Guides of Dubious Provenance

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Neill B

Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Neill B » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:52 pm

Hi all,

First off a big up to Steve and anyone who helps for providing this site, it was a brilliant find when I was going to Tobago last year that made planning a trip a doddle. I'm looking forward to another visit in a month's time and will be sure to wear my cap.

On the subject of guides who tout for business: Last year I was approached by a guide on the main beach at Castara who had an official badge that matched an entry in a slightly dog-eared edition of the Rough Guide. He said he was having a slow day and offered a guided walk on the Gilpin Trail, a view of parrots flying over the canopy afterwards followed by a walk to the Argyle Falls (I think - a little hazy from here). He seemed quite genuine, a little insistent but not annoyingly so, and my friend and I booked a tour that afternoon.

I wish I could remember his name because it was a great afternoon's outing and reasonable value. Yes it was a gamble but we paid at the end so not the biggest of risks.

It's a little alarming to read of the violence in Crown Point last week and in the past few months and of the burglary in the quieter spaces because Tobago felt like the most relaxed, unthreatening place I've been in my travels. I will trust to the universe and keep my bling under a bushel and hope for as idyllic a time as I had last year.

Beast wishes all,
Neill

AHStewart

Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by AHStewart » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:05 pm

Was it Darlington Chance, by any "chance" !!!!

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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by David Watkins » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:09 pm

Neill,did he have floppy bush hat, a guides 'khaki uniform'booys and a backpackif so it was probably Fitzgerald,who is good and a THA registered guide
David :D 8) %*}

Neill B

Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Neill B » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:50 pm

Regrettably I've been to bed since then and both of those sound feasible. He did have a kind of boy scout look (green rather than khaki I think) and a floppy hat. Quiet spoken and apparently knowledgeable; hospitable too as he took us to his house to watch the parrots flying over the canopy of trees, which was beautiful with the whole Caribbean as a backdrop. Which reminds me, add binoculars to my list of stuff to pack. I'm at work at the moment but somewhere at home I have a card with his name on. I'll check and get back to you.

Neill

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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:52 pm

I can't remember where I said it but I have previously suggested to approach a reputable guide if in any doubt.

The 2 best known (and reputable) operators with a base in Castara are King David and Alibaba and they are easily found and very approachable.

I don't want to diss the guides that approach you because most of them are genuine good guys but you are taking risks with unknowns as the minority will 'take you for a ride' rather than an enjoyable rainforest tour.

If you do take risks, agree a price up front and don't pay anything until you start or finish the tour.

Maybe if you could get a car you could find the house of the nice guy you are looking for.

Regards
Paul Tallet
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Paul Williams
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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Paul Williams » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:22 pm

Hello Neill
I think the guide you are talking about is actually Fitzroy Quamina and if so you can contact him on 763-2524 or 660-7836 he is a really nice guy but I do not think you should talk cricket with him as his knowledge of that is even better than the nature side of things.

David
Hope you have a really good carnival and I do not expect an answer to this until late tomorrow.

Regards

Paul

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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by David Watkins » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:27 pm

Paul,you are absolutely correct,his name is Fitzroy and he is genuine
Thanks for correcting me,my rum fuddled brain knew he was a Fitz
David :D 8) %*}

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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Tony G » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:13 am

Just to add to the conversation... As I recall, Fitzroy is the brother of Darkie who, along with Big Mama sells delicious home made cake at the lookout point above Bloody Bay on the road into the rainforest. Much of that cake have I eaten.

Tony

Neill B

Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Neill B » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:51 am

Thanks for all good suggestions and yes, Fitzroy does sound right. We never mentioned cricket and subject to what happens over the weeks between now and my holiday, I may choose to avoid the subject anyway. Several hours of birds, frogs and jibes about England's batting shortcomings might send me through an entire bottle of Fernandes. (So there might be an upside after all!)

I think the advice to generally avoid anyone approaching you on the beach for services like that is sound. Buying beads from passing vendors as one is constantly pestered to do in Mexico is one thing, disappearing off into the rainforest with a stranger and handing cash over for a lot of B/S or a no show is quite another. I hope that Fitzroy and the other genuine guides survive the efforts of the con artists to spoil their livelihoods.

Cheers
Neill

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Re: Guides of Dubious Provenance

Post by Glen O » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:50 pm

We also met Fitzroy while wandering around near Cascreole. He was a very nice guy and gave us no hassle when we declined on his offer. Saw him a few times more. He would come over to chit chat but never pressured us. We did end up taking a rain forest tour through Alibaba with a very knowledgeable guide named Jackson. It was a wonderful morning.

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