Monday, 27 January 2014

Miami and Dry Tortuga

Making the most of a long weekend we travelled to Miami and down to the Florida Keys. Dan joined us from his winter wonderland of Colorado for a few days of warm sunshine.

Dan snorkeling in the Florida Keys

We made a quick visit to Vizcaya in Miami to observe some 20th Century cultural imports. Well worth the visit and very interesting.

Vizcaya built in the early 1900s in the Italian style

From Key West to Dry Tortugas on a sea plane! Lots of fun.

Dry Tortugas - unfinished early American Castle at the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. 
Dan sitting up front while flying in the sea plane. Dan and myself go to sit up with the pilot while flying... we just didn't touch the controls...!
Dry tortugas - castle of bricks in the middle of the ocean. what were those Americans thinking!

Travelling from Key West to Dry Tortugas on the 12 seater sea plane. Lots of fun!

Monday, 6 May 2013

May 2013 - Exploring Turure Cascades Trinidad

Turure Cascades - Carbonate precipitate out of solution forming terraces of limestone (tufa)
Kerry hiking in the warm tropical streams of Trinidad again

Monday, 22 April 2013

Trinidad and Tobago Art Society - Dan's exhibits

April 2013 - Trinidad and Tobago Art Society - Dan's exhibit

Dan and three other international artists held an exhibition in Trinidad in April 2013 to show off their work.
For Dan this constituted part of his 3rd year degree, staging and organising an exhibit.
Dan pointing out his art work
Dan in the local Trinidad Newspaper 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Cricket, Rincon waterfall and Artwork

Well March is turning into a beautiful month. The dry season has taken hold and the weather has been beautiful. Graham won tickets to watch the cricket from the BP box at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain.
The regional match between Trinidad/Tobago and Guyana was very exciting.
Trinidad bowling, Guyana in bat. Day 3
The Oval was fairly empty for both days we attended, which was a great  shame the cricket was good and the weather ideal.

View from the BP box, Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain.
Next event to occur was the arrival in Trinidad of our arty son Daniel who will be working towards his art exhibition in early April. This will count towards his fine art degree.
Daniel - self photography in front of Rincon waterfall, Trinidad
When Dan is not sleeping....
He's working on his art pieces....
A great hike was had at the weekend to Rincon waterfall in the northern range near the village of Rincon.
it is one of the larger cascades and has a great swimming pool at the base. The round trip hike took around 3 hours through lush tropical rain forest and the remains of old coco plantations.
Rincon waterfall, northern range, Trinidad

Monday, 25 February 2013

St.Vincent - Climbing a Volcano for Graham's b'day

The crater of the volcano
To celebrate Graham's birthday we took a long weekend break and went to the nearby island of St.Vincent.
St.Vincent is quite undeveloped and only has a small regional airport although work is ongoing to build a larger international airport to bring in more tourists from Europe and USA. We arrive late on Thursday night on  a direct Liat airways flight after only 45 minutes, then managed to rent a car and check into a hotel close to the airport. The following day we made our way up the west coast of the island until the road ran out at Richmond Vale and we got our first views of the volcano.

Soufiere Volcano, St.Vincent from Richmond Vale beach.
We stayed at Richmond Vale Academy, a friendly place full of young Danish people. We felt like we were back at university. The following day we were unable to climb the volcano so we visited the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean and a couple of water falls.

Remains of the Pirates of Caribbean set (1st film) at Walliabou Bay, St.Vincent
The old set - Walliabou Bay, St.Vincent
 Finally the day came to climb the volcano - it took all day and was a fantastic accomplishment. Climbing to 3000 feet then going 600 feet down into the crater with the use of ropes and getting up close to the sulfurous smoke coming out of the earth.  We were led by our guide Franklin who was doing it for the 206th time and by a friendly Argentinian.
In the crater next to the smoking vents
The GPS plot shows the time v elevation.
GPS elevation (meters) v time (hours) plot - 3.5 hours to get up and 10 hours total hike time.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Blackpool hike & Fort George

Green Parrot

unused British cannons at Fort George
Fort George overlooking the Port of Spain was built by the British in 1804. The 12 cannons have never been fired!

Hiking with the Island Hikers Group on the first week in January 2013 was a good experience and a short hike to Black pool. Named after the pool at the base of the waterfall, not the UK sea side holiday town, although the water turned out to be fairly clear and cool to swim in.
Black pool,  high up in the mountains between Maracas and Las Cuevas
Rain forest path on the way to black pool.

Fort George 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Maracas waterfall, Caroni swamp and Tobago

We decided to stay in Trinidad over the Christmas period and spend some time exploring with our boys. One of the highlights was Maracas waterfall, much higher than expected and with a fair amount of water falling. Joe and Dan took a good shower.
Maracas waterfall, Trinidad
A trip to look at the scarlet ibis was also made, the light was poor and the sky cloudy but the brightly coloured birds made a spectacular show.
Scarlet Ibis in the Caroni swamp
For Christmas day and Boxing day we visited Tobago. The weather was poor and our planned boat trips were cancelled. However we managed to enjoy the island and the moments of sun. The waves were huge and snorkling was impossible.
Dan, Kerry, David and Joe examining drift wood at Black Rock Bay, Tobago.