We woke up early again this morning, and eagerly went onto the balcony to have a look around, as we were shortly due to dock in the seaside town of Scarborough. But this wasn’t Scarborough, Yorkshire – this was Scarborough, capital town of the island of Tobago. 🙂
This was our first time to this port, although we have already been to the sister island Trinidad, on the Arcadia in 2007. Tobago is the most southerly of the Caribbean islands and is a small island of lush rainforests, hills, waterfalls, small bays and beaches as well as charming little villages. We looked forward to exploring.
We enjoyed an al fresco breakfast before going to the Curzon lounge to await the call to disembark for today’s excursion. We were doing the Tobago Highlights and Folklore half-day tour, and I made sure to cover myself liberally in factor 30 suntan lotion, as the tropical sun was already very hot.
We disembarked the Adonia and walked towards the line of waiting coaches. Our guide was a very friendly, smiley young lady called Priscilla; she was only about 18 or 19 and explained that she was working as a guide during the tourist season before resuming her studies. You could tell that she hadn’t been doing the job long because at times she was unsure of what to say, or said the wrong thing, but these mistakes were met with a hearty laugh, showing all her very white teeth. At one stage she sang us Tobago’s national anthem, God Bless Our Nation, to which she received a resounding round of applause from all of us. 🙂
We visited various places on the island, including Pigeon Point, Plymouth, the Tobago museum and Fort George, which gave us superb views through the palm trees and bougainvillea flowers across the bay, where we could see the Adonia in the distance below us, her white paintwork gleaming in the sun. Fort George was built in the late 1770s by the British, and was occupied at times by the French. We could see the former barracks and chapel, as well as the officers’ mess and cannons overlooking the harbour.
We finished the trip off with a visit to the cultural centre, where we were treated to a plastic beaker of rum punch and an hour-long folkloric show of singing and dancing, accompanied by three drummers enthusiastically beating out a catchy rhythm on their bongo drums. I found my feet tapping more than once, and all around me I could see others doing the same. The ladies’ costumes were bright and colourful and easily influenced by African culture and tradition.
Then it was back onto the Adonia in time for lunch, before disembarking once again to walk into the town on our own to get some postcards.
Being Sunday, a lot of the shops were closed, but nevertheless we got half a dozen postcards and stamps in a little souvenir shop, then off we went to find a bar to have a beer and sit and write the cards out. 🙂
We walked along the road, the sun hot on our backs, and found a local bar which had tables and chairs set outside, under a canopy. The happy sounds of soca music issued forth from a massive speaker outside the bar.
We enjoyed an ice-cold bottle of Carib beer each as I sat and wrote out the cards and just generally watched the world go by. The bar, however, didn’t have wi-fi so we thought we’d go and try to find another bar that did; in any case, Trevor had paid for the beers with US dollars, but received his change in Trinidad & Tobago dollars, so another couple of beers was a good way to get rid of them! 😉
We found a nearby bar that looked a friendly and lively place and was doing a roaring trade with the locals. In we went, and got another couple of Carib beers that were ice cold, as they were straight out of the freezer. We sat at a table enjoying our beers and soaking up the atmosphere, and Trevor got talking to a guy who introduced himself as Gerry and said he was a motor mechanic at a local garage; he insisted on giving Trevor a pen advertising “Malik’s Automotive Repairs” and said he hoped we’d look him up “next time” we were in Tobago. 🙂
After our beers we decided to walk back and find a post-box, as it was now nearing 4:30pm and we had to be back on the ship by half-five at the latest. As we walked throug the terminal building we asked one of the tourism guys where we could find a post box, but before he had a chance to direct us, the lady from whom we’d bought the cards and stamps came out of her shop and said she would post them for us.
Back on board we got showered and dressed and sorted out, ready for the sailaway party. As repeat passengers on P&O we’d received a voucher for a free glass of champagne, so we went up to the pool bar, perched on a bar stool and enjoyed our free glass of fizz, whilst listening to the Amethyst Duo trying to sing. The sun was shining and a little playful breeze caressed our skin as the Adonia slipped her moorings and put to sea once more, around 6:00pm.
After our champagne we made our way to the Pacific restaurant and table #8. Bob and Thelma were there, and this time we were joined by another couple – the aviation speaker Colin and his wife Christine. We all regaled each other with tales of what we’d done today, and dinner passed in its usual pleasant way.
When we went along to the Curzon lounge we managed to get front-row seats. Tonight’s show featured a classical crossover Welsh singer called Gwawr Edwards. She was a soprano with a lovely voice, and she did some classical numbers such as O mio babbino caro as well as more contemporary songs. We enjoyed her show a lot.
Then it was up to the Conservatory for the syndicate quiz. We brought the bottle of wine we’d won last night to share with John and Linda, but when we got there, John was waiting to tell us that Linda was unwell so unfortunately they wouldn’t be joining us tonight. Our team was two down!
We didn’t do so well this time, coming last. 🙁
We then returned to our cabin and settled down for the night, at the relatively early time of 23:15 hours.