Monday 2nd

With today being a rest day and after last nights celebrations, we afforded ourselves a later start this morning. However, we did need to spend a bit of time packing up team bags and suitcases ready for the TRA to collect and store during our trip to Tobago.

At around 10.30 we headed off towards the Asa Wright bird sanctuary, stopping off at a supermarket for water and snacks on the way. As with previous days, driving in Trinidad is an experience in itself and today was no exception as we followed a long winding road through the mountains with sheer drops to the side, no barriers and sporadic obstacles in the way. However, we were rewarded with absolutely stunning views!

On arriving at the bird sanctuary we were met by our guide and taken through to a beautiful colonial clubhouse that would not have looked out of place either at Bisley or on a tea plantation during the days of the Empire. Feeders were hung up across the balcony attracting many humming birds and creating a great photo opportunity. Our guide also showed us a tarantula that had been caught that morning on the walk. After a short warning about snakes and other more dangerous creepy crawlies, we were taken on a guided walk through the rain forest spotting gold headed Manakins, White Bearded Manakins and Toucans as well as a wide variety of flora and forna. Including Lizards and Agoutis. We also stopped off for a quick snack at a termite nest where we were all surprised at the amazingly strong carrot flavour.

Following the sanctuary tour, several of the team remained in the clubhouse for afternoon tea while the rest took a short walk to find a near by rock pool where we were able to take a refreshing dip in some ice cold fresh water and bathe our heads under the rushing water falls. A welcome break from the intense heat.

We then had to race back weaving our way through the Trinidad rush hour traffic to get back to the hotel in time for a fast turn around and to meet the TRA who were generously offering to keep hold of our team bags and any suitcases not needed for the short stay in Tobago.

Taxis were booked immediately after to take us to an all you can eat Brazilian BBQ restaurant to be greeted by a range of 15 different perfectly cooked meats to indulge our gluttony. Suitably stuffed, we headed to the Harvard Club, a private members Cricket Club, where we had been invited by some of the Trinidadian shooters. We enjoyed a few beers and a few games of darts and then were offered a real local treat, a private performance of the Steel Pans (Trinidad’s National Instrument) by the Harvard Harps who were training for the Carnival.

The music was fun but powerful and atmospheric. They were kind enough to let us have a go and to teach us a few scales before playing for us at full speed. It really was a totally unforgettable experience.

Monday 2nd October