It's already evening and I'm watching the Caribbean sun go down through the propeller circle as my ATR-72 aircraft from Carribean Airlines touches down at ANR Robinson International.
Just 20 minutes later, just over the flight time from Trinidad, and following the world's most unfriendly security check, I am sitting on the terrace of the Blue Haven Hotel under the palm trees, letting the evening fade away.
The sea is rushing, I'm sitting in the wicker chair and the too strong Rumpunsch lets cozy warmth rise in me ... "Welcome to Tobago" I think, as the first holiday feelings arise.
The "Main Ridge Forest Reserve" is my destination for the next day. I have spent a lot of time in rainforests around the globe and yet my fascination for the "green hell" never dies down. Much too fast my short time disappears and with regret I leave the last remains of Tobagonian primary forest behind me.
Primeval Forest Impressions: The hostage spider on the arm of the author on the top left is completely harmless. There is much to discover both on the ground and in the tops of the trees.
I visit the Tobago Cocoa Estate, the country's only cocoa plantation, whose expensive chocolate produced in France would be unaffordable to me. I may taste a bit, with a glass of Caribbean rums, even in tropical sultry a treat.
In the middle of the rainforest lies a comparatively small cocoa plantation. 100 gr of the chocolate produced from the organically grown beans cost about 20 €.
My personal highlight, so to say the "Author's Choice" was certainly the visit of Little Tobago, a smaller, Tobago offshore island, under nature conservation and famous for its seabird colonies. Of the birds of paradise that were abandoned there a few decades ago, unfortunately, every trace is missing, yet the name has been preserved: "Bird of Paradise Island".
Little Tobago not only offers seabird colonies in the cliffs or offshore reefs, also the interior, the densely wooded island holds much worth seeing for the attentive observer.
I take some time and watch the Topikvögeln in their rapid maneuvers on the cliffs. Many other seabirds are nesting here and when I say goodbye to this flying circus after far too short a time, I decide to upgrade to a 400 mm telephoto lens.
Top right: Topik birds nest in the steep cliffs of the west bank. Occasionally one observes magnificent frigatebirds, which wrest their fishy prey from them in staggering air fights .
The waters around Little Tobago should offer beautiful reefs, which I do not want to miss. Have I speared in the reefs of the Gulf of Tomini in the spring, I now hunt the fish only with the camera. But the underwater world disappoints. Brown shades dominate, there are relatively few fish. Pollution of the sea is visible through dense algae growth of corals.
The underwater world disappoints with low visibility, algae growth and few fish species.
The most famous beach of Tobago is certainly the Pigeon Point. Unfortunately, it is chargeable, there are too many souvenir shops and for my taste too few palms, too many people and - especially in wind - too strong a flow. Nevertheless, I enjoy the Caribbean flair for an afternoon.
You do not have to try Carib beer.
I make another trip to the Bucco Reef and am similarly disappointed as on my first trip. Yes, I'm a pretty spoiled underwater photographer ...
Grateful motives: top left angelfish, including one of the common stingrays and a soft coral macro.
I would like to see a little more of the land and drive off the coast. There are beautiful bays with sometimes as sonorous names as "Bloody Bay". In the fishing villages, it is with the warmth of the residents to strangers not very far away. Especially at lunchtime, when the Tobagonians "limen" tilts the mood quickly and becomes aggressive. For me a not really nice novelty.
For a whole day I sailed on a catamaran along the coast of Tobago. Initially, swarms of dolphins accompany us. The sun is burning, the sea is blue, the ship bar is well stocked and all inclusive. Later, as we anchor in front of a small reef, it rains briefly and the only time during my trip to the Caribbean.
White sails, brown rum, blue sea and dolphins ... the storm was just a short interlude of an almost perfect day.
The positive sides:
Tobago can be reached by direct flight from Germany at low prices and non-stop with Condor. If you are looking for a Caribbean flair, this is the place for you, as it is a safe country and, unlike Aruba or Barbados, offers a lot more variety.
For the sun-hungry there are plenty of beaches, for the water sports waves and sea, for the diver supposedly good diving spots, for the hobby ornithologist there are many opportunities for bird-watching and the party tourist would come at his expense. Families can enjoy a wonderful holiday here and discerning tourists will find adequate accommodation and entertainment here.
The negative sides:
Although the country lives to a large extent on the income of tourism, unfortunately, this has not gotten around everywhere, which may also be a reason for the sharp decline in tourist arrivals in recent years. Perhaps the cause is also in the moon prices, which demand some hotel operators who are in no relation to what is offered.
The controls at the exit at the International Airport were pure chicane. Many locals, who did not work directly in the tourism business, met strangers at best with disinterest, especially at lunchtime, during the "liming" groups of drunk men are often aggressive.
Lone traveling women should be prepared for significant advances of local men.
For backpackers, Tobago is definitely a difficult destination. Public transport is sparse and budget accommodation is scarce. The standard of living and the price level are high and tourists who travel the country on their own with a backpack are a curiosity.
Careful biting! Caymans live in many ponds in the interior of the island and the young boa constrictor made the hotel staff squeal out loud. The hummingbird on the right is resting after a hard day's work.
für die Einladung! Thanks to Trinidad Tobago for the invitation!