Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Of all the times we have been to Port of Spain, this is the first time we have actually stayed on the island. We are staying this time because we are waiting for an American Airlines flight tomorrow as we make our way home for Stan’s funeral.
Since our flight out of Georgetown did not depart until 09:50, our departure from home was a reasonable 06:15. Roughly an hour later we were sitting in the waiting area of the airport.
The flight is only 50 minutes which is why find it hard to believe they offer beverage service in coach. With the numbers of people it seems they zip the beverage cart up the aisle, go back down the aisle tossing a small cup full of a beverage at those that wish to have one, zip back up the aisle with the trash cart, and then one final pass by to grab the empty cups. The way people toss their heads and drinks back so quickly, one would think everyone is drinking whiskey shots!
We arrived in Port of Spain shortly before 11:00. After breezing through immigration and customs we were met by our driver. In answer to my question, the driver told us gasoline was about $2.50 per liter. That equates to roughly $0.40 U.S., so a gallon of gas is about $1.50!! That is a real deal compared to Georgetown and the U.S.
Riding in the car it was easy to see that Port of Spain has a very strong economy. Their downtown area boasts six or eight high-rise buildings. Along the roadside one could see numerous vibrant businesses, quite a few of which were international.
Some 20 minutes later we were at our hotel. Our room was not quite ready so we sat and ate lunch while we waited. We each ordered an $85 ($14 U.S.) Centro Burger. The burgers had eight ounces of beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Centro sauce. It was served with a small side of coleslaw and French fries. We each chased it with a glass of Merlot, so our $14 hamburgers turned into a $366.90 ($60) lunch…yikes! Even though it was pricey, I must confess they were pretty darn good!
We completed our room check-in after lunch and took a short nap. That was followed by an afternoon of lounging by the pool.
We retired to our room for a while. From the room we could see the national football stadium. That was to our north. Farther to the north was a small mountain range which ran essentially east-west. Just on the other side of the range is the Ocean. I believe at that point it is still considered the Caribbean Sea.
About two-thirds of the way up the mountains, in various locations, we could see some small fires. They appeared to be wild fires. Every now and then we would see large flames leap up to the sky. With the proximity of homes, this reminded me of the fires in Colorado Springs last summer, just on a smaller scale. By nightfall we could no longer see the flames.
For dinner we walked about two blocks to the cinema complex. The theater was fairly large with ten screens. We did not wish to see a movie, we just made our way through the complex looking for a restaurant. We settled on Trader Jack’s Island Bar and Grill.
We opted to sit inside since it was a little cooler. The first thing we asked for were two big glasses of ice water. We were both dying of thirst. Once our thirst was quenched we switched to a glass of Malbec. It was from the Trapiche vineyards of Argentina. I could see how Malbec could replace Merlot as our favorite.
We both ordered the Maracas Shrimp platter. It had three styles of shrimp; jerk, Cajun, and deep fried. It was served with a tamarind chutney, C******-Beni, and garlic sauce. It was a delicious, slightly sweet sauce. We also had an order of French fries to share. We were very happy with the meal; although, at about $104 U.S., it was a little pricey.
After dinner, it was back to the hotel to settle in and wait for an early rise the next morning.