BootsnAll Travel Network

Charlotteville: Getaway

In my rush to get to the bus stop,I had forgotten to put on my money belt. I unpacked half the backpack to make sure it was there, but with daylight creeping in fast, I could not put it on.

Some guys called out to me, but I told them to fuck off. I needed no more allies now. I wouldn’t be back.

Incredible though it might seem, I hadn’t saved up for a year, nor made sacrifices every day, to offer myself up for their entertainment. If genuine friendships were lost in the process, that is too bad. Remember what I said about bad nuts.

This morning was a hair-of-the-dog situation, and I didn’t like it. I prefer to start my mornings clear and sober. Talk about unwelcome visitors. On the other hand, if I’d met Anthony first, the place might never have soured on me. He was selfish in inviting himself along, but he was not lewd.

7:20 a.m. I had been at the bus stop for an hour. There was a light dusting of rain and the sky turned unnaturally bright.

I wanted to be in bed.

Commuters had been trickling in all morning, some of them leaving in private cars. One of the women consulted the useless schedule taped to the perspex wall. She had been there before me, before daybreak, sheltering underneath a Chenet tree on the opposite side of the street.

“Bus be here soon?” I asked.

“Hopefully.” She sounded resigned. She went back and stood at the street corner.

The bus arrived at 7:30 sharp.


No matter what Anthony said about Trinidad, I much rather deal with gun-toting, machete-swinging teenage crackheads than with the types I’d encountered in Charlotteville, because I don’t have to be polite to them. But Anthony had succeeded in making me nervous. There are too many guns in Trinidad.

On the other hand, Anthony had never been off the island, so what did he know? Tobagoan locals are known to be a little paranoid when it comes to the outside world.

In Scarborough, I took a route taxi that dropped me right at the entrance of Kilgwyn Bay Road (5TT), but Jacob’s Plaza turned out to be a seafood supplier, not a guesthouse.

“Oh the Plaza is closed,” said the driver of the next cab I hailed. “It’s been used as a hideaway.”

“A hideaway for what? Drugs? Gangsters?”

He wouldn’t say. I was the only passenger but the driver did not protest when I handed him 3TT as I got out.

After a long slog, I found a room without aircon (but with 2 king-sized beds and en-suite bathroom) for 150TT a night at Sandy’s Guesthouse about 500 yards up Store Bay Road.

Sandy's Guesthouse

Miller (“like the beer”) with the springy curls wanted to “take special care of me” with his glassbottom boat, so I hoped that I would hook up with someone before booking. It would have to wait until tomorrow.

Brunch was spicy pineapple (very spicy!) from the fruit shop and Alma’s cow heel soup from the kitchen huts at Store Bay. Bliss.

I started to relax, took care of the internet business and spent a very pleasant late afternoon at Bago’s Bar, perhaps my new choice for Number One Bar in the World. They don’t tolerate lewd behaviour there, and they don’t sell rum by the bottle. I met a man called Sheldon who introduced himself by asking “are you the girl with the Chinese cigarettes?” (I had brought Chinese cigarettes from Trinidad when I first arrived.)

I grinned and offered him a beedie. The smell and taste takes me straight back to Delhi, anno 1985. You keep something from every trip.

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