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Tobago Gazzetter

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Back in 2000 when I visited Tobago it was a very safe place, but this was changing as building work on the south of the island had brought in a lot of workers from elsewhere, and crime was on the increase.

Argyle Falls

Location

Tobago Map

Last Visited: 2000

The Argyle Falls are a chain of three falls totalling 54 metres (175 feet) in height.

It is a 15-20 minute walk along a clearly marked trail from the Visitor Centre at the entrance through an old cocoa plantation to the lowest of the three falls. From there a path up the right-hand side leads to the upper two.

Look out for Swiss Cheese plants (Monstera deliciosa) around here. We are so used to seeing them in the UK as house plants, one forgets that they can grow wild.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Argyle Waterfall
      Information from the Destination Trinidad and Tobago site
      https://www.destinationtnt.com/argyle-waterfall/

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Fort Bennett and the Black Rock

Location

Tobago Map

Last Visited: 2000

Fort Bennett (or Bennet, the last 't' is optional) was built by the Dutch between 1628 and 1636, but is named after Lieutenant Robert Bennet, an English mercenary, who in 1680 led a small party of settlers from the Duchy of Courland (now part of Latvia) in 1680. It was taken over by the British in 1778.

The British set up a small gun battery to protect sugar loading operations in the adjacent bay from both American Privateers harassing the British during the American Revolution, and from the French who invaded the island in 1781. Two cannons have been installed more recently to illustrate what it may have looked like.

The fort lies at the southern end of Great Courland Bay, named the original settlers, overlooking Grafton Beach. It is directly above a channel separating it from the Black Rock.

When the weather conditions are right, the waves rush through a notch in the rock and crash against the surrounding walls in spectacular fashion.

External Links and References

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Gilpin Trace

Location

Tobago Map

Last Visited: 2000

A Waterfall, Gilpin Trace

A Waterfall, Gilpin Trace

Gilpin Trace is the oldest and best known trail through the UNESCO listed Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve. This was legally established in 1776, and is one of the oldest protected areas in the world.

At the right time, the trail is a delight for birdwatchers; unfortunately we were there at the wrong time (or were too noisy). However there were some nice waterfalls to be seen and the trees were impressive.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Gilpin Trace
      More from the Tourist Board's site
      https://www.visittobago.gov.tt/gilpin-trace
    • Gilpin Trace
      A map of the hiking trail
      https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/gilpin-trace-23708870

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Jemma's Treehouse

Location

Tobago Map

Last Visited: 2000

Jemma's Treehouse

Jemma's Treehouse

Jemma's Tree House, or Jemma's Seaview Restaurant as it now styles itself, is worth visiting for the location alone.

It is built into the trees next to the beach at Speyside, with views across the bay to Little Tobago and Goat Island. Add to that some of the best cooking in Tobago, and it's a must if you are in the area.

I seem to remember being slightly underwhelmed by the food when I visited back in 2000, but perhaps it had just been oversold; it was very good, but I was expecting amazing.

Either way, looking at the reviews on the web, it seems to have kept up it standards, even though Jemma herself is semi-retired and just sticks to making ice cream these days.

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