Yesterday Rob was 60 and we decided to have a day out to celebrate, see some history of Trinidad and escape boat work for a while.
The day before, having the unusual luxury of a cool air-conditioned cabin, I managed to make a coffee and pecan sponge cake with coffee buttercream, which didn’t melt away in minutes. Normally it is best to make melted cakes, such as gingerbread, or rubbed in mixtures for fruit cake.
We kept it in a box just under the a/c unit just in case but it did last. Being on the hard, I could also weigh the ingredients accurately with the electronic scales instead of getting ‘unstable’ as a reading. So the cake rose and was edible, quite a result.
We left half (the bit Rob didn’t put his finger in) with the office staff as we knew we couldn’t get through it all ourselves and then joined Mike in his lovely people carrier for a day visiting some of the cultural sites in the central part of Trinidad.
Our first stop was a small pottery, busy making pots for holding oil to light for next month’s Divali, the Festival of Lights events. It was fascinating to watch the potter working, producing almost identical pots time and time again.
The stack of wood was waiting to be put underneath the kiln to dry out the tiny pots.
Next we headed on to the Temple In The Sea. This was built by one man, who carried boulders into the sea to make the pathway to the Temple. His original temple on shore had been destroyed but he decided to rebuild it. He died before finishing the job but it was completed and is now a memorial to all the hundreds of thousands of Indians who were indentured labourers in the islands and who took up the offer of a plot of land instead of a return ticket to India after their contract expired.
The murti are very colourful, as are the prayer flags and the entire site is tranquil and serene. The caretaker told us about the Gods and some of the stories associated with them and gave us some history about the Temple. Around the shore were countless pots, material from flags and small murti thrown into the water for religious reasons.
Next we went to a local Roti hut for a quick, tasty and cheap lunch, then to the Museum of Indian Culture, which housed an excellent display of objects, clothing and documentation relating to the indentured labourers. Well worth a visit and like the Temple, donations only.
We had a quick stop to look at the biggest Murti in the Western Hemisphere. Definitely big!
Our final visit of the day was further north, to the St Benedict’s Monastery high up in the hills. There is a guesthouse, retreat and a great view over the plains. We had booked tea, which comprised of Earl Grey tea, cake and a couple of cheese and sesame scones. The latter didn’t quite go with the guava jam but it was only 3 GBP each and quite an experience.
Our driver was obviously coming down with something and had quite a fever by the end of the day. As he didn’t have any joint pains we were all assuming it wasn’t Chikungunya but it is now rife throughout the islands and people are very afraid of getting it.
This morning we are joining fellow cruisers to meet the Minister Of Tourism to talk about how Trinidad can attract more yachties and improve the service to the yachting community. Then we have to start concentrating on sanding the hull, getting her painted and look forward to relaunching.