Weekend Away, Grand Riviere

Staycation:
A holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Sometimes a reset is in order.

I was feeling overwhelmed and not having my usual birthday vacation the burn out was too real.

So when two of my favourite people suggested a weekend away, I didn’t hesitate.  My first thought was: Where do I pay! I was ready to pack my favourite hat and flipflops and get on the road.

To Grand Riviere we go

There is something deliciously exciting about taking off early from work on a Friday afternoon to get the weekend started. We loaded the car with the essentials: wine, coffee things and sunblock and headed out of the city for the three-hour drive to the country.

The early start was necessary for two reasons – #1. Who doesn’t want to start the weekend early? And #2. The road to Grand Riviere is not for the faint of heart. We needed visibility for the trip. Note here: I definitely do not recommend driving here in the night if you’re a first-time visitor or if it’s raining or using your own car for that matter. No street lights, crater-sized potholes, cliff-hugging roads with no barriers in some places combined with a rainy afternoon meant driving extra carefully.

The drive was worth it

We escaped the city for ‘the only beach wilderness resort in Trinidad’ – Mt. Plaisir Estate.  The word wilderness here translates to no TV. There is however, steady WiFi and air-conditioning so I would say you have the essentials and, I didn’t miss the television.

The nerve-racking drive eventually led to this little gem of a resort. Now I have been here in the past for Turtle Watching Season, but never visited the actual resort. Though we missed the sunset and the release of the hatchlings of the day, the beauty and serenity of the place was still evident, even in the dying minutes of the day.

Grand Riviere

Our rooms were set a few steps away from the main building over-looking the wide expanse of beach and ocean. This beach is special because it is the largest nesting site for Leatherback Turtles in the Western Hemisphere.

Every year, during the nesting season March – August, thousands of Leatherback Turtles return to this beach to lay eggs in the sand. I was fortunate towards the end of my morning walk to see these amazing creatures starting their journey of life.

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You can find more information on Turtle Watching Season (March – August) and Hatchling Season (May – September) here.

Getting the Weekend Started Right

We weren’t the first to arrive so we spent the evening catching up, drinking wine and swapping stories from the past week while we waited for the other members of the group to arrive. We had the whole top floor – which shares the balcony – this made ‘liming’ very easy.

I woke early on Saturday, because I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a mama Leatherback or some hatchlings. Apparently I was too late for the mama and too early for the babies, so I spent the time walking along the beach listening to the world waking up.

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Carrion crows littered the beach, the sad reality of life snuffed out before it was allowed to start. Broken turtle eggs could be seen everywhere.

Rumbling tummy was an indication that breakfast was needed. So next up, was one of the highlights of the trip! We all brought our favourite coffee beans, used our grinders on the spot and experimented with pour over coffee. The results were enjoyed by all the coffee lovers present.

Breakfast at the resort was a delicious mix of local cuisine, a definite MUST TRY is the tomato choka (loose translation roasted tomato salsa) and the bhaigan choka. They were amazing and they were so good, I have no photos to share.

After a hearty breakfast, another walk along the beach was necessary. And you can see why, the sun now higher in the sky, the river and the beach have a different vibrancy.

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We walked up and down the beach enjoying the ocean air and taking photos. The stuff of Saturdays in the Sun, I suppose.

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We had wine.

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We lounged.

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Taking a time-out from the regular weekend duties of chores and errands and seeing something different was magnificent. Being near the ocean is my happy place. It’s deeply restorative.

We had a fun and refreshing weekend in the best company, exactly what I needed! Proving that you don’t need a big budget or a plane ticket to get some time away. A staycation can work wonders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. August 18, 2016 / 12:01 am

    enjoyed the article and will take the advice ….mt plaisir here I come! NB* Samuel is on my lap as I was reading your article and enjoyed the pictures in between… 🙂

    • Vernette
      August 18, 2016 / 7:13 am

      Awww! 🙂

  2. August 27, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Lovely….Wish I could go there now! I’m taken aback to sweet memories of going to Matelot last September with…ohmy…that is a story to tell you over wine or breakfast! ha ha Or did I already??! I’m sure you can find it on my blog somewhere tho but I’m too lazy to look! lol

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