Recuperating in Tobago

Wednesday 4 February to Tuesday 10 February 2015

travellingross rating = 6/10

It’s never a pleasant experience going to the airport hungover, let alone get up at 4 am to pack all my belongings, get in a taxi, head to the airport in snow, navigate the Denver airport and spend all day travelling. Fortunately, I had Matt with me as we were both on the same flights through to Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Even more fortunately, I was going to a Caribbean island for 6 nights of 100% relaxation. The travel was ok, but I remember sitting on the tarmac during our Houston layover for more than an hour. And United Airlines (as with most USA airlines) have terrible or non-existent in-flight entertainment or food. Didn’t help that trying to watch Dumb & Dumber 2 on my laptop stopped at the 40 minute mark for no reason and then my laptop battery was going flat. Ah, 1st world problems. Matt and I had enough time for a beer together in Port of Spain airport (yes we can both back it up) as he headed back to Suriname for his last rotation and I boarded a 25 minute flight across to the island of Tobago.

Lots of people have told me to avoid Trinidad, but that Tobago is really nice and worth a visit. Apparently the bigger island of Trinidad is wealthier but full of crime, dirt and people. Tobago only has a 60,000 population and a diversity of things to do. Surprisingly, I had to pay a $67 USD visa to enter T&T which does not apply to USA or Canada citizens. I received mild questioning as to why I did not have a visa before arrival but was able to fill a form and get a visa waiver at immigration.

I stayed at the Kariwak Holistic Haven Hotel. An exotic name for a relaxing retreat. Very close to the airport and tropical with bird feeders, two pools, a yoga hall, hammocks and a general vibe of simple relaxation. This was just what I wanted. I always like to stay by the beach on coastal places but this was perfect. I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol on Tobago. Nor did I swim in the ocean. Time to detox, sleep til midday, laze by the pool (ozone treated rather than chlorine or salt and it was awesome!), read, etc. I did two touristy things – walked to Pigeon Point beach (ok but too touristy for a beach), and a half day rainforest tour of one of the world’s oldest conservation reserves that was founded in 1776 and this was really good. A particular highlight was receiving a random phone call at 10pm from Perth Airport to ask where I wanted my suitcase delivered to!!! Totally out of the blue and unexpected. My bag was finally found. Sure, in Perth which is no good to me, but in safe hands with all contents! Unbelievable.

Overall, Tobago was not that great or memorable. I found Curacao to be better with nicer beaches, better people and cleaner. Tobago felt like Africa in places and too under-developed for my liking. The hotel was great and I’m sure the diving is good. But I think the Caribbean has better to offer than Tobago.

Websites and Tips to Make this Trip

Booked the hotel through www.kariwak.com for USD $205 per night for pool side room

Rainforest tour through Harris’ Jungle Tours USD $65 or 400 TT www.harris-jungle-tours.com