Thursday, May 03, 2012

Trinidad: I'm Not a Birder: Asa Wright Nature Center

We were heading back from the North Shore of Trinidad we stopped off at a couple of places to hike and track down a waterfall. Before we made it back to Port of Spain we wanted to give finding the Asa Wright Nature Center a chance again. Our first go, had us just wandering the streets of Arima and getting nowhere near the Nature Center.

Why did we want to go to Asa Wright? It is unclear. Neither EAD nor I are birders (which is really what Asa Wright is known for).  We didn't even do any real research, we knew (or thought we did) where the Center was and knew you could eat there, take tours, watch birds and plants...and that's about all we knew.

Surprisingly, we found the proper road to Asa Wright the first time this go around. My recommendation, when coming from Port of Spain pass right on through Arima and turn around and head back towards Arima on the Eastern Main Road, then turn right on Arima Bye-Pass (yes, it is spelled that way) -- you can't miss Asa Wright this way.   The long winding and narrow road up to the Center was as scary as the other rural roads in Trinidad -- except this time you are going up steep hills without many guardrails.

We made it to Asa Wright around 14h00. We found we had missed the final guided tour of the day and they didn't have any more self guided maps available.  We opted to get a bite for lunch and a drink (yes, we had another Carib). Following lunch we walked around the areas that we were allowed to visit without a guide.

We ran into oh so many British Birders. All decked out in their safari gear with big binoculars and huge lenses on their cameras. We seemed to always be in their way -- either walking in front of their pictures or not being 100% silent and scaring away the blue breasted something or other.

It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours, but I sure don't think I could spend much more time there. I'm sure the guided tour would be quite lovely -- even if it is bird and plant focused (not high on my list of interests).

Have you ever been to Asa Wright Nature Center?  When you travel do you make a point to go bird watching?  Do you, like me, find that you are consistently ruining other tourists photos by stepping in front of the lens?









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