Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break

Six friends came down April 1 for 10 days for Spring Break. It was fantastic to have a full house. Friday, we had a big party so they could meet our friends here, so they could learn how to wine (dance), and so we could dance to all the music we hadn't danced to since Carnival. Tom was kind enough to let us borrow his car while he went home for break, as long as we drove him to the airport Saturday morning. It ended up working out okay since we were still up at that point, dancing.

After a few days of hanging out at our place, doing local things, we hiked Trinidad's North Coast to Paria Bay. There are no roads to this beach. The only way to get there is this 6 mile hike. The mentality of Trini hikers differed from that of Pacific NW hikers: the guide we'd hired, Chaka, started off the morning by offering us local moonshine and throughout the hike, he kept telling us to slow down until we "acclimatized" on the "inclines." He also arranged for us to take a boat back, but he stayed at Paria Bay for a week, until Easter, with his family. It was gorgeous. And completely secluded, except for his friendly rasta relatives.

Next, we visited some of Aaron's favorite Trinis: the birds of Asa Wright. Notice his new fancy binocs-in-harness, courtesy of Nikki and Scott, fellow Bird Nerds.

Then we went to Tobago and everyone got to go scuba diving. We usually stay in Speyside, where the best diving is, but this time we rented a house a little farther up the coast in sleepy Charlotteville so we could all be together. The place was adorable.

Everyone took to diving really welll; we're trying to get some folks to get certified so they can meet us at an island this summer. Aaron and I did our first night dive. During the day, the light from the sun is enough to see everything underwater. But as the sun filters through the water, you do lose some of the colors. At night, with our flashlights, the colors are much bolder and more beautiful. Also, different fish are out at night. The spikes of the sea urchins were super long and cool. I'll have to try another one soon, though, because I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't lost one of my fins on the way into the water and if I hadn't have strep throat (which I only found out about after I drove myself to the emergency room Easter morning to get a throat culture).
While Dave and Joel went fishing with Sean and Swiss, our favorite dive masters, the rest of us walked to another secluded beach in Charlotteville; Morgan found the elusive and colorful Mot-mot.
That night for dinner, we ate the gigantic fish they caught--appetizer fish (Snapper), main course fish (Tuna), dessert fish (King Fish).

It was sad to see them go, but fortunately, the day after they left, Aaron's mom, Aaron's mom's boyfriend, Don, and Aaron's grandma came for a week. We did the Asa-Tobago-hang out in POS trio with them as well, but at a bit of a slower pace, which was nice and relaxing.
Rymii, Aaron's mom, took the sunset and flower pics below. Thanks for sharing, Rymii!