Tobago, August 3rd to 9th, 2012
I feel that I should write something about Tobago. We were there for almost a week.
It was more different from Grenada than I expected. Trinidad and Tobago is a proper country. Tobago felt much more prosperous than Grenada – the roads and infrastructure were better.
It seemed like we lost a lot of time to customs and immigration bureaucracy in Tobago. The first day was spent checking in. Then it took most of another day to check out Andy and Pete – because they were leaving a boat, they and the skipper had to visit immigration to check them off the boat. The last piece of bureaucracy was for Tony, Gayle and Jane to check out of Tobago (at immigration and customs) before heading to Trinidad. Even though Trinidad is the same country—it was necessary to do a checkout in Tobago.
In Tobago, we stayed in two pretty and very different bays.
Store Bay had a good lot of boats in it. And the beach front was a popular public beach with food stands and tiki shopping and showers and beach umbrellas for rent. We enjoyed trying the local fast food such as rotis and bakes. Further up the coast, a short dinghy ride away, there were local fishermen selling fish by the road. We bought fish there a couple of times: tuna, kingfish, and “codfish”. Codfish is very tasty but not what we know as cod.
I enjoyed swimming at Store Bay. One day, Pete and I helped get the dinghy loaded with Tony, Gayle, and Andy from the beach into the water and then we swam back to the boat while the others dinghied.
Buccoo Bay is surrounded by reef. We did some fine snorkeling around the reef, some of the nicest snorkeling of our adventure to date. Spear fishing is allowed in Tobago and lobster is not out of season. Pete picked up a few lobsters for lunch during our late morning snorkel.
Pete, Tony, and Andy went to Sunday School at Buccoo Bay. (Gayle and I stayed on the boat and listened to the music.) Sunday School is a weekly organized street party in Buccoo. It starts about 8 pm on Sunday evening with steel bands and mostly tourists. Later in the night, around 11 pm, more locals arrive and steel bands are replaced by DJs.
The rest of the week, Buccoo seems to be a fairly quiet place. We did find a most amazing Italian restaurant. It was Andy’s last night with us and we wanted to do something special. (Thank you, Andy.) An Italian restaurant, La Tartaruga, just by the dinghy dock was getting good reviews so we decided to try it out. We were quite blown away. The wine list has a wine Spectator award and the wine that Pete chose was the best Italian white I have tasted. The chef’s choice anti-pasti was the high point – like a tour of Italy in tiny dishes. The house-made pasta was also delicious. We enjoyed chatting with the chef and owner, Gabriele de Gaetano. Unfortunately, my photo of him with Gayle did not come out well enough to post.