Tuesday, 23 September 2014

HOLA LA VEGA! ... 2



Bienvenido de nuevo a La Vega!



Welcome back to La Vega!  This is my favorite pic from the estate garden, so the peacock gets a double display!

Part 2 brings you other sights at the estate, including the decorative plant sheds, bamboo nursery and of course, the main plant display shed at the entrance.  There you can make your reservations for the pond sheds, purchase refreshments,  rent all types of equipment, collect area maps, purchase passes and buy fresh fruits and all kinds of plants.  

A stroll through the shed where countless varieties are on display is mandatory.  It is impossible to leave the park without picking up a few trophies. No doubt, we left with a small crate full of colored beauties, as well as some parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme ... a calming blend of natural scents.

There are still many, many untouched acres at La Vega.  Even before entering the main park, there are reminders of the original estate.  Some former estate workers' houses are still there displaying the authentic style of that time. 
And though ownership might have changed in some parts,  there is still the feel of the original estate ... cocoa trees with pods , sprawling samaan trees, mahogany and teak trees, huge bamboo clumps, thick wild vegetation running along the roadside and river course ... and unbelievably fresh estate air!

There are indications that some additional development is in the making in another section of the park.  My guess is that it might be finished, up and running by the time of my next visit.   The intrigue of La Vega is its multi-functionality which has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.  

As we departed, the vehicle was lightly scented with the smell of fresh herbs.  I remember thinking that  this is a special place for special occasions.  I also thought that it came pretty close to what my ideal home space would look like.  In the mean-time, I will visit frequently and slowly transform my own space into an idyllic garden.

The pictures that follow provide additional peeks of La Vega's delightfully natural setting.  Once again they speak for themselves and the message is consistent ... unspoiled beauty, open spaces, good energy, peace and quiet, bursts of every color, fun and function, freshness and freedom ... and the list goes on!  
Become your own guide as you bounce from pic to pic.  Find your favorites and be enticed to pay a visit in person.


Here we go!




































The 'La Vega' website link is provided in the 'Trail Spots (T-Spots!) side-bar 'travel links' section.  For your convenience it is placed right here, at your fingertips ... www.lavegaestate.com .  

Be sure to check all the information that is provided about the past and present features of La Vega.  Something tells me that whether you're a local or a visitor from abroad, you might just want to go there in person.

What a wonderful way to spend a day ... roaming a natural garden without even knowing that you're taking notes. Simply wonderful!


The 'assistant trail-spotters' had to take someVega selfies, of course!!

  

Friday, 19 September 2014

HOLA #LA VEGA.! ...1


Sometimes our plans get put off for one reason or another.  The reaction is often one of disappointment.
This is what happened when the 'La Vega' visit was postponed.  I had been to this nature park on previous occasions and looked forward to returning this time, as usual.  It just did not happen at the time that I had planned.

I am convinced now, that the delay made for a more a enjoyable visit, which included beautiful weather and a brand new ride! What follows is a brief version of some outdoor hours spent at La Vega. 

The La Vega Estate, located in Gran Couva, south-central Trinidad, was originally an agricultural estate, mainly cocoa, spread over approximately two hundred and fifty of acres. 
The public nature park now occupies a comparatively small portion of the original estate, with many acres that have been untouched for years, surrounding it.  The Central Mountain Range, Montserrat Hills, run close to it ... if not through it. Several other natural sites, like the Catalina Falls, are also located in Gran Couva. 

It is always refreshing to see how this natural environment remains the same, yet seems changed with every visit.
On this day, a public holiday, in Trinidad and Tobago, it was wise to get there early, ahead of the holiday crowd, even though the expansive nature of the park never made it feel crowded.

With so many picturesque spots, too idyllic to attempt to describe, the pictures will speak for themselves.  In 'Hola La Vega 1 & 2' we share a handful of the park's offerings.  More comprehensive information will be provided in Part 2.








The ponds, some covered with various types of water lilies at different stages of growth, are the most captivating spots that dot the park.  They are surrounded by carat sheds/large palm leaf sheds, which can be reserved for outings.  
These might include cook-outs, fishing in the ponds (which we were told are full of fish), peddle boating around the ponds, watching the wild-life, like small caimans and water-birds appear and disappear in search of food (look closely), parking and walking the off-road trails, taking pics and just sitting quietly and taking it all in.  It is a simple pleasure to survey the surrounding hills that remain in their lush natural state ... just wild.

So here we go ...!


















All kinds of fruit trees laden with produce, ready for picking and just tangled way-side growth, mark the trail.  It even seemed as if the wildlife were as curious about the visitors, as the visitors were about them. Some hardly budged as we drew closer and actually looked directly at us as we drove by.  Meanwhile we almost forgot to take the pics as we tried not to disturb 'the 'locals'.




We took some pictures of a huge rock strategically placed at one of the sharp bends on the road. There were some carvings on it, probably made by visitors.  I had the feeling that it was one of the original rocks that was hewed from the surrounding hills when the park was first being developed.  It was definitely a land-mark.

Then we drove to the area that enclosed the secluded Garden of Meditation.  It could only be reached on foot and in order to do so, a bridge has to be crossed.  Below the bridge was a river which was surprisingly almost dry for this time of the year.  But once crossed, you could immediately feel the serenity of the meditation garden ... a place set apart.   You will be able to identify the meditation sheds in the photos.






















Picnic sheds away from the ponds and playground swings and slides, provide inviting spaces for kids to camp out in a safe, well-kept outdoor space.  
I believe that there are also cozy private huts that can be rented for those who wish to spend some quiet time away from the hustle.

One can hardly doubt that the good energy generated by these surroundings is pervasive beyond its boundaries.  Even writing about the visit almost a month later, I can still enjoy the calm and freshness, just by looking at the pics!    





FYI: HOLA LA VEGA! 1 & 2 are 'double-headers'.
These posts will also be featured on 
'Writing into Wellness ...' @
www.spatrail.blogspot.com


HOLA LA VEGA! 2   Coming right up ... !

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

TOBAGO DIPS 2



As promised ... Tobago Dips 2!

It was a windy, windy day, so feel free to mute the background sounds. The scenes remain amazing and soothing.  Don't forget to go full screen in the bottom right corner, if you wish to do so.

The holiday makers quickly filled the glass bottom tour boats and headed out to the Nylon pool at Pigeon Point, Tobago.
Most were eager to get into the 'pool', while some watched from the deck of the boats  
The sea was busy with boats plying back and forth, the water rolled and bubbled; the bathers floated and dipped and tailed their boats. The sky was somewhat overcast, but the showers held off.  It was cool, windy and perfect against the shoreline and the distant horizon!
Even the birds found their sand bank where the sea water currents converged in the Nylon Pool.

Don't forget to check out the pics on Tobago Dips 1 and enjoy the video rides on Tobago Dips 2!  Click!













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