5 Caribbean Islands in 3 Weeks – TOBAGO

So this is the start of our 3 week Caribbean island hopping kitesurf trip with the first stop in Trinidad & Tobago. Next stops will be St. Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.  

The political situation here in Venezuela makes it very difficult to find flights. In fact we couldn’t find any flights. We wanted to start the trip in Trinidad & Tobago which is practically just a short hop over from Margarita Island where we live. Conviasa Airlines flies to Trinidad but there was only one seat left. We spent twice half a day at the Conviasa office in Porlamar.  We ended up paying with our American Airlines miles to get from Caracas to Miami and then bought a flight from Miami to Trinidad. As we had to go through Miami, we decided to spend a couple of nights there before flying to Trinidad. We were travelling with two small suitcases and one heavy boardbag with the 8m, 10m Cabrinha Siren Kites and the 13m Cabrinha Velocity Kite, 2 Cabrinha Boards and two longboards. No space for my boots so I had to go with footstraps.

On 21 June 2014 at 6:30am at Miami Airport checking in for our flight to Trinidad…

 

 

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IMG_0960We have Executive Platinum Status at American Airlines which allows us to check in at the First Class Counter and it also allows us to bring 2 pieces of luggage each without having to pay any extra fees.

We only had 3 bags in total but they told us that the boardbag is too heavy.We had to buy an additional bag for 40$ at the airport as our boardbag weighed 81 pounds and the allowance is 70 pounds.

Because of our status we got upgraded from Economy to First Class. But they didn’t assign our seats till the very last minute and then gave us 6F and 2E. Fortunately the person sitting in 6E didn’t mind swapping seats so that Paul and I could sit together”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We arrived in Trinidad at 1:30pm and we were through immigration and customs by 2pm. We asked Caribbean Airlines if we could take an earlier flight to Tobago and they put us on the 3:30pm flight instead of our booked 6pm flight which was super nice.
Going through security for flights to Tobago is fun. I was allowed to take my coffee and water with me. I bought a REALLY good Cafe Latte at Ritual Coffee. Very recommendable. And being allowed to take liquids through security feels just like back in the days :-P…

 

 

 

The flight to Tobago is really short. You almost descend right after take off. Our hotel in Tobago – The Coco Reef Hotel – is practically next to the airport (about 5-10 walking minutes) but we took a taxi because we had so much luggage. Our taxi driver Freddy of course ripped us off. We paid 50$TT instead of the usual 35$TT. The next disappointments happened at the hotel. We checked in around 4:30pm and our room was not ready. They brought us a tasty welcome drink but that didn’t make up for it. While waiting we wanted to use the internet and found out that it isn’t for free. For the price we paid for our room, internet should have been included. But nope. You have to pay 90$TT per night for internet. The rooms look very Caribbean with flowery curtains. Furniture looks a bit run down and we had quite some Mosquitos in our room. They left a RAID (insecticide) spray for us in the room. Not sure if it was on purpose or if that’s the way they fumigate.  In the bathroom were only two (often hotels provide extra towels) very “crispy” towels. Maybe someone forgot to add softener to the load of laundry.

DSC_0538



We decided that it was time for a beer. We wanted to watch the sunset at the hotel beach bar but the bar was closed. I usually don’t follow Tripadvisor recommendations anymore as we had too many bad experiences but I was too tired for more research. Salsa Kitchen sounded good und the restaurant had good reviews. But our taxi driver Patrick Gibs told us that the last people he brought there described the restaurant as spooky and he recommended us to go to Seahorse Inn instead.

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We had really yummy crab cakes as a starter and tuna for main course and ice cream for desert. Food was really good and we were happy that we changed our dinner plans. Dinner for 2 including a bottle of Chardonnay from Italy was 160US$. The Seahorse Inn also has four air conditioned guest rooms for 120US$ a night, each with a stunning ocean view. The hotel is located just a short walk from Grafton Beach.

