There’s a place that has been ringing in my ears now for quite sometime. In fact, my first trip to Cropover in Barbados is when Ryan so gently planted the bug to visit a unique place called Trinidad and Tobago. Boasting about the friendly people, high energy parties and the lush scenery he went on to confirm that Carnival in Trinidad still proves to be the “best show on earth”. It took 3 years for the plans to align, but I’m so thankful that I waited. Let me tell you how amazing this worked out. The very person who has been encouraging me to go, is actually going at the same time for a seperate event! Yes, I get to travel with my dear friend Ryan to his other island home and explore the surrounding areas. How lucky am I?!
Airport check in, final wave to Barbados and off we go to Trinidad!
We’ll be staying with his friends Chastine, Halcyon and Adam (those accomodations will be a seperate post) as we explore the tropical island that sits just off the coast of Venezuela.
I’ll give you a proper introduction of the wonderful people hosting us, but for now I’m going to jump right into to the amazing sights we’ve seen so far.
Within minutes of arriving, they loaded us up in this sweet ride and we headed up Paramin hill. Located on one of the highest points of the Northern range, Paramin is a village with steep mountainous whose residents have traditionally been farmers, producing herbs like chives, thyme and parsley, as well as vegetables like tomatoes and yams. Here’s a few shots from the drive up.
Although I loved the beast of a jeep we had, it was always refreshing to stop and hop out for a mini adventure, quick handstand or cold beverage.
They spotted out a guava for me to try, fresh off the tree! I love my friends.
Fun fact: A Guava have 4 times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.
Reaching the top made for a spectacular view that brought on yet another handstand and several breath taking views. I could of sat on that log with Ryan for hours… just staring off into the wide open space.
As we returned back “down de hill” they swooped us away to a small evening out for some local flavors. Every night the locals gather here for a bit of socializing while enjoying a few favorite bites. Known as “the Savannah,” this is Port of Spain’s largest open area and the world’s largest traffic roundabout!
We stood in line here with high hopes for some delicious corn soup and as we were up to order (literally next in line) they called out that the soup was finished. Bummer I missed out, but how great is that… it’s made fresh and sells out to the last drop.
I’m sure some of you are wondering “what on earth is cow heel souce and chicken foot souce?” pictured below. Take a wild guess and I’m sure you’ll be close. “Souce” is meat marinated for a long time in a solution made of fresh lime or lemon juice, vinegar, salt, parsely, minced hot pepper and cucumbers. The meat described in the title is indeed the meat you’ll be served. The heel of a cow, foot of a chicken and sometimes the ears, feet, knuckles and shoulder part of a pig.
Since we didn’t get the soup, next up on the “must try” list was Pholorie, a dough that’s made up of flour, ground chickpeas, water and spices then deep fried. Traditionally it’s served with a side of tamari sauce or chutney.
Although it didn’t taste bad, if I’m going to splurge on a local dish, I’d much rather have it be something more flavorful than a ball of fried bread.
Other options that are offered up range from meat plates to soups, several fried options and an array of sides like macaroni pie, callaloo and provisions (sweet potato, cassava, pumpkin,etc).
As we were leaving the Savannah (me with my pouty face for missing out on corn soup) we spotted a truck loading up what appeared to be a food stall. You’ll find several of these along the streets selling their personal dish for whatever item they specialize in. What’s this? Corn soup!
This delight includes juicy ears of corn stewing in a coconut milk/split pea broth that’s packed with flavorful seasonings and other tasty vegetables. Sometimes they’ll add dumplings with the option for pepper sauce. I have yet to meet a cup-o-corn soup that I didn’t like!
Good ol’ Ryan and his charming ways got them to dig out a few more servings so we could indulge in this local favorite. Scrumptious!
When you think there couldn’t be any more time in the day (I feel like Trini’s use way more hours of the night than most cultures) we headed out for yet another treat. We got to sneak a peek at a local steelpan band practice! There’s no other sound that could duplicate the unique tones of this hypnotizing music.
Fun fact: Steelpan originated right here in Trinidad!
I’ll give you three clues and one guess as to what’s in store for tomorrow… Its my favorite thing to do in every new city. It’s vibrancy stimulates all of your senses and by the end, everyone there usually knows my name.
See you in the morning!