I have not been back to my homeland Trinidad and Tobago for 23 years, which is why I began to question whether my childhood memories of the place were fair and accurate. I had a feeling that my recollections of sunshine, sea, vibrant people, friendly faces and fun loving living were a bit clouded by years of silver cobwebs, wishful thinking and distant longing for a time gone by. My cynical view was worsened by the long tentacled rumors of crime, drugs, and murder, exaggerated each time they are repeated until they become so enlarged in their horrific violence that one questioned why anyone would walk the streets or live in such a dangerous country.
Tobago was my first destination and being 30 years since my last visit there I was a blank canvas as to what to expect. And oh, what a picture it painted on that blank canvas! It was an artist’s paradise. I was so overwhelmed that I was rendered incapable of sketching, too much to capture on paper but my camera clicked away.
These photographs were taken in and around the fishing village of Charlottevile which boasts a large area of conserved land and jungle. A small coral reef, nesting turtles, beach houses, incredible views, mangoes galore (in season) and lots of cheap, delicious local food.
Tobagonians are warm, friendly, proud and honest people. Although we looked and felt like foreigners we felt welcome, and well looked after in Tobago. You get the sense that people generally are not rich but have a great sense of pride not only in their paradise island but also in themselves and their heritage. They never once tried to charge us double the price because we were British and in fact took insult when we fumbled their currency and questioned their change.
This post shall be the first of several, showing the rediscovered paradise that is Trinidad and Tobago. The next post will show in more detail some of the heritage of Tobago, in particular Charlotteville, as I have encountered it including a few paintings and sketches too.