Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Big People Party!! @ Trinidad Carnival

On the last lap of our trip we celebrated one of the world's biggest festivals in Trinidad & Tobago. Carnival is a huge thing on this side of the world, celebrated on nearly every Caribbean island and in many Latin countries, and Trinidad is always listed as one of the top destinations to celebrate it. So when our friends Ayisha & Mirthe told us they would go here to celebrate it this year, we decided to take a detour from Central America and join them :) 

Colorful for sure!

After arriving on Thursday evening, we had the Friday to ourselves in a house that we shared with 5 other friends of friends: Ana from Portugal and James, Abid, Coleman and Andy from US. The house was nice with a shared pool, but we quickly learned that outside Carnival, there's not much to do in Trinidad. We were warned about safety issues, especially for women; even taking a taxi was not recommended.

On Saturday, we went to a 'Fete': an outdoor party with Soca music. These Fetes are fantastic all-inclusive parties that serve unlimited alcohol and food and are organized between January 1 and carnival, to warm up the people for what's coming. We quickly learned that two of the main Soca carnival songs of the year were Big people party and Forget about it

On Sunday, we chilled at a beach (Maracas Bay) and had the local dish Bake&Shark which is shark meat on a piece of bread with some salad. 

MUD ME!!!!
Then on Monday, it all started. We woke up at 3am and headed to the capital Port of Spain to attend j'ouvert, which is a French term for 'day opening'. This 4-hour parade is the first parade of the 2-day festival. It started at 4am till the sun rise.The tradition in this parade is to cover yourself and people around you in paint and mud and dancing with soca music. After j'ouvert, everyone goes home and wash it off and the shower is also part of the fun. A few hours later people went back to the city for the next parade :) 

After j'ouvert 
Coleman, James, Abid, Andy and Daniel - in full paint

After washing ourselves at home, taking a much needed nap and a coffee, we headed back to the city. Our friends also attended the carnival parade (Trinidad term: play mas) on Monday afternoon and Tuesday full day (you better be in a very good shape when you get here) but we were happy to just chill and walk around on the streets full of partying people. It was amazing to see all the colors, dancing&wining and countless trucks with loud Soca music coming by! 

And a video at night to show how crazy the crowd goes: