Today’s guest post (and photos) come from Nick Pateras.
Heading into the Easter long weekend, my plans were simply to take it easy and relax: read, see a few mates and get some exercise outdoors. On Friday evening I got together with a friend for dinner and in catching up the conversation turned to our craving for an adventure – something wild, unrehearsed and spontaneous.
Next thing I knew we had cancelled the dessert we ordered, hurriedly paid for the bill and were racing to Pearson, passports in hand, to see what flights were still due to leave that night. As it was nearing 10.00pm we had no idea whether we’d be out of luck or if any of the potential flights would even have room.
Where would we go? Where could we go?
I knew it was likely that we could jump on a short-haul domestic flight to Montreal or Winnipeg but blood’s rush to my head had me wanting for something farther, something international. We swung the car into a parking spot and sprinted to the check-out counters, manically explaining our crazy idea to the laughing airline representatives and assessing which options were most feasible given many of the day’s final flights were already boarding.
As we ran from airline desk to airline desk to ask which flights had room and at what cost, simultaneously calculating how many hours we would have to explore given we had to be back in time for work on Monday, we considered going as far as Rome or as near as Halifax. Within minutes, following a blink-of-the-eye assessment of our options, we were dashing through security to make the boarding call for the WestJet red eye to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The next 24 hours were a blur – in all the chaos I had managed to call a friend of mine from T&T to ask where to go and what to see, and he immediately recommended we jump on one of the hourly, 20-minute flights from Port of Spain to the isle of Tobago itself. It worked out perfectly: we found ourselves in Tobago by eight-thirty in the morning.
Once there, we rented a car and spent the day navigating the tiny roads winding in and out of the mountains’ curvatures. We swam in the pools of the famous Argyle waterfalls, got an exclusive tour of the island’s tropical rainforest (with many amazing wildlife sightings), stopped at several gorgeous beaches that looked right out of a tourist brochure and ate exquisite local fish and chicken.
The trip was capped off when we stumbled upon the opening night of Tobago’s annual jazz festival, with thousands of people dancing to the rhythmic sounds of various artists mixing jazz with the country’s traditional pot pan instruments.
Somehow we managed to pull ourselves away in time to catch our return midnight flight to Trinidad and, after a meal and short nap at the airport, the return five-hour leg to Toronto. Not more than 36 hours had gone by when the urge for an impulsive escapade first struck us and as our plane hit the tarmac, we couldn’t help but look at each other in awe, laughing in disbelief that we had just spent the Saturday of our long weekend exploring the gorgeous Trinidad and Tobago.
The best part of Nick’s story? It was their second date. He’s now looking for ideas for a third one, hoping to top this 2nd date. If you have any suggestions that can top this one (keep ’em clean, folks!) leave a comment below.
Also, if you have a travel story of your own to share, please submit it to us here.