above: The Port of Spain
above: Traditional buildings in the Port Of Spain
above: Lord Hanuman
above: Sewdas Sadhu Mandir - The Temple in the Sea
above: Trinidad's Industrial Estate
above: Exodus pan band in practise
above: The Amazon Lodge
While in João Pessoa we were fortunate enough to meet a lovely and lively couple, Peter and Louise. An Englishman turned Trinidadian, Peter has lived in Trinidad for over 30 years and is the countries number one fan. Louise a fun loving South African zoologist is quickly becoming Trinidad's second biggest fan. A couple of weeks ago they were kind enough to invite us on a tour around the Island and to their lovely home, 'The Amazon Lodge' for an evening.
The adventure tour began with a drive through the Port of Spain with Peter as the knowledgeable tour guide. We then ventured to an elaborate Hindu Temple with a statue of Lord Hanuman towering meters into the sky, dressed in a rainbow of colours and adored with detail. Having enjoyed that so much we went to the Sewdas Sadhu Mandir known as the Temple in The Sea. The Temple was built by Sewdas, an Indian immigrant, who after having survived a voyage to Trinidad during the Second World War, promised his Gods a temple in the sea in thanksgiving. It took him twenty two years to build. Sadly after his passing the temple was neglected and eventually destroyed by the sea. Twenty years later when the temple was barely a ruin, is was rebuilt by the local community and government. It was a beautiful experience to walk around the Temple and the built up land and being able to appreciate the strength of one man's faith and determination.
Our spiritual journey took an unexpected turn as the tour went on a ''different'' route that show cased the country's successful oil and gas industry. We took an interesting drive though Trinidad's impressive Industrial Estate which had brought Peter to Trinidad as a young civil engineer. On our way to dinner we stopped off at a local Rum shop (bar) to have a beer with the locals while we waited for the traffic to subside. Hungry, were treated to a mouth watering Chinese dinner followed by a visit to one of Trinidad's best pan bands, Exodus, in practise. It was incredible to see the bands passion and energy and their ability to make an oil drum band sound like an orchestra. I can only imagine what the Carnival will be like.
The following day we were encourage to sleep in, a luxury in the air-conditioned room we stayed in. Breakfast was enjoyed on the veranda with a fantastic view over the city and the tranquillity of Peter and Louise's beautiful garden. Spending the morning reading, drinking way too much coffee and admiring the vast variety of birds visiting the garden was a little reminder of Sunday mornings at home. For lunch we took a drive down town to buy some 'Doubles', an Indian treat which must, we were told, be accompanied by 'Big Red', a local soft drink. mmm...doubles.
We had a wonderful and relaxing time with Peter and Louise and cannot thank them enough for their generosity and the welcomed break from all the troubles at the yard. We came back feeling rejuvenated and ready for the final week out of the water. If you are ever in Trinidad and need a break from boatyard hassles or are just travelling through, be sure to contact Peter and Louise at the Amazon Lodge for a relaxing and hassle free stay. See their Facebook page for more info on prices and services offered.