Friday, June 4, 2010

Welcome to Tobago!

I woke up early the next morning to catch my flight from Trinidad to Tobago, which was about a 20 minute flight and costs about $50 (US) round trip. I arrived in Tobago, met with Nigel (my tour guide) and Roger (my driver) and they drove me to the Bacolet Beach Club (http://www.bacoletbeachclub.com/) where I stayed for the next two nights while in Tobago. I had just enough time to appreciate the rose petals scattered over my bed, drop my bags off and get back in the car as we headed to Argyle Falls.

A 15-minute hike took us to the island’s highest falls. The Argyle waterfall is located on the Roxborough Estate which was a thriving sugar estate up to the 1870s. Ruins and artifacts of the old sugar mill are still in place. Today it provides a natural area for residents and visitors to enjoy. After the falls, we had lunch at Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen & Treehouse Restaurant, which serves sides family style with your choice of fish, chicken, lobster or shrimp for your main course. A great meal with a fabulous view!! During our lunch I met Newton George who is widely recognized as the leading bird watching, wildlife and natural history tour guide leader on Tobago. Bird watchers from around the world come to Tobago in order to see amazing, one-of-a-kind birds here, as well as learn from Mr. George. Nearly 470 birds have been recorded on Tobago and Newton knows them all by sight, sound and often nests.

After lunch we departed from Blue Water’s Inn for our Little Tobago Tour, which included bird watching with Newton George. This small, forested island just offshore of Speyside is one of the most important seabird sanctuaries in the Caribbean. The nature series "The Trials of Life" by Richard Attenborough was filmed here. It plays host to the Red-Billed Tropic Bird among others and at one time was home to transplanted Birds of Paradise from New Guinea. The Tropic Birds are most prevalent during the months of October to June, so I was just in time. It was a real honor to be guided by Newton as he knows everything there is to know about wildlife in Tobago. We not only saw the birds, but learned about their habitats, feeding habits, mating rituals and life cycle. It was truly amazing! After the island tour, we stopped at the reef for some snorkeling. Randy pointed out several different kinds of fish, such as the Blue Tang, Grouper and Parrotfish. After our snorkel, we enjoyed dinner at Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel (www.kariwak.com), which included a delicious buffet and live music (dancing optional).

Photo: Girls Getaway to Tobago with Newton George, Tobago's #1 bird and nature guide.

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