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3 apartments in Castara (listing)
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John Hogarth

Guest Report

Post by John Hogarth » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:48 am

Castara cottage is a very special place, given its simple beauty, practicality and stunning setting.
I went looking for beach and birds, armed with my cameras, and found the perfect place at Castara Cottage. The two beaches below the cottage are as beautiful as any in the world, and only a stone's throw away, with easy walking access by the roads on each side of the ridge. The site also has tantalizing views of the Caribbean, through lush foliage.I enjoyed the bats, birds and chickens that visited me in the house. I pulled in a huge variety of birds on the porch railings outside, with cracker crumbs, etc., and shot many dozens of still photos and miles of video footage. I had the opportunity to snorkel (nice coral and fish on the north end of the beach), swim, laze, people-watch and film at the beach - including the famous fishermen's take from the beach with their nets - one catch captured a ray and that provided considerable excitement when the net reached shore! I befriended a large local family on the beach as they routinely came to swim near the end of each day.
I also thoroughly experienced Englishman's, Parletuvier and Bloody Bays, and drove through the forest reserve on my way back to Crown Point .
Met Fitzroy, the guide - he kept popping up like an old friend - at the cottage, at Englisman's Bay - he even flagged me down on the reserve road as I motored to Roxborough! I enjoyed our encounters.
Back to the Castara and the Cottage.........utilitarian cottage but nothing was missing. The fans are essential but did the job. Mosquitoes were not a problem. Slept like a baby. Much sun, little rain. Wonderful music from around town, including live band and singers at the church up the way on Sunday. Ninety-nine percent friendly people. Few other tourists but talked with some really nice Brits. Sorry that Castara is "growing" -apartments and the like - as the character and mood will eventually erode, I think. Was aware of neighbours upstairs but we co-existed just fine. I enjoyed the outside shower.
I believe rates are appropriate. Housekeeper Brigitte was unobtrusive and accommodating.
When I first arrived I was surprised to discover the road below so close - but it was not a problem - little travelled by vehicles. (I quickly discovered the short-cut through the railing.)
The mood and character of Castara are rare and precious in our fast paced complex and often difficult world. Castarians are fortunate to live at one of the few remaining oases on earth.
I have no doubt that I will make every effort to return as soon as possible, and bewail the fact that northern Canada is SO far away from Tobago.


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