Sonny Daze World Tour travel blog

On Joveu (did I spell that right?) the party starts at 3AM...

Scenes from the "Big" parade

Passing the judges stand

This gentleman and another were acting out characters that are used every...

This is one of the many pan floats that are utterly amazing....

This guy was covered in grease and carrying around chains

Here's another one of my sunset photos (remember I spent 8 years...

A construction site in Port Of Spain

So disappointing ! This is all that remains of a photo of...

Here's Hermine on Buccoo Bay after meeting Zack, I think she's in...

I'm here for Carnival and everyone is gearing up for a huge celebration. I'm still with only a disposable camera.

After I arrived at the airport I took a taxi to where I was supposed to be staying. I rode with a guy from Barbados and a driver from Trinidad and though I recognized some words in English, most of their conversation was gibberish to me. In the West Indies they speak a dialect that seems somewhat Irish but is much more rolling, with a whole lot of slang. I struggled many times during my stay there, trying to understand what people were saying.

The real challenge I had to face there concerned accommodations. You see, the database that Orbitz uses had the wrong contact information (I found out later) and so when I got to Port Of Spain I wasn't sure if I had a room or not. Turned out I didn't !!!! Even though I had booked in early January !!!! This became the main story of my last 5 days in Venezuela and my first 4 days in Trinidad (and it's still not resolved as I write this in mid-April). Regardless, if you want an opinion on Orbitz, ask me !!

I went to Trinidad and Tobago because the name always seemed so exotic and far away to me. It's an English speaking (if you can call it that) country and turns out, not so different from America. There are more KFC ® outlets per square inch than anyplace I've ever been (as a matter of fact, I see KFC ® everywhere I go !!!)

I was lucky enough to go last year to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (a big shout out to G & The Duke!!!!) and had a once in a lifetime experience. This year, I wanted to be in Trinidad for their famous Carnival festival (they claim to have started it there). Trinidad's population is mainly composed of African and Indian lineage. It is a former British/French/British colony and the African's were brought in as slaves to work the sugar plantations. After Britain outlawed slavery, they brought in indigent workers from their colonies in India to do the work. I hate to simplify, but, it seems to me, that Trinidad's Carnival is a celebration of the freedom the Africans received. The celebration is a mix of tribal customs and Christian rites along with the Catholic urge to party yourself into exhaustion right before Lent. And this celebration is the biggest party in a city I have ever seen. I mean it goes on 24 hours a day, especially on the two days preceding Ash Wednesday. You party until you can party no more, you go to sleep with the sounds of the party still going on, then when you wake up, you find that others have carried the "party baton" into the next day with no slack in intensity !! The partying goes on for blocks in all directions, and the amount of rubbish created is enormous. But you have never seen such an efficient group as the people who come along daily to clean the streets (and I think they were volunteers).

At any rate, on the second day before Ash Wednesday the party "officially" starts with Joveu, a nighttime parade when people slather themselves (and everyone and everything) with mud. Wear clothes you don't care about because this gets messy!!!!! When the sun comes up, there is a daylong parade that's considered practice, because the participants don't wear their uniforms. What a delight because the girls are all in their bikinis and dancing like there will never be another chance to !!! (I was made into a "Sonny Sandwich" so many times I should change my name to Oscar Meyer) !!!!

The next day is the big day where the groups are all dressed in magnificent costumes and judged based on their enthusiasm and music and everything else. This is what many have worked months for, and some of them take it quite seriously. By that time, I was so exhausted that I was actually glad when it was over so I could go into recovery mode.

I took a ferry (think 5 story jet engine catamaran) to Tobago. I stayed in Buccoo Bay in a town that's claim to fame is the annual race wherein goats are ridden by jockeys across the finish line !! This is the kind of place where you can walk down the middle of the street at 5:30 PM and look to see what people are serving for dinner. There are very few "official" restaurants, so people just make up an extra portion and sell it to you to eat on their front porch, or inside at their dining table. It was soooo relaxing there I only which I could have stayed longer. the beaches were great, not crowded and I went with my new friends, Chong-Yi, Brook and Hermine on a glass bottomed boat tour of the reef. It sounds so touristy but it was a blast. I only wish I had planned more time for this lovely little piece of heaven. As for YOU, stay the hell away from here because it's MY SPECIAL PLACE and I don't want to see everyone coming around and fff-nnnn it up, OKAY !!!!

I hated to leave T & T but it was time for my cruise, which I had been looking forward to for months now, so off I flew to Barbados for the next step in my adventure .............

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