Roma was my closest friend throughout my 20’s, so when she finally moved back to her native Trinidad, I was crushed. It felt as though a part of me had gone with her.
In the years that followed, I visited Roma in Trinidad every chance I got. Aside from reuniting with my best friend, taking a day trip to both Maracas Bay and Las Cuevas beaches were the highlights of each trip. Trinidad is an interesting country in many ways, in part due to it not being a popular tourist destination, when compared to other Caribbean countries, and therefore it manages to maintain its rich culture. Getting to the beaches is not an easy feat but well worth the time it takes to get there. The beaches are located along the north coast of the island, but getting to them means driving up and over mountains, upon extremely narrow roads at times. Never crowded, Trinidad’s beaches are naturally so beautiful, especially against the mountainous backdrop.
Two things have stayed with me from those days spent on the beaches of Trinidad. One was the first time seeing a cashew tree and being amazed to see only one cashew on each fruit (no wonder they’re so expensive!). I also got my worst sunburn on one of those trips, on a cloudy day at the beach. I somehow thought a cloudy day meant sunblock was optional and I had opted out. I learned my lesson. Another great memory was a cook-out one night with Roma’s friends. As the sun was setting, Roma and I took one last dip in the ocean and then ended the day just “liming” (Trini for “hanging out”) with friends, and enjoying some local cuisine before heading back over those mountains and along those narrow roads to Roma’s house.