Some names of places have the power to fuel your imagination. For many years, Point Fortin has been one of those places to me. A cape on a Caribbean island, now home to a busy LNG liquefaction plant. Oh yeah, let’s drop a few palm trees and pour some blue waters. And maybe play some reggae music.
And then comes the time when you actually visit. Maybe, in my case, in the wrong season, on the wrong day. Our rental car’s GPS guides us on bumpy roads through derelict villages, and stops us in front of a misty, muddy sea. There in the distance, beyond a rusty barrier, an unhappy LNG tanker can’t wait for the time to set sail.
Back to Port of Spain, we ask for a typical place to eat. We’re sent to an Indian restaurant. With one third of the population being descendants from indentured workers from India, Trinidad happens to be a great place to enjoy a chicken tandoori or a palak paneer.
In the plane taking me back to Miami, I reopen my pocket atlas and look at those two dots north of Venezuela. They now convey a much different flavor to my brain.