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Argyle Falls and Jemma's Treehouse

Yo mon! Waterfalls and the local lingo.


View Bird watching, snorkelling and sunbathing. Sunbathing? Tobago & Trinidad 2012 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I am thoroughly enjoying my early morning swims – I left David in bed again this morning when I ventured down to the beach at 06:30. It's a great way to wake up, and there are lots of other people around, either swimming or bird watching, or just chilling on the balcony.

During breakfast, the local kindergarten entertained us with Christmas carols. The kids – who ranged in age from two-and-a-half to four years old, were seriously cute in their smart school uniform and Santa hats! Some were more animated than the others, and some so clearly didn't want to be there. Afterwards one of the braver kids came round with a collection bag. We had been informed yesterday that they were coming, and that they would be looking for donations, which was quite useful as most people wouldn't be carrying any cash to breakfast.

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As we were heading to reception to try and arrange a taxi to take us to Argyle Falls, we got chatting to Troy, yesterday's boat captain, who arranged the transport for us: a young chap called Larry. Larry, it seems, knows everyone between Blue Waters Inn and Roxborough, as he was beeping his horn every couple of minutes, or calling something or rather out of the window. “Yo mon”. When he was chatting to his mates, he might as well be talking a foreign language, the amount I understood. He did try to teach me some Tobagonian street lingo, but I doubt if it would be particularly useful back home.

At the falls, you pay a small entrance fee, which includes a guide. For 20 years Alison has been taking tourists on the trek to Tobago's highest falls up to five times a day. It's a very pleasant stroll, mostly on wide, leaf-strewn paths, a couple of sets of concrete steps and right towards the end, the path disintegrates and you scramble over some medium sized boulders. We did have the option of taking a dip in the pool at the bottom of the falls, but the water didn't look exactly inviting after the rain, being a sort of murky brown. The falls are quite pretty, tumbling 54 metres down over three separate cascades.

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The rainforest gets uncomfortably humid, and we did get a short, sharp shower on the walk back to the car park. The path goes alongside Tobago's famous cocoa plantation, and many of the trees (not just cocoa, but other species as well) are helpfully labelled. We were accompanied there and back by Blackie, a small mongrel who's adopted the Argyle guides.

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We asked (or as they say in the local lingo, 'axed') if Larry could drop us off at Jemma's Seaview Kitchen and Treehouse Restaurant – a Speyside institution, well known amongst locals and tourists alike. It has a reputation for great food, especially the breadfruit pie (which incidentally was delicious! As was the creole shrimp.), but slow service. We must have been lucky, as our one-eyed waitress was really quite prompt, but just as we were finishing our meal (about an hour after arriving), one of the girls from our hotel came up to say she'd been waiting 40 minutes and still hadn't been served!

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Breadfruit pie

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Creole shrimp, vegetables, rice, breadfruit pie and Tanya fritters

When we sat down to eat, the wind was really quite strong (Jemma's place is built on different levels or platforms with lots of angles and corners, all around a huge tree on the beach, and with all open sides.), making it almost uncomfortable and somewhat exhausting. It even blew the food off my plate at one stage. Suddenly the heavens opened and we had an amazing tropical storm – if I hadn't known better I would say it was hail, as the raindrops were that large. As soon as it started, the rain stopped, and with it, the wind. Totally still. The curtains, which had previously been more horizontal than vertical, were now hanging quite limp.

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Huge raindrops

Four different people showed great surprise when we told them we were going to walk back from Jemma's, telling us it was too hard and too hot. Even Larry was hanging about outside Jemma's in case we changed our minds. Having travelled that stretch by car a few times now, I didn't think it looked that bad, but now I am beginning to have second thoughts. I was right though, it wasn't that bad. It was a very pleasant walk, albeit a very steep one, first along the beach, then snaking around a shallow lagoon and past an old waterwheel. The rest of the walk is up a very steep hill, through the rainforest and then down an equally steep hill the other side, Great views of Speyside and our the bay by the hotel though.

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Not too impressed with the jacuzzi by the pool – the jets aren't exactly powerful or energetic – but it was nice and cool after the hot walk.

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Spent the rest of the afternoon lazing about, getting our stuff together for the day trip to Trinidad tomorrow, and panicking over the hotel bill. David went to reception to get a quick idea of what we had spent so far, and I had the shock of my life: it was way higher than I'd anticipated. I know we've had a few cocktails along the way, but surely not THAT many? After a few tense moments, I realised they'd added the cost of the room to the bill too, which of course is already paid for. Phew! I can breathe again now, and even have another cocktail tonight. Cheers!

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Posted by Grete Howard 15:08

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Comments

MERMAN!!!

Beautiful scenery but, wasn't this a birding trip? I'm waiting to see bird pictures!

by Homer Gardin

Very nice portrait, Grete ... did you have any cocoa fruit? it's delicious!

by Helen

Thanks Helen. We didn't have cocoa fruit this time, we have had it before though, and you are right, it IS delicious.

by Grete Howard

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