We started the month in our new marina at Crews Inn and were looking forward to using the pool and facilities. Unfortunately, Pat had accidentally fallen into the choppy water in Power Boats dinghy dock just before moving and cut her leg quite badly on the barnacles on the jetty. The wounds took almost 3 weeks to heal so the swims have been minimal. We never knew that you can use Hydrogen Peroxide as an antiseptic. We always thought it was just a hair dye. It’s a bit scary watching the wounds foam up as you apply the liquid!
Pat again attended the first hash run of the month at Blanchisseuse on the beautiful north coast and Mike was persuaded to come to the second last week, again on the north coast near Maracas. It never stopped raining the whole run and the trail was steeper and slippier than ever. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely slithering about in the mud!
In between, Peter and Sheila from Passagemaker again kindly invited us to their lovely home, to stay overnight this time, and we visited the Benedictine Monastery in the hills nearby.
The Carnival season is well and truly upon us and we have been busily attending various events. The T & T National Carnival Committee run the event. The official Carnival parades take place on the 8th/9th March this year but there is so much more to Trinidads’ Carnival than this.
The Wikipedia site is as good as any to get a rundown of the history and present format of Carnival.
We attended the preliminaries of the Kings and Queens at the Royal Savannah in Port of Spain and watched in amazement as they paraded through, some of the costumes so heavy that they were on wheels! We were not allowed to take photos here without paying a fortune but you can see some of them here. Just click on the first picture and an automatic gallery runs through 20 or so photos. We will be able to photograph them all on the street parade next week.
We also visited some ‘Mas’ camps and pan yards to see costumes being made and the various pan bands practising. We have signed up to play ‘jouvert’ (joovay) or ‘dirty Mas’ starting at 4 am on the Carnival Monday.This is a parade through the streets but instead of wearing the finest costumes you wear your oldest gear as you will be covered in paint or mud or similar as you dance along! Not much different from the hash then. Ha ha. Let’s hope us old’uns can stay awake until the end of the procession around 10 am!
We also attended the ‘Kiddies Carnival’ last Saturday where even babes in arms were paraded in costume for judging. On Sunday we were entertained at the Old Yard (Viey La Cou) in a re-enactment of old Mas. We saw the Minstrel, Jab Molassies (devils), Pierrot Grenade, Midnight Robbers and many more characters from old Mas. We were also treated to some really funny old time calypsos and a parade by the old fashioned ‘pan round the neck’ marching band. This old Mas has been neglected over the years but there is now a concerted effort to keep it alive and is becoming more popular again. It reminded us of village fetes back in England. A lovely afternoon.
That’s all for this month folks. We should be further north again next time but we’ve got the rest of Carnival to enjoy first. We should have some spectacular photos of the grand parade next time.