January 25, 2006

Charlotteville, Trinidad and Tobago

It was just shy of 5:30 in the morning when Rose rolled back into our room and began packing up her gear. She had to move quickly, her flight to Trinidad was departing in two hours at the Tobago airport (just down the road).

The last few days in Crown Point I saw less and less of Rose (she kept herself busy livin' it up at night and roaming about meeting new people during the day), and I spent more time getting to know Andy and listening to his experiences abroad. Just a few hours after Rose left for the airport, Andy and I were on our way to the northeast corner of the island.

We took a quick taxi ride into Scarborough and caught another cab headed for Charlotteville. About a half an hour into the trip I realized that I really should have eaten something before we left. The situation got worse as the cab rallied up the mountainous coastal roads leading to our destination. I was getting carsick and the third day of heavy rains were stopping me from keeping the window open consistently. The ride was a little over an 1.5 hours, and was over not a moment too soon.

Charlotteville is small and quaint, and actually has the second public library that I've seen outside of the United States so far. The town doesn't appear to be a tourist destination, but has several midrange guesthouses available to stay in. Andy and I picked up private rooms for about $15 each (which would have been OK if the shared shower had worked).

The sky was dumping rain intermittently, and I'm grateful that Andy had a poncho that I could borrow as I walked around town (even with as silly as it looked on me). I need to add a small umbrella to my pack.

The people in Charlotteville are refreshingly friendly, but it seems like there isn't much more to this town than a place for the boat faring folk to grab a few gallons of fuel and restock at the mini-market. After talking with a few of those anchored in the bay (sometimes going into a restaurant and announcing my search for a boat heading south), it seems clear that Charlotteville isn't the place for me to pick up a lift to Brazil.

I'm going to get a few hours of sleep and wake up around 3:30 in morning so that Andy and I can take the first bus back into Scarborough. We're planning on catching the high-speed ferry (a two hour ride) to Trinidad and then to the big marina in Chaguaramas, just northwest of the Port of Spain.

There is a wake going on up the hill from me for a 17 year old girl that passed away. I'm not sure how she died, but the lady we're renting the room from says that she was really overweight. You can hear tribal drums beating and music pouring down the hillside; apparently, most of the town is there. I really want to go up there, but it's after midnight and the morning is approaching quickly.

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