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It’s easy to love Tobago

Published: 
Sunday, May 13, 2018

“Baby baby falling in love, I’m falling in love again.

Everyday I love you more and more and more.”

— Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds (Released in the summer of 1975) 

All couples need to rekindle that love spark and reconnect with each other from time to time.

With the everyday hassle of life, it is quite easy for breakdowns to occur as we deal with children, school and demanding, hectic jobs. These functions that form part of our everyday lives, over time, creates distances and poor communication between couples, spouses and by extension, the family.

But you don’t have to worry about not getting it back. It may, however, take some work, an unselfish attitude and sporadic or frequent trips to a romance destination.

The Sunday Guardian spent the entire last weekend in the sister isle of Tobago, as it seeks to showcase the island as a destination with something for everybody, including honeymooners, couples, nature seekers, solo travellers and the family.

The Leve Media Familiarisation Trip, initiated and organised by Global Leve and Tourism Intelligence International, in conjunction with the Tobago Tourism Agency, a division within the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), took media on an islandwide tour to witness and experience what Tobago has to offer as an all-round romance, cultural and historical destination.

From the hotel we stayed in at Mount Irvine Bay Resort in Scarborough, with its rich history, having once been a plantation during colonial rule, to travelling along the road which was once all part of the property belonging to Irish-born French soldier Count Arthur Dillon.

This road was built specifically with the permission of Dillon to easily access the seaside village of Castara, which was once inaccessible. Today, Castara is known as the location for some of the island’s most beautiful hotels and guest-houses.

The tales of African witch Gang Gang Sarah and the silk cotton tree at Golden Lane (Des Vignes Road) in Les Coteaux Village intrigued the media, who stopped to get a closer look and pictures of the notorious silk cotton tree, a historical landmark in Tobago and the largest of it’s kind.

The tour operator explained that legend has it Gang Gang Sarah had special powers that allowed her to climb the tree and fly back to Africa, but she lost her powers one day after eating too much salt and fell from the tree and died. The tree’s roots grow deeply and strong and it has caused much damage to the narrow street upon which it stands. Several attempts were made to remove the tree but each time mysterious things happen to stop the attempts.

Another treasure of Castara is the clay oven baking tradition. 

Done only twice a week, people, including tourists, come from all over Tobago to make their orders for the finest fresh-baked coconut and pumpkin breads, cassava pones, currant rolls and sweetbread all baked in the clay oven.

Alston Taylor, who has been clay oven baking for the past five years and just recently remoulded his clay structure, showed how the clay oven is set up for baking. It takes lots of bamboo and some pitch oil.

But there is a technique to doing it, as the bamboo has to be cracked first to avoid an explosion. When the clay has been heated enough, the dough is placed in it and a cloth seals the opening until the dough is fully baked. Lucky for the Sunday Guardian, we got to try a slice of cassava pone that was still warm. Needless to say, it was delicious! After a long day of touring, it was to the Pigeon Point entrance at the Waterholics beachfront where we experienced a sunset cruise courtesy Team Waterholics led by Alex Nedd. The cruise can be reserved for groups, a family or just couples.

This glass bottom boat cruise took us snorkelling at Buccoo Reef then to Coral Gardens, where we learned about some of the fish that inhabit the beautiful Caribbean sea.

Next, it was off to the famous Nylon Pool, a natural metre-deep crystal clear swimming pool with a sandy bottom in the middle of the sea, otherwise known as the fountain of youth as it bears natural skin exfoliators.

To end the cruise it was straight to No Man’s Land for a bonfire cool down where dinner and music met smiles and conversations and even new friendships.

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