June 14, 2015
Kathy & Kayla
Trinidad and Tobago
A few years back, Kathy was working for our friends Larry
and Mark’s company, Caligo Ventures which organized birding and wildlife
ventures to exotic locales such as Trinidad and Tobago. She was able to travel
there while she was employed there and had a wonderful trip and has wanted to
make a return trip, bringing me along ever since. Though Larry and Mark sold
the company and Kathy’s job was eliminated, she has remained in touch with the
new owners and has retained her desire to return to the islands once again.
This summer, she was able to organize a trip for us,
returning to spend five nights in Trinidad and four in Tobago, bringing me
along to experience the tropical wonder and beauty of the islands. While I knew
that Trinidad and Tobago was in the Caribbean, I really was not all that aware
of exactly where it is located. In actuality it is part of South America as it
is in the very southernmost part of the Caribbean, south of Grenada and just
off the Northern coast of Venezuela.
Kayla & Tristian
For this reason it is one of the most biodiverse nations in
the area and has a plethora of flora and fauna that draws in visitors interested
in the wide variety of wildlife, specifically birds. While we are not birders
per se, we do enjoy being out in the beauty of nature and the first part of our
stay in Trinidad was at the beautiful and famous Asa Wright Nature Center.
Hummingbird Nest with Eggs
Asa Wright is the oldest and also one of the best nature
center of its type in the West Indies. Nestled among 270 acres of beautiful
rainforest in the Arima valley the nature center and lodge is famous for the
research conducted there, the large number of species of birds and animals
found there and the sheer beauty of the property.
Kathy and I were greeted at the airport in Trinidad by one
of their excellent guides and driven up incredible, twisty roads that led up to
the property. It was green and lush everywhere and just a beautiful experience.
We checked in to the delightfully comfortable little bungalow then headed to
the beautiful veranda of the old house to check out the beautiful view and
amazing amount of birds and wildlife that are readily visible as you look out
over the Arima Valley.
I could see immediately what Kathy found so entrancing about
the place, it was just exquisite and amazing to be surrounded by such a
beautiful display of nature. The first couple of days, we had the place pretty
much to ourselves, there was a birding group staying there, but they seemed
constantly gone on various field trips. We did make friends with a wonderful
Trini couple who were staying at the lodge where they actually got engaged
while there, that was pretty cool to see.
Tristan, Kathy and Kayla
We spent a lot of time initially just relaxing on the
veranda sipping rum punch, taking the occasional stroll on the trails leading
in to the forest where all sorts of birds and other creatures could be easily
witnessed. There were an incredible abundance of cool insects, spiders
(including some cool tarantulas), small mammals such as the Agouti, which were
a common sight and various reptiles and amphibians.