IMG_1008IMG_1006On 22 June 2014 at 7:00am in Tobago…

“We were picked up at the hotel for our island tour by taxi driver Lester at 7am. We stopped at Ritual Coffee (extremely good coffee – Did I mention that before:-)?) and then started the tour. We paid Lester 150US$ for the day.  He told us he was up until 3am the night before because of a turtle watching tour. The turtles nest from March to June and mainly come out at night.  Lester seems to do a lot of bird watching tours as he always pointed out the birds. He had a funny way to talk. Every time he said something, he then repeated it s l o w l y. This is Fort James – F O R T  J A A A A M E S… It took us about 7 hours to drive around the coast of the entire island. It’s definitely worth it. We saw lots of nice beaches and got an impression about how beautiful the island of Tobago is. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to hike to the waterfalls. But there is always a next time. We were back at the hotel at 2pm and were so tired that we had to take a nap.

For dinner we were running late and decided to eat at closeby Cafe Coco. We had a really spicy and good Bloody Mary, fish sticks as a starter and tuna as main course. Food was ok. Our waitress Siji was really attentive and funny. She had the kind of dry humor that we like. When we asked her what her name is, she said:”My name is Siji! I know.. my parents gave me a weird name. I guess it was the 80s and people were taking too many drugs.” LOL

At 9pm our taxi driver Patrick picked us up  to go to Sunday’s School. It’s not what you think. Sunday’s School is an open air get-together where locals and tourists meet, you’ll find drummers, BBQ booths, music and people dancing. The perfect time for a couple of Carib beers 😉

On 23 June 2014 at 9:00am in Tobago 

We slept until 9am. At 11pm we finally left the hotel to go kiting at Pigeon Point. Entrance to the park was 20TT$ per person. I went out on my 8m Cabrinha Siren and Paul took my 10m Siren. The wind was gusty and the water choppy but we had fun kiting and it’s definitely a beautiful kitespot. The wind was sideshore, from the opposite direction that I’m used to in el Yaque. June is not Tobago’s main wind season. It’s their rainy season so we were lucky to have so much wind. Usually the water is suppose to be flat inside the reef  with waves further out at the reef. Brett, the owner of Radical Sports at Pigeon Point, also told us that wind and water can be completely different in the afternoon.

DSC_7385

 

But we had to catch our flight back to Trinidad so we didn’t get the chance to kite again in the afternoon. Brett is a super nice guy, helpful and very funny. He was telling us about the tourists – mainly Germans. It’s always interesting to hear what people experience with different nationalities. Brett told us that the Germans are at the gate to enter Pigeon Point Park right at 9am when the park opens, driving the laid back locals crazy. LOL. Being German myself I can say that this is so true. I learned to chill out more when it comes to being on time. But I am also not living in Germany since years anymore. Most Germans are so correct and punctual. It’s just our culture. It’s a good thing on the one hand but being on vacation, we should all chill out a little bit more 😉 Brett gave us a ride back to the hotel, we had a shower, grabbed our stuff and checked out. Everything went smooth on our flight back to Trinidad. I love the Hyatt in Trinidad. They have super nice rooms, the staff is consistently good and friendly, food and drinks are perfect. It’s one of my favorite Hyatt hotels.

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On 24 June 2014 at 2:37am yawning at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad…

We had the taxi to pick us up at 3am at our hotel. I was REALLY and positively surprised that the Hyatt had their coffee shop open THAT early. Love it.  So I had a coffee latte at 3am. We then left for the airport. At LIAT airlines we were lucky to not get charged for our 4th bag which was Paul’s biggest fear. We told them that we pre-paid which we did. But we only pre-paid for one bag – our board bag. We supposed that they don’t see for how many bags you pre-paid. Lucky us. After passport control there is a new rituals coffee with a nice coffee lounge. They were open at 4am so I couldn’t resist having a 2nd coffee. The Priority Club lounge opens at 4:30am but it wasn’t worth going because our flight departure was at 5:30am. We had quite some flights ahead of us just to get to St. Martin. Our routing was POS-SVD-SLU-ANU-SXM with an arrival time in St. Martin at 11:30am. Let’s do it!

