Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tobago- Day 11

And finally some snorkeling pictures!

Snorkeling in a secluded little bay

Jake, Grandma & Grandpa

Josh & Crispy

And lots of fish! (I don't pretend to know what they all are, but looking them up will give me something to do when we're back home and all this is just a memory)

Tobago- Day 11

And yet more (can you tell- we had a great time!)

We sailed up past the little fishing village of Castara





Tobago- Day 11

More from the Island Girl

The boys spent most of their time on the netting

 Family portrait!

 Enjoying the breeze as we sail along

 Land ho!

Jackie even shook off her cold long enough to have a great time!

Tobago- Day 11

Fantastic day today on our cruise up the coast on the "Island Girl"!

Sailing, all you can drink (lots of soda for me and the boys!), eat (barbecue on board in a secluded cove), and cool snorkeling on the beautiful reefs!

The Island Girl, a 43 foot catamaran

She has these two cool trampoline nets at the bow, and a ladder between them that lowers down for easy access for snorkeling

Our captain, Dan, and Danielle (who Jackie wants to be when she grows up!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tobago- Day 10

Then it was on to Stonehaven Beach (after a stop for lunch at the Buccaneer Bar)-

That's Grandma & Grandpa under the trees

The boys having fun

With Grandpa

Then we went back to our new favorite restaurant for dinner, to be entertained by the enthusiastic antics of the fantastic chef, who gave us tasters of some of his amazing creations (Jackie hit the nail on the head when we were trying to find ways to describe him-  think of Michael Palin with a thick Italian accent playing a manic chef). We think we'll go back there for our final night out on Wednesday.

Tobago- Day 10

Nice, quiet beach day today. Jackie is still trying to beat her cold before we go on the sailing cruise tomorrow, so she stayed at the villa and hung out on the deck or in the plunge pool (and had to listen to the loud neighbors- who thankfully now seem to have left after only 2 days). The rest of us went to Plymouth to check out Fort James before lunch-
Here are the boys at the fort

This is the view of Turtle Beach from the fort

And this is my new friend Theo who carves and sells bamboo cups

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tobago- Day 9

When we got back to the villa Josh, Crisp and I went up to have a look around the unfinished hotel at the top of the hill that was supposed to be the jewel of this little complex- it's a real shame as you can see that it could be spectacular, but they ran out of money years ago and so it sits and what they did finish gently rots.

This would have been the main entrance

And the lobby

Then, just below, is this domed area that would probably have been the restaurant- it has the most amazing, almost science-fictioney echoes!

Then, as you look out down the hill, there are these weird bunkers built into the hill- more guest rooms or what? That's our villa's blue roof just showing in the middle of the picture

No glass in any of the windows, so it looks like some sort of ruined, fairy-tale castle in the evening light

Tobago- Day 9

Drove up the Caribbean coast to Englishman's bay today for lunch and some beach time. It is absolutely beautiful- an idyllic bay with the rain forest on either side and almost nobody there-

We had lunch in the little, simple restaurant there (which you can just see amongst the trees in this picture)-

Wonderful, basic food (grilled Kingfish and chips) and drinks out of a cooler filled with huge blocks of ice-

Jackie spent some time photographing and tracking the movements of the crabs that live on the beach-

But the sea was really just too rough to swim in comfortably- a real shame as otherwise this could be the most perfect beach I've ever been on!

But Grandpa, Crispy and I swam in the stream that fed into the sea at the edge of the beach-

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tobago- Day 8

Here are a few more from our lovely afternoon at the beach-

 The surf from the sea-ward side- it looks fierce, but just 10 feet out from the breaker line it was just a lovely, relaxing swell


 CJ and Jake


Tobago- Day 8

Wonderful day today after the victory of the boys and me passing our SCUBA exam. We went down to our local beach (Stonehaven) and had an excellent, simple lunch at the Buccaneer Bar-

Where Crispy proceeded to introduce Grandma to the joys of an iPod Touch- now she wants an iPhone!

Then it was onto the beach itself to spend the whole lazy afternoon.

Josh built himself a fort out of driftwood, that was soon appropriated by one of the local dogs as a lovely, shady spot to sit :) Here's Grandpa helping to erect the flagpole-

And here's the tenant enjoying the view-

Meanwhile Jackie (who's nursing a cold- I ask you, who gets a cold in the tropics?), Crispy and I enjoyed playing in the mild surf-

SCUBA- we're qualified!!!

Our instructor Chris came over to the villa this morning to give us our final PADI exam for the Open Water certification. We needed 75% to pass- I got 98%, Crispy got 88% and Josh got 90%! So Crispy and I are now qualified PADI Open Water Divers, and Josh just needs 2 dives to finish, which we'll almost certainly do on Wednesday morning (and Crispy and I will just go along for the fun of it).

Yay us! I am SOOO proud of the boys!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tobago- Day 7

We then carried on over the mountains to a jewel of a village at the northern end of  the Caribbean coast, Charlotteville. We wished we'd stopped for lunch here instead!

 The roads driving down the Caribbean coast are amazing- very hilly, windy and narrow with the rain forest encroaching next to and over you-

Many of the bays are beautiful, with Bloody Bay being one of the prettiest.

Here are Jake and Crisp in front of the view (Jake doing an excellent job of not showing how nauseous the switch-back ride in the car was making her!

When we finally got back to the house we all jumped in the plunge pool to cool off before heading out to an amazing Italian restaurant (La Tartaruga) in Buocco for an excellent dinner.