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Notes on the Geography of Trinidad: Port of Spain

Let's try a transect, moving from Port of Spain to the east coast.

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Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 1

Port of Spain's harbor, with its cruise-ship complex on the right and, on the left, the towers of the central bank and national petroleum corporation.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 2

Warehouses and office buildings.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 3

The city center lies in the mid-distance, where, just left-of-center the steeple of Trinity Cathedral may be discerned.

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Coming around to the northeast.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 5

Looking north: we've now made a circuit of more than 180 degrees, and we're back to the water, now on our left.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 6

The Queen's Royal College, fronting the city-center Queen's Park Savannah. Its best known graduate may be V.S. Naipaul, who wrote of it, painfully, in A House for Mr. Biswas.

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Ambard's house, completed in 1904 by an architect who finally couldn't afford it and lost it in 1919. Still in private hands.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 8

A relic of the heavy World War II American presence: an abandoned hangar at the former American base on the north side of Port-of-Spain.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 9

Another relic: Waller Field, east of Port of Spain and just past Arima. In the early 1940s a steady stream of American military aircraft landed here briefly, en route to North Africa.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 10

Perhaps the best-known British institution on the island was the Imperial Agricultural Research Station, midway between Port of Spain and the international airport at Piarco. Opened in the 1920s, this institution trained agricultural officers from around the world. It now houses part of the Trinidad campus of the University of the West Indies.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 11

Translation: "The way of the cultivator is anything but easy." Not that knowing Latin helped.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 12

On the hills to the north, coffee and cacao plantations were ultimately destroyed by economics and disease. Some plantation houses survive.

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In the far northeast of the island, near Toco, a rural population sought to escape plantation servitude. Some of the houses, though small, are meticulously maintained.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 14

A Toco merchant, selling from behind heavy screens above the counter.

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Mondo Nuevo Trace, a road in the forest west of Toco.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 16

A path through the windswept brush at Galera Point, the northeast tip of the island. A lighthouse was erected in 1897 and bears the initials JVR: "Jubilee Victoria Regina."

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 17

The surf is not only strong under the northeast trades but dangerous, because the Gulf Stream passes here, ready to carry a swimmer to Barbados and points beyond.

Trinidad: Port of Spain picture 18

Windswept islands off Point Galera.



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