Heard about the greatest street festival on earth? Happens in Trinidad every year on the Monday & Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is a time to exhibit colorful costumes, have exuberant parties, go wild and blow your cash! 🙂 It involves a lot of walking, dancing and singing along the major streets of Port of Spain (POS), the capital. Indeed, a festival of fully packed fun and sore heels.
Countries belonging to Commonwealth are exempt from acquiring a visa before entering Trinidad and Tobago. This definitely includes Ghana! You may need a transit visa depending on your route.
Being one of the biggest events in our lives, we started prepping a year before Carnival 2018. A year…no joke! We saved, researched on the masquerade band to play mas with, make-up ideas, where to sleep. Playing mas means you choose a band to march and dance with. You and the other participants will be wearing similar costumes.
Haha! We did that! Registered at the gym and religiously trained every week. We needed to be in shape (yeah, skinny girls need to be in shape too 🙂 ) and have stamina for these two big days.
Our diet changed. No more junk and carbs. We ate a lot of protein, veggies and drank a lot of water.
To enjoy the festival, it’s recommended to play mas with a band. The band provides an all in one package at a fee – guaranteed fun, food, water, snacks, drinks of all kinds, costumes and music.
About 6 months to the event, we decided on the band (Passion) to play with and the costume we wanted to wear.
When it was time to book accommodation, all locations were fully booked! Even when we found accommodation, prices were ridiculously high or too far from the city. We were finally hosted by a family friend in San Fernando, about 45 minutes away from Port of Spain
We flew in from Kingston, Jamaica and used a taxi to and fro Port of Spain and San Fernando
Music started blasting as early as 4am in our not so big town, San Fernando. We could only imagine the atmosphere in Port of Spain.
This is the day set aside for a street jam before another street jam..haha. How cool is that? It is basically a day where you wear your own costume and join your band to walk along the streets of POS with music.
The city is packed with lots of bands and people so it’s easy to lose sight of your band. There was an app we downloaded to help locate our band. This didn’t work for us.
We spent so many hours traversing through the streets of POS with the hope of finding our band. We weren’t the only lost ones. For a minute, we thought we were scammed.
After many hours of walking, we finally found them in one secluded place. All feelings of anger was gone. We were just happy to find them and the atmosphere was awesome!
The real deal! Display of colorful costumes! Some of these costumes were as high(tall) as humans..couldn’t even fit in the back seat. We had to keep them in the trunk of the car.
Streets were blocked to vehicles so you could only walk to the carnival grounds. We got there as early as 06:30am, wore our costumes outside of our taxi and walked to find our band. We had breakfast, waited for other masquerades and set off around 10:00am.
Costume was beautiful but uncomfortable. Imagine my skinny self carