Castara, Tobago- "Just a Small Part of Paradise"

Snorkelling, Castara, Tobago

 

We were talking to Benny, a drunk Rastafarian, down at Little Bay's beach bar one evening. He'd been rambling for a while, but Dan and I were tired and happy to let him do the talking, only interjecting with the occasional "oh wow". He likes living here in Castara as he grow his own food, catch his own fish and just enjoy living amongst the Almighty's creation. Generally in this sort of situation it's a good idea to tell somebody how amazing their home is, but when Dan said that he lived in paradise, Benny got a little indignant. He'd travelled around a lot and said that this was only a small part of the work of the Almighty- "everywhere is paradise". I'm pretty sure he'd never been to my old home in Portswood, but having lived around Tobago all his life it's easy to see how he'd come to that conclusion. 

 

Workaway, Castara, Tobago
Little Bay is on the left there and that's Big bay on the right.

Since we've been staying with Sparkle and her family, our first ever work-away hosts, I've realised what a great way this is to get to know a place and it's people. There's no way you can avoid interacting with people if you're working with them and the more locals begin to notice what you're doing, the less they treat you like a tourist.  

 

...saying that, a fisherman did try to charge me US$10 to take a photo of an anaconda he caught on the beach, so it might take a while to settle in.

 

Over the last couple of weeks in Castara we've had Sunday lunch with Sparkle's parents Debbie and Dexter, partied at the wedding reception of a couple we'd never met and just generally been included into all manner of situations and conversations we would never had the chance to experience if we were staying in a hostel. 

 

Workaway, Castara, Tobago

 

Every Wednesday, Boat House host an evening of African drumming which we've been lucky enough to make it to twice already. The music's fantastic, the beer is cheap and by hanging around after it's finished we've got talking to some locals. People are particularly friendly if you make a little effort and look like you're having a good time.

 

If you're interested Dan took a recording...

 

I'm not sure my photos do this place justice, but hopefully you can get an idea of the general setting. 

 

Little Bay, Castara, Tobago
Swimming, Castara, Tobago
Workaway, Castara, Tobago
Workaway, Castara, Tobago
Workaway, Castara, Tobago

 

Castara is surrounded by forest and one of the most exciting things for me is the amount of animals we see just from looking over our balcony and walking around the village. My favourite so far was a creature an agouti, which looked like a sort of long-legged black guinea-pig. Unfortunately most things run away before I can get my camera out so we'll have to make do with lizards and birds for now...

 

Lizard, Castara, Tobago
Castara, Tobago

 

It's possible to rent snorkelling gear in Castara, but I brought a couple of pairs of goggles with me so we've just been exploring the reef off to the right hand side of Little Bay with those. The coral isn't always very colourful, but there's plenty of marine life and if you get a calm day then water visibility is amazing.

 

 

 

 

Snorkelling, Castara, Tobago

 

I love these cuttlefish!

 

Snorkelling, Castara, Tobago
Snorkelling, Castara, Tobago
Snorkelling, Castara, Tobago

 

Spend some time in the water and you're pretty much guaranteed to see some sting-rays. Despite the fate of Steve Erwin we've been told not to be afraid of them as they are 'gentle creatures' and that you'd have to be doing something 'unnatural' to them to get attacked. :/

 

 

Unsurprisingly, my biggest excitement was been bumping into a couple of these...

 

 

A theoretically manageable three kilometre walk East along Tobago's Leeward coast from Castara is the dubiously named Englishman's Bay. It's stunning from every angle, as if you've stepped into the setting of a tropical romantic novel. Bring your own snacks as the one little shop here can charge whatever it likes in this remote location and probably don't stay too late unless you are in a group.

 

You might have to click the play button to see more photos below...

 

That's all I can manage to share for now- I've been having some internet/computer problems as usual. We've started painting Angel Apartments, but I'll save those photos for when you can see a more significant progression!

 

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Charlie (Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:28)

    Such cool photos! I love the turtle one - I've still never seen a turtle, am really hoping to now I'm in Costa Rica. How did workaway go? I've heard good and bad things...

  • #2

    featherytravels (Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:33)

    Hey Charlie, The work-away is going well thanks. I guess it's just one of those things where you have to rely upon human nature and just leave if you're having a bad time!

  • #3

    Mary-Ann (Friday, 13 June 2014 15:42)

    So you need not have gone where all the people were to see turtles Katie, you've almost made me put on my wetsuit on Islay and go looking for marine life here. the common seals are having their babies at the moment, so I shall be out in my boat soon if not swimming.
    Glad you are enjoying yourselves!
    Mum x

  • #4

    Rod (Saturday, 05 July 2014 12:22)

    Great pics and commentary, Katie! I'm not sure why I was so tickled by your comment about Portswood vs Paradise, in the context of a drunk Rasta! We're having a very lazy Saturday morning which is good because its given me the chance to work my way back through your blog. Great to see all the pics and hear how you've surmounted problems along the way, starting in Port O'Spain. Look forward to seeing your first pics of Ecuador, which sounds great so far. Your food items are appealing, and I can imagine you & Dan enjoying them. God bless and keep you both, Rod

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