` Speyside, Tobago

Speyside, Tobago

The last two days of my visit I spent in a yet-smaller village named Speyside. It's also on the north of Tobago, but looks out to the Atlantic (Charlotteville faces the Caribbean Sea). Charlotteville is much more of a happenin' place, with a little downtown area and lots of local people and visitors hanging out and coming and going. Speyside is quiet and although you'll see and greet many local people, it feels more isolated.

  1. My room in Speyside at the (overpriced) Manta Lodge.

  2. The view from my balcony. The taller island in the distance is Little Tobago, a reserve and bird sanctuary. The water is the Atlantic.

  3. I walked across the street to the beach to check it out, and a little girl ran up and, I think, posed. I don't think I asked her to!

  4. Her brother and sister join her. These were the only kids I saw all week playing in the ocean. Their mother is in the ocean now - she came up later and said she lives in Trinidad, but she's from Speyside.

  5. The view from the beach in front of my hotel in Speyside. The island is Little Tobago, with a couple smaller rocks or islands in front.

  6. Looking to the left, we spy ... a palm! (You will tire of these shots.)

  7. Halfway on a 1-km walk to Blue Waters Inn (a sort of upscale resort, for Tobago), at the summit, there's a cannon pointing out to the open ocean. I asked a guy who works at the tour boat booth what the cannon is from. He thought one of the World Wars. I doubt it, but there you have it. There is no marker.

  8. View of Speyside from the cannon-lookout.

  9. Another ... palm.

  10. I don't know if this growth around the mid-section of this palm is part of the palm, or if it's a parasite.

  11. It seems to be growing out of the palm, bearing seed or fruit.

  12. Closeup of the odd things. You botanists out there, help me out.

    A botanist friend confirmed: "That odd growth on the palm trunk is normal - not a parasite. It's the reproductive system in action."

  13. The view from my lunchtime window at Jenna's Treehouse Restaurant. I decided I wasn't hungry (or patient - they were very slow) so I left and canceled my order and happily had a hotdog back at my hotel.

  14. Three palms and Little Tobago.

  15. Manta Lodge, where I stayed in Speyside. They cater to divers.

  16. My balcony (second floor) at Mana Lodge. I was Room #7, Hawksbill Turtle. Turtles are endangered and protected, but people fish them and net them anyway.

  17. Female papaya on Little Tobago island. I took a tour boat out to walk around the island (huff, puff, steep climbing) and to look at the reef through the glassbottom boat and to do a bit of snorkeling.

  18. Male papaya. It bears the flowers and the lady bears the fruit. Our guide kept calling her "lady". The male and female plants are always found growing next to one another. Although sometimes a lucky man gets two ladies. Or vice versa.

  19. Forest on Little Tobago.

  20. Looking back at Tobago from Little Tobago.

  21. A little inlet on Little Tobago. You can't really see, but there are dozens of red-billed tropic birds flying around. That is supposedly its name.

  22. Now you can glimpse a couple birds. This tour was supposedly a tour of the bird sanctuary island, but the guides knew less than I did about birds or native flora and fauna. You just paid your $20US, and spent a fun couple hours wandering about the island and then snorkeling.

  23. A red-billed tropic bird with very long tail feather! They are tame as there are no predators on the island.

  24. Two little baby red-billed tropic birds, one with feathers still fluffy gray and undifferentiated.

  25. An odd sort of cactus growing in the tropical rainforest.

  26. Lizard on Little Tobago.

  27. A large, 2,000-year-old (?) coral, as seen through the glass-bottomed boat. Apologies for this silly shot.

  28. Dawn on Saturday. I woke up and saw the sun a burning orange ball lying just on the ocean and dashed outside with my camera, to run across the street to the beach. Rats. I left the camera battery in its recharge unit in the electric socket. By the time I got back to the beach, the sun had risen far beyond the fiery-red-ball stage. The sun at 6:30 a.m. was quite hot on the skin and made you feel like sunscreen would not be a bad idea. Tobago is pretty near the equator.

  29. Palm at sunrise.

  30. Later in the day, I was reading and once in a while going in for a dip. The ocean here is very shallow and rocky, so I wore Teva's which were a lifesaver. This photo is supposed to show the glint of light on water.

  31. The restaurant at Manta Lodge. Breakfast is included, and you can get a simple sandwich lunch, but dinner is outrageously overpriced at between $20 and $25US (you can get the same thing down the road 100 yards for $7US. Tobago turns all tourists into incredible cheapskates. You get heady from how inexpensive everything is.)

  32. I went for a walk up the steep hill. Here's a view of Speyside from that road. I wanted to show the typical wooden shack-stall-stand by the side of the road.

  33. A clump of palms.

  34. Two-tone ocean and Little Tobago.

  35. Unidentified bird.

  36. Even the moon is sunbathing. This has to be silliest photo I have ever taken.

  37. One last time, but the colors are good in this light. The palm nearest my hotel. Dare we say: Art Shot (tm).

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: January 10, 2006