IMG_1034 IMG_1033

 

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So this is the start of our 3 week Caribbean island hopping kitesurf trip with the first stop in Trinidad & Tobago. Next stops will be St. Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.  

The political situation here in Venezuela makes it very difficult to find flights. In fact we couldn’t find any flights. We wanted to start the trip in Trinidad & Tobago which is practically just a short hop over from Margarita Island where we live. Conviasa Airlines flies to Trinidad but there was only one seat left. We spent twice half a day at the Conviasa office in Porlamar.  We ended up paying with our American Airlines miles to get from Caracas to Miami and then bought a flight from Miami to Trinidad. As we had to go through Miami, we decided to spend a couple of nights there before flying to Trinidad. We were travelling with two small suitcases and one heavy boardbag with the 8m, 10m Cabrinha Siren Kites and the 13m Cabrinha Velocity Kite, 2 Cabrinha Boards and two longboards. No space for my boots so I had to go with footstraps.

On 21 June 2014 at 6:30am at Miami Airport checking in for our flight to Trinidad…

 

 

IMG_0971

 

 

IMG_0960We have Executive Platinum Status at American Airlines which allows us to check in at the First Class Counter and it also allows us to bring 2 pieces of luggage each without having to pay any extra fees.

We only had 3 bags in total but they told us that the boardbag is too heavy.We had to buy an additional bag for 40$ at the airport as our boardbag weighed 81 pounds and the allowance is 70 pounds.

Because of our status we got upgraded from Economy to First Class. But they didn’t assign our seats till the very last minute and then gave us 6F and 2E. Fortunately the person sitting in 6E didn’t mind swapping seats so that Paul and I could sit together”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0997

We arrived in Trinidad at 1:30pm and we were through immigration and customs by 2pm. We asked Caribbean Airlines if we could take an earlier flight to Tobago and they put us on the 3:30pm flight instead of our booked 6pm flight which was super nice.
Going through security for flights to Tobago is fun. I was allowed to take my coffee and water with me. I bought a REALLY good Cafe Latte at Ritual Coffee. Very recommendable. And being allowed to take liquids through security feels just like back in the days :-P…

 

 

 

The flight to Tobago is really short. You almost descend right after take off. Our hotel in Tobago – The Coco Reef Hotel – is practically next to the airport (about 5-10 walking minutes) but we took a taxi because we had so much luggage. Our taxi driver Freddy of course ripped us off. We paid 50$TT instead of the usual 35$TT. The next disappointments happened at the hotel. We checked in around 4:30pm and our room was not ready. They brought us a tasty welcome drink but that didn’t make up for it. While waiting we wanted to use the internet and found out that it isn’t for free. For the price we paid for our room, internet should have been included. But nope. You have to pay 90$TT per night for internet. The rooms look very Caribbean with flowery curtains. Furniture looks a bit run down and we had quite some Mosquitos in our room. They left a RAID (insecticide) spray for us in the room. Not sure if it was on purpose or if that’s the way they fumigate.  In the bathroom were only two (often hotels provide extra towels) very “crispy” towels. Maybe someone forgot to add softener to the load of laundry.

DSC_0538



We decided that it was time for a beer. We wanted to watch the sunset at the hotel beach bar but the bar was closed. I usually don’t follow Tripadvisor recommendations anymore as we had too many bad experiences but I was too tired for more research. Salsa Kitchen sounded good und the restaurant had good reviews. But our taxi driver Patrick Gibs told us that the last people he brought there described the restaurant as spooky and he recommended us to go to Seahorse Inn instead.

IMG_1003

 

We had really yummy crab cakes as a starter and tuna for main course and ice cream for desert. Food was really good and we were happy that we changed our dinner plans. Dinner for 2 including a bottle of Chardonnay from Italy was 160US$. The Seahorse Inn also has four air conditioned guest rooms for 120US$ a night, each with a stunning ocean view. The hotel is located just a short walk from Grafton Beach.

