Trinidad + Carnival = Safe?

Old Nov 29th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Trinidad + Carnival = Safe?

Hello all!

I have been wanting for years to go to Carnival on Trinidad, but over the last few years, I have been hearing more and more bad news about the crime situation there.

Has anyone gone within the last few years who can tell me their thoughts about the safety of tourists there - especially during Carnival?

On some Caribbean islands - like Jamaica - I know the crime problem is worst in Kingston, and is usually drug-related and not directed at tourists - except for the random and infrequent incident.

I am worried because I have heard and read about kidnapings. etc. on Trinidad where the people are held for ransom. Yikes!

We have friends on Tobago we could go to the parades and parties with, and we also have Trini friends who could help us to make sure we stay somewhere safe and give us some pointers.

I'd so love to go, but I have a lot of concerns too.

Any ideas/thoughts welcomed!
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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I went to Carnival in Trinidad a few years ago. The crime problem was bad then too although I guess it is worse now.
We had absolutely no problemes and thoroughly enjoyed carnival. Just be cautious and use common sense. The kidnappings are not kidnappings of tourists but of wealthy local businessmen.
If you have friends on Tobago and Trini friends too, then you are in absolutely good hands. They won't let anything happen to you. Go and enjoy!
It really is a fabulous spectacle.
I would love to go back again.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Thanks, Barbara. I am intrigued by the possibility to buy a costume, practice with the troupe on Monday and go in the mas parade on Tuesday. Did you do that?

I think that would just be the quintessential Caribbean experience!

I'm getting excited about the prospect of going. I'd love to hear more - where you stayed, your impressions, where you ate, what else you did, etc.

We have been to Tobago, but not for a long time, and only spent one day on Trinidad. I'd like to know what all else there is to do and see on the island.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I'm thinking of revisiting Trinidad but haven't been for 18years! I will mention a couple of favorite things to do there though.

1. take a boat trip 'down the islands'. At least this was how it was described to me. These islands off the North-west coast of Trinidad are very small and I visited an impressive cave there then stopped elsewhere for a picnic on a beautiful beach.

2. Roti. The best ones I've eaten were in Trini!
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Diana
no,I didn't actually ajoin in Carnival itself. I was just an observer.
I don't know if you can just join a troupe like that. Maybe your Trini friends could tell you.
I just loved the carnival there. the sights, sounds. the colors, the music.
The whole island celebrates and the size of the troupes is just amazing.
It is well worth seeing
and be sure to eat some Roti while you are there.
as highflyer says, it is the best!
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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highflyer, that sounds like a fun day trip!

Yes, I try the rotis on every Caribbean island I visit - my favorite is a tie betweeen the Lambi (conch) rotis at Ann's on Carriacou and the whelk patties on Tortola at the ferry dock.

I am sure with the Indian populace on Trinidad they are supreme there!

Yes, you can just buy a costume and join a Mas band. The costumes are available online, and you go to a list of the bands, pick the band or the costume you like the best, meet up with them on Monday, and off you go!

Our friends did this for years, but are now in their 70's and have stopped - although she looks like she is 20 years younger and could most likely out-wine me!

Here is the website for the band I want to go with. I am wanting the first costume on the left (gold one) but I am not sure how my husband is going to feel about the gold visor that comes with the men's version!

http://www.pulse8carnival.com/start.htm
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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Wow, that's a dazzling costume.

If your husband feels 'overdressed' wearing the visor I'm sure he can leave it off!!

Yes, the rotis in Trinidad are wonderful due to the Indian culinary influences. I love spicy food!
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 04:03 AM
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If I do get to go and know I am going to have to wear that outfit around, it will certainly be a motivator to whip myself into better shape.

I love spicy food too! I have a friend on Tobago who sends me home-made hot sauce one of the older ladies sells at the market in Scarborough. Woooo!

I have some bottles of it that are rather old, and I think they will "keep" forever. I am sure no bacteria can grow in the stuff.

We go to Mexico every year, and I have read that eating hot, spicy food will keep you from getting sick - that and all of the limes in the beer and the Margaritas. May be an old wives' tale but it works for me!
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