Randy's Tobago 2007 Trip
Travel Arrangements

Getting There
At first it seemed an easy task. We would fly Delta into Tobago.  After THAT fell apart it became only a little bit more complicated.  We flew Continental to Port of Prince, Trinidad via Houston.

We arrived about 8:30 pm and after collecting our bags grabbed a couple of Taxis for the 1/2 hour ride to the Forty Winks Inn.  The Taxi was $27USD per taxi.  They did accept US Dollars.  We made the reservations at Forty Winks Inn after reviewing the website and then making a phone call.  Leslie held the rooms on my credit card but each of us paid once we arrived.  Cost was $99USD for a double room & $85 for a single.  That night we walked over to Tony Roma's for some food.  It's about the only thing open that late.

We had pre-arranged with the taxis to meet us about 6:30am the next morning.  We had made reservations on Tobago Express but they have no mechanism for taking payments over the phone so we had to be at the counter two hours before flight time.  One couple we met on board Wind Dancer was able to pre-pay by faxing a credit card.

Once at the ticket counter we decided to change the return flight.  Trinidad did not strike us as a place to just hang out on our return so we changed our return to an evening flight.  The round trip tickets are only about $50USD per person.  Baggage allowance is only 20Kg (44 pounds) with overage about 60 cents per Kg. (about $.25USD per pound).  Be prepared for a long wait in the Tobago Express line.  Somehow, they get everyone on board.  You might also ask if you can get on an earlier flight.

Peter Hughes arranges for an airport pick-up by Ray Sloper.  We arrived in the morning and had to wait until the 5pm boarding.  Ray dropped us off at the Crown Point Beach Hotel where we could use the pool and eat lunch.  There is also beach and local food nearby.

Ray eventually picked us up and dropped us at the boat to begin our trip.

The Land Excursion
After the morning dives on Friday in Speyside we were given a choice of how to get back to port in Scarborough.  We could weather the 3 1/2 hour trip aboard the Wind Dancer or take an easy, frolicking sight seeing trip with our buddy Ray.  Ray's excursion included lunch.  Eleven of us opted for the Ray Sloper "Three Hour Tour" (my name for the trip, not Ray's).

View from above Speyside with Goat Island (and Ian Flemming's house) in the background.
Back row l-r, Ron, Luka, Randy, Bill, Helen & Massimo
Front row l-r, John, Andy, Mark, Doug & David
Trivia questions for you guys: 1) Which person was photoshopped into this picture, 2) Which items were photoshopped out of the picture.
Hint for #1: The person was looking away from the camera in the original.
Hint for #2: Obvious to those who were there!

Ray managed to fit himself and 11 guests into a single KIA Pregio, a small, 12 passenger diesel powered mini-van in which some passengers face rearward and some forward.  Lunch was at Jemma's Treehouse, where we were given our choice of a fish or chicken meal.  Then we were off on a whirlwind tour of the south side of Tobago.  At times the little van was in first gear straining to crawl to the top of the next hill.  Signaling our descent was the pungent odor of the over-heated brakes.  We visited Argyle Waterfalls, the Arnos Vale sugar mill and Fort George.  The price of the trip was $85.  Although a little high, after reviewing my pictures I'm glad I went  Besides, in that little van we all got to know each other real well.  On the down side, Ray never stopped for ice cream.

Getting Back
We spoke to Ray Sloper about getting us a day room in Tobago.  He secured a very nice "Villa" where about 10 of us split the cost of about $35USD apiece.  It came with a pool but no food.  A little arm twisting and Ray brought us back several pizzas and cokes, with an appropriate mark-up of course.  As our departure times arrived he came by to pick us up and deliver us to the airport.

We returned to Trinidad via Tobago Express that night.  We had again pre-arranged with our new best friends (the taxi drivers) to meet us when we arrived.  This time they took us to Par-May-La's Inn.  The cost here was a lot less at $63USD for a double and $48 for a single.  Room quality was about the same as 40 Winks.  Both are pretty sparse but clean in a not-to-exciting section of town. 

Next morning our taxi friends were waiting again and we were whisked back to the airport one more time for our fairly uneventful trip home.

The Delta Debacle

 Delta Airlines was beginning service direct to Tobago.  I made the reservations online in mid-December 2006 with the assistance of the Delta online help desk.  I received paper tickets.  A week later one of our group could not make the same reservation and I called Delta.  In a one-half hour conversation with their representative, I was assured over and over that I had a flight.  The nice Delta lady eventually "guaranteed" I had a flight.  On January 4, 2007 our travel agent attempted to verify the flights for the Peter Hughes pick up in Tobago and she was told no such flight existed.  I called Delta later that day and sure enough, there was no flight.  There was another half hour conversation on the phone which ended with me asking for some compensation in the form of mileage.  After quite awhile on hold I was told that Delta would not compensate me for this type of problem.  When I asked if issuing paper tickets for a flight that never existed and not notifying me there was a problem I was told that it was in the queue and I would be receiving notification sometime in February (my departure was 22Feb).  I went to the airport Delta ticket counter to receive my refund.  After 45 minutes speaking to the ticket agent, I walked away with my refund.  And I promise I will never consider Delta a viable option for air travel again.


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