“homewaters re-visited” St.Lucia offered a new find: Anse La Raye. A
picturesque fishing village thick with local atmosphere.
A mixture of wooden and (bigger) concrete homes, built by Lucians who
returned from England to spend their old age in their native village.
Many cheerful colours but also lots of paintless constructions, a cosy
mess. By the end of the day, when the sun is blazing less, everyone sits
on their doorstep
or strolls about
for a chat or a game,
enjoying a beer or a joint.
Upon landing with our dinghy we fell into the arms of John, who
immediately took us on a little tour; with a stop-over in a local bar. In
a village such as Anse La Raye it is good to have some local company,
otherwise you would easily feel an intruder. Anse La
Raye is a snug village, everyone knows each other, but it is obvious
that the people are quite poor.
Fortunately they have a good source of income through their weekly Fish Fry Day. Locals
and especially tourists from all over the island come to Anse La Raye to
enjoy a splendid bbq of abundant fresh fish. Marinated red snapper in foil is
popular, but they served also crispy roasted little fish that can be
eaten including heads and tails, shrimp, lobster and stuffed crab
and to our horror especially for the tourists turtle and blackfish as
well. An American guy sitting next to us was eating two (2!) bowls of turtle
so we decided to move quickly again. On to Bequia.
We don't eat turtle anymore (by conviction) but we could not escape to
the “mammals” for once, as it appeared when we again went by
bus to Toko’s “Step Down”. During our absence the men caught a whale (only
one, although their quotum is four; but it was a big one: 12 meters)
and we definitely had to taste it, Toko said and before we could protest
he fired up the bbq.
Because the best whale
meat is prepared as a sirloin beef steak: pssjjj pssjjj on both sides
(as Toko intended, but in the Caribbean in the end everything is
over-cooked) and it is truly delicious.
Bequia was pleasurable and Sunday afternoon in Lower Bay - normally very
busy - was extremely quiet.
Also snorkelling was a splendid as the water was very clear as a result
of the calm weather.
And just when everything is nice and beautiful, one is presented with a
nasty last track to Trinidad. In three hours time we were attacked by
four squalls! (Squalls come rolling in as a big black cloud preceded by
a gale 8 and horizontal showers, flattening the sea in seconds.)
The first one was only small, 25 kts, but the second was a good hit: up
to 40 kts of
wind. Squalls 3 and 4 delivered 30-35 kts each. The film (2.50 Mb,
click the icon below) whows squall
3 in the stage after the strongest winds, because then the camerawoman
is too busy with other things.
a lot of work had to be done. Unrigging the boat and cleaning up, EVERYTHING
had to be washed to prevent us arriving in a mildew mess next year, and
many social contacts as Trinidad is one of those places where you meet “everyone”.
For example Petra and Dick of Sally Lightfoot, whom we met in Suriname and
on the verge of our departure to Trinidad we arranged a complete tour for
them with a guide etc. Apparently we did well as they rented a car here and
asked us to accompany them. We went to the liferaft checking station, the gas
supplier (saving 80%, equal to the cost of renting a car for one day), and
on to the north to enjoy a bake ’n shark on Maracas Beach. Days 2
3 Macqueripe, Chaguaramas National Park
with the overwhelming “bamboo cathedral”
and a new goal: the famous Pitch Lake, Trinidad's natural wonder.
Nothing much, according to JW, and indeed it appears a bit overrated for an
attraction that is presented with so much fuss. The Pitch Lake seems a
living organism, bubbling with sulphur and liquid in places (so
wandering about on your own can be tricky), but foremost it is a
solidified asphalt lake. Every day they scrape one foot off the surface for
the export, as Trinidadian “pitch” is an indispensable part of global
asphalt. The lake's surface is falling as a result of the mining and this
is reflected by the surrounding buildings: homes are leaning over or are
displacedin the course of the years. But the area is attractive because of
the fertile soil, so we explored the whole southwestern part of Trinidad and
even set an eye on Venezuela.
And as a special treat, in the swamps we were met by the scarlet ibis .