Sometimes on holiday, things just work out well. For a start, our boat trip over to Little Tobago turned out to be an individual tour, as there was no one else on board except the guide. We had an hour on this desert island bird sanctuary, making contact with Blue-Crowned Motmots, Frigate Birds and Boobies. On the way, we snorkelled off Goat Island, the private island where Ian Fleming wrote many of his Bond novels. Its up for sale for £1.25 million, which would seem quite a bargain if you had the cash. The only trouble is, theres nothing to do there, but its only a five-minute boat ride from the decaying but still splendid Blue Waters resort.
Literally the moment we arrived back on dry land, the heavens opened and a tropical storm lashed the shores at Speyside. We were fine, though, safe in the sanctuary of the amazing Gemmas Tree House restaurant, tucking into a lobster feast of unrivalled excellence, before heading off to bathe in the cooling waters of the Argyll waterfall. As I said, sometimes things just work out well.
For a start, the villa wed booked turned out to be the height of luxury, complete with private pool, maid, four bathrooms and a security guard. Conveniently, it was a mere couple of minutes walk from Pigeon Point, probably the most photographed location in the whole of the Caribbean. Also within easy walking distance were a cornucopia of fabulous and reasonably priced restaurants. We tried them all and were disappointed by none: Iguana, Pelican Reef, Dillons Seafood restaurant (yet more lobster, mmm). Just by Store Bay beach, you can take in the sunset with a cocktail (you cant beat a good rum punch) at the mildly decadent Crown Point Hotel. Generally speaking, we found better value at the least posh places: the only establishments which seemed over-priced were the luxurious Coco Reef and the over-hyped Seahorse Inn, while the gloriously down-market Golden Star offered fabulous value with its combined three course meal and Wednesday talent show, a crazy event which was worth the journey alone.
As for culture, well, its the steel pans which are the trademark of Trinidad and Tobago. You can hear them everywhere, but the most popular opportunity is at the weekly Sunday School in Buckoo, an anything-but-religious experience. For people with less traditional tastes, fantastic reggae booms nightly from some of the rum shops, not strictly legally, it seems. Another Sunday experience not to be missed is a visit to Luise Kimmes castle-like art gallery, where this eccentric but lovable character presides over hundreds of brilliantly colourful semi-abstract life-size sculptures.
We decided not to bother with hiring a car, since the tours offered by Tour Tobago are so comprehensive and such good value. With the help of proprietors Reuben and Carrie, plus the ever-informative Lynden, we found out everything there is to know about the history, culture and wildlife of this outstandingly beautiful country: the rain forest, the music, the art, the climate, the history, the food and, of course, the huge range of tropical birds.
Getting to Tobago and back isnt hard or too tiring. You can fly direct or stop off in Grenada. We were there for ten days and would have happily stayed on for double the time. Its beautiful, friendly, unspoilt and welcoming. You could hardly ask for anything more from a holiday.
From the Hampshire Chronicle