With Jeff and Di from ‘Horizons’, a neighbouring boat, we caught a local bus yesterday (for 50 pence one way) into the capital, to see the historic buildings around the Brian Lara Promenade. It was a calm day so we were happy to leave the boats and take some time out to see some more of Trinidadian culture before we leave.
The bus stops very near to the Promenade and not far from it are 14 historic buildings worth seeing. Unfortunately most of them were under repair, had scaffolding around them or corrugated fencing to spoil the view. None were open for us to look around, so we just had a look from the outside and got some doubles for lunch!
On the south side the promenade begins with a statue of Brian Lara, world record holder of over 400 runs in a cricket Test match. From there it is just a short walk along to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and several others. Then you head north to Woodford Square where the other buildings are located in a small area.
The buildings are squeezed between modern ones of varying beauty and there is clearly not much planning going on in the planning department.
The ‘Red House’ was huge and a former Parliament Building but under restoration. Riots in the early years of the last century destroyed many of the buildings and Parliament is still housed elsewhere.
The old public library was in a sad state but must have been beautiful in years gone by. Hopefully it will be renovated fully but given the number of buildings needing work, perhaps the funding just isn’t available.
We did marvel at the number of coaches lined up outside the Court of Justice for ‘Prisoner Transportation’. Surely there can’t be that many.
The oldest building was the ‘Cabildo’, established in 1777 as the seat of Spanish colonial government. It was sandwiched between modern buildings and looked very out of place but it does house a museum, as does the Police HQ.
After our wander we had a coffee break at the Hyatt Hotel overlooking the water and were surprised to find the prices were similar to those of the Rituals Coffee Houses but the surroundings were far more luxurious in the Hyatt.
Returning to the bus terminus we met another cruiser who had been waiting 2 hours for a bus and was at the end of her tether. Then another 2 cruisers joined us. Apparently there had been an incident on the road back to Chaguaramas, so once it started raining heavily, we opted to phone Jesse James and he arranged for a taxi to pick the seven of us up. Great service as always.
We then spent a bit of time in the TTSA bar, met up with Ricky from the former ‘De Big Fish’, who had crewed a yacht from Grenada to Trini and reminisced about last Christmas before getting back to the boats in the dark. Fortunately I had left the mooring light on at 1000, a lesson learned long ago in the spring of 2012. We so often go out in the morning and get waylaid by friends and don’t return to the boat before sunset.
Our days have been reasonably quiet otherwise as we chill out after all the work on Beyzano. Rob tried his hand at making bread, using a YouTube video as his guide and it didn’t turn out too badly. Perhaps the tin was too small but next time he can halve the ingredients.
Another result was the fixing of the generator without outside assistance and expense. When the pre-filter was changed in August it wasn’t put back on tightly enough and air was getting in. We had to draw more fuel through into the generator and checked power was getting to the fuel pump, disconnected the pipe to the fuel injector to check everything and spoke to ‘Genny’ to encourage her to start up. Success – we can have toast again, heat the water and dry my hair ☺
Our new clear sprayhood windows are money well spent, giving us a clear view of what is in front of us. Always useful when manoeuvring in tight anchorages. We have our main awning up to keep the boat cool and keep the rain off, meaning we can also leave the centre window open for the breeze to blow through, without getting wet. In the same photo you can see Rob polishing and the new hatch covers.
The anchorage is still calm and pleasant most of the time but we will be moving on next week after the last ‘Bake and Shark’ night on Saturday and dominoes on Sunday. We should be staying a couple of nights in the neighbouring islands before clearing out and collecting our duty free order. We found out that the prices on beer, wine and gin are far cheaper after clearing than in any of the islands north, so we have stocked up. Then it is on to Carriacou before heading back to Grenada to see friends who arrive on the 21st.