Friday, February 26, 2010

Scotland Bay and Steel Band Semifinals

To break up our rather prolonged stay in Chagauramus we headed out five nautical miles to Scotland Bay to get away from it all for a couple of days. Scotland Bay is a beautiful bay surrounded by mangroves and rain forest and we had been told that howler monkeys could be heard echoing through the bay at night. A trip to the shore uncovered a much less pleasant view. The entire shoreline was covered with mounds of rotting garbage of every imaginable kind ranging from the expected beer bottles to corroded car batteries to old baby prams. Disgusting. The garbage is interspersed with signs ironically requesting people not to litter. As a final bonus the shore line also has several (generally well marked) deadly machineel trees. These tree are extremely dangerous and you are warned not to touch the leaves, not to stand under them in the rain and certainly to avoid eating any of the fruit.

Scotland Bay was not without its upside. We had a few wonderful ´last evenings´ with the Mjolners and a good celebration of our friendship. We also enjoyed a glass of wine on a beautiful boat named the Plane Song with her owner Bruce. This is a lovely 38-foot boat from 1978 that he has carefully restored to its original beauty with the support of Shannon Yachts in Bristol Rhode, Island where she was designed and built. A little before my brother´s time there but a nice coincidence nonetheless.

Headed back to Chagaramus to take in some of the final pre-carnival celebrations. Along with the Tangaroa and the Mjolner we went into the Queen’s Park Savannah to see the semifinals of the Panorama Steel Bands. There were over 25 bands competing in small, medium and large (up to 100 players) band categories. It was a great sphere with cold beer, good food (yum…doubles) and jolly music. Trinidad is clearly a country that takes their carnival extremely seriously.

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