So much to cover in this post. Thursday evening we attended our first Carnival event, the Kings and Queens preliminary mas competition. Many of the bands of Carnival have a king and queen that lead them through the streets during the two days of Carnival. There are three competitions to elect one king and one queen as the King and Queen of Carnival, a very prestigious honor. The preliminary competition is held in a huge arena area where each queen (ladies first) is introduced and dances across a stage in her costume in front of the audience and a group of judges. After all the queens are introduced, the kings are introduced in the same manner. At the end of the preliminary competition there are 20 kings and 20 queens that make it through to the second round. The costumes are amazingly large and extremely elaborate.  It’s hard to believe one person can even move them, let alone dance and parade them around. A few of the queens and one king failed to handle the load of the costumes and collapsed on the stage.  They were helped off the stage by their support crews from their bands, and one was even whisked away by local emergency staff. Hard to believe emergency services could be needed for a costume competition.

There were just over 40 entries for the queens, and close to 50 for the kings (not all bands have both a king and queen), so the competition lasted for almost 6 hours! After our usual sunrise wake up, we were both exhausted and not excited about the one-hour midnight taxi ride home in traffic, but it was worth it for the experience.

Goddess of the Water

Goddess of the Water

We had so many pictures from the competition, we realized we couldn’t possibly post them all on the blog, so we created a photo site. Here is the link to the Kings & Queens competition. Along the way, check the photo site for images of our trip. The link is in the right-hand column.

After catching up on a bit of sleep, we made our way to the local farmers market on Saturday. That was quite an experience for a couple of city slickers like us. The fruit and vegetable areas were about like you would expect, but the fresh meat area well, not so much. There were hunks of beef, pork, chicken, and raw fish sitting out in the open air waiting to be cut up by machete and packaged fresh at our request. At one point I guess I was making such a face that Lara asked me if I was about to be sick. I was just in such shock at the sight and smells I suppose it showed on my face. There was no getting sick. We did buy some beef, pork, chicken and fish. The fish we purchased, snook, was cleaned and filleted right in front of us and packaged with the removed spine and head. Best we can figure it’s for stew? Upon returning to Kijro, John informed us we had done something on our first trip to the market that many seasoned cruisers had never done. We bought meat at the local market.  I must say it was quite an experience. We are grilling the fish we purchased tonight, so we will let you know how it is.

Crazy market veggies

Crazy market veggies

Today we finally got to go sailing!  Not on Kijro but with a local J/24 owner, Steven Busche, on his boat “Am Bushe.” There was a fun race so we hopped on board and crewed for him. Conditions were a lot like racing back home in the Tampa area—8-10 knots of wind and small seas. I trimmed, and Lara organized the young and inexperienced bow crew.  We ended up winning, so it was a great first sail and race in Trinidad.

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