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Walking the dogs

Some people, living on the Island, have dogs, more as pets than guards although the odd bark of alarm is always welcome! Walking these dogs tends to be a beach affair. Particularly good ones are Big Bacolet beach (Minister Bay), where there are no dogs around to cause problems, or Rockly Bay (wrongly called Petit Trou on the sign by the carpark).

Other long beaches include Great Courland Bay (Turtle Beach hotel is on this beach) Access is by the track on the left shortly are leaving Black Rock. Alternatively take the road leading to Fort James in Black Rock itself and park at the end. This leaves you with the whole beach ahead of you. And then there is Stone Haven Bay (with Grafton Hotel on it). This too is a long beach but it does have large crowds of holidaymakers in the middle of it! I was recently asked if there were inland walks that could be used instead of the beach and I suggested two, which I have described below.

Courland River: This river has the highest waterfall in Tobago, Highland waterfall. Driving through Les Coteaux heading for Moriah, you continue straight on the old road past the shingled church, graveyard and NEMA centre. The road down to the river is the first one on the right that you get to. This crosses a bridge and you take the left turn after that. Park somewhere here and follow the track. The track leads uphill shaded mostly by bamboo and mango and then reaches a ford. From here the track is well maintained for a while and then becomes narrower but easy. There is a short section where you may have to use the river, but this is manageable by any age, human or dog! Close to the base of the swimming pool is a large, you can swim this to access the waterfall or you can cross it and climb the rocks to get a good view of it.

Motomot Trail: Take the car to Plymouth but take the right turn to Arnos Vale before you get into the village. Turn left at the Arnos Vale Hotel sign and park somewhere along here. Follow the road uphill and continue past the houses. The roadway runs along the coast for a while until it turns away from the sea and Inland through a more forested section. The road crosses a small stream. Follow this downstream and you will get to a really stoney beach. Alternatively continue along the roadway, unfortunately from here on there is no shade. The road ends up in the village of Culloden. There is a large mango tree on the right hand side of the roadway, which is very obvious. To the left of the roadway at this point is a track going uphill. This leads either to spectacular costal views if you keep to the left or if you take the right fork downhill and get to Footprints Hotel. Should you go the scenic route you can in theory make your way back to the roadway again. However the track leads through a farm which has sheep or goats and chickens and is fenced. Better to go back at this point if you have dogs!

By Mark Puddy

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