IMG_1008IMG_1006On 22 June 2014 at 7:00am in Tobago…

“We were picked up at the hotel for our island tour by taxi driver Lester at 7am. We stopped at Ritual Coffee (extremely good coffee – Did I mention that before:-)?) and then started the tour. We paid Lester 150US$ for the day.  He told us he was up until 3am the night before because of a turtle watching tour. The turtles nest from March to June and mainly come out at night.  Lester seems to do a lot of bird watching tours as he always pointed out the birds. He had a funny way to talk. Every time he said something, he then repeated it s l o w l y. This is Fort James – F O R T  J A A A A M E S… It took us about 7 hours to drive around the coast of the entire island. It’s definitely worth it. We saw lots of nice beaches and got an impression about how beautiful the island of Tobago is. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to hike to the waterfalls. But there is always a next time. We were back at the hotel at 2pm and were so tired that we had to take a nap.

For dinner we were running late and decided to eat at closeby Cafe Coco. We had a really spicy and good Bloody Mary, fish sticks as a starter and tuna as main course. Food was ok. Our waitress Siji was really attentive and funny. She had the kind of dry humor that we like. When we asked her what her name is, she said:”My name is Siji! I know.. my parents gave me a weird name. I guess it was the 80s and people were taking too many drugs.” LOL

At 9pm our taxi driver Patrick picked us up  to go to Sunday’s School. It’s not what you think. Sunday’s School is an open air get-together where locals and tourists meet, you’ll find drummers, BBQ booths, music and people dancing. The perfect time for a couple of Carib beers 😉

On 23 June 2014 at 9:00am in Tobago 

We slept until 9am. At 11pm we finally left the hotel to go kiting at Pigeon Point. Entrance to the park was 20TT$ per person. I went out on my 8m Cabrinha Siren and Paul took my 10m Siren. The wind was gusty and the water choppy but we had fun kiting and it’s definitely a beautiful kitespot. The wind was sideshore, from the opposite direction that I’m used to in el Yaque. June is not Tobago’s main wind season. It’s their rainy season so we were lucky to have so much wind. Usually the water is suppose to be flat inside the reef  with waves further out at the reef. Brett, the owner of Radical Sports at Pigeon Point, also told us that wind and water can be completely different in the afternoon.

DSC_7385

 

But we had to catch our flight back to Trinidad so we didn’t get the chance to kite again in the afternoon. Brett is a super nice guy, helpful and very funny. He was telling us about the tourists – mainly Germans. It’s always interesting to hear what people experience with different nationalities. Brett told us that the Germans are at the gate to enter Pigeon Point Park right at 9am when the park opens, driving the laid back locals crazy. LOL. Being German myself I can say that this is so true. I learned to chill out more when it comes to being on time. But I am also not living in Germany since years anymore. Most Germans are so correct and punctual. It’s just our culture. It’s a good thing on the one hand but being on vacation, we should all chill out a little bit more 😉 Brett gave us a ride back to the hotel, we had a shower, grabbed our stuff and checked out. Everything went smooth on our flight back to Trinidad. I love the Hyatt in Trinidad. They have super nice rooms, the staff is consistently good and friendly, food and drinks are perfect. It’s one of my favorite Hyatt hotels.

DSC_7402 IMG_1660

On 24 June 2014 at 2:37am yawning at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad…

We had the taxi to pick us up at 3am at our hotel. I was REALLY and positively surprised that the Hyatt had their coffee shop open THAT early. Love it.  So I had a coffee latte at 3am. We then left for the airport. At LIAT airlines we were lucky to not get charged for our 4th bag which was Paul’s biggest fear. We told them that we pre-paid which we did. But we only pre-paid for one bag – our board bag. We supposed that they don’t see for how many bags you pre-paid. Lucky us. After passport control there is a new rituals coffee with a nice coffee lounge. They were open at 4am so I couldn’t resist having a 2nd coffee. The Priority Club lounge opens at 4:30am but it wasn’t worth going because our flight departure was at 5:30am. We had quite some flights ahead of us just to get to St. Martin. Our routing was POS-SVD-SLU-ANU-SXM with an arrival time in St. Martin at 11:30am. Let’s do it!

IMG_1034 IMG_1033

 

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