Yesterday we had a day off from treating the teak and spent 11 hours being driven around the north and east of the island on a tasting tour organised by Jesse James. 11 of us enjoyed the scenery and expert commentary and tasted 63 different local dishes, thankfully not in large quantities.
We stopped at numerous food stalls located along the roadsides and started by sampling delights for breakfast such as chickpea doubles (flour pancakes with a spicy hot filling) and saltfish on bread. We continued with jerk chicken, portugals (like oranges), curried goat, pumpkin stew, fish casserole and sweets made with coconut and molasses. We picked grapefruit and ate them immediately. The difference in taste was obvious, much sweeter.
Along the way we visited a fruit stall, which sold things we had never seen before. A big surprise was the brazil nut, something I’ve eaten for years but didn’t realise they came inside a huge ball resembling a dusty rock! One tap and the circular top comes away revealing the nuts inside.
Outside many of the Hindu houses were numerous prayer flags in a variety of colours sending prayers to their Gods for different requests and support.
We drove right across Trinidad to the Atlantic coast and stopped for lunch on the beach. Nearby we cooled down with some fresh watermelon at a tiny stall where the vendor was happily lazing in a hammock overlooking the ocean. Not a bad place to work.
It was good to get into the countryside and see how the villagers live, as in the Port of Spain area it is westernized and remote from the old lifestyle. Jesse told us that he ate his food with his fingers and a spoon, only using a knife and fork when he started dating his wife, as they came from different cultures.
Today we are continuing with cleaning and sealing the teak and hope to complete the second coat of sealer. Although it seems we have the entire day to work, in reality it is too hot after about 1000 and before 1600 to do much other than get heatstroke. Then there are the interruptions for sudden rain showers with accompanying thunder and lightning. I sometimes think it would be better to leave the teak grey like most of the other boats but it looks so much newer when treated, making the boat seem years younger than she is.
The genoa is back on and the main needs to go up today so we can fit the second sun awning. We hope our frame is being fitted later on today as well, so it is a busy time. We have some slack in the schedule as polishing the stainless steel can wait until we are at anchor but fitting the solar panels and connecting everything up so it the system works is quite a big job. We hope to be back in the water in just 2 week’s time with everything in place, hoping!