almost all sides. The range was a neatly mown strip through the surrounding foliage and large grasses, ferns and palms surrounded it. One could almost have expected to see a pterodactyl flying overhead or a passing stegosaurus. The complex itself was also quite big with adjacent pistol and Smallbore ranges as well as an archery range.
After the range we headed off towards Maracas bay with a plan to stop off at a supermarket on route to pick up essential supplies. By this point we were beginning to find that the traffic conditions were not particularly conducive to convoy driving and by the time we had driven past a couple of large supermarkets, the lead car eventually settled on a small one on the outskirts of Port of Spain. Here we stocked up on our essentials of water, snacks for the range and of course more rum.
From here we followed a series of narrow winding roads up through the steep hills towards Maracas Bay. The driving was made particularly fun by the addition of land slide debris and random obstacles such as deep potholes and fallen trees. At the top of the hill we stopped briefly at Bes Spot, a lookout point with stunning panoramic views over the northern coast of the islands.
After a spot of photography, we wound our way back down the hills to Maracas bay. Unfortunately upon arriving we found it a building site so moved further around the coast to Las Cuevas bay. Here we stopped off for fish sandwiches and as the weather had cleared headed down to the beach. We spent a good couple of hours in idyllic surroundings of white sands palm trees and drinking from coconuts. We also made sure we were thoroughly prepared for tomorrow’s shooting with a physical warm up and a test of hand eye coordination and accuracy otherwise known as Melon skimming frisbee.
Suitably worn out we threaded our way back over the winding hills and through the rush hour traffic to the hotel. There was only time for a quick shower and change though as we soon headed to Noris Gomez’s house in nearby Diego Martin. Where we were treated to traditional rum punch and Caribbean chicken curry and were able to meet several others of the Trinidad & Tobago rifle team. After a very convivial evening and with much thanks to Noris we headed home to bed ready for an early start in the morning for our first day on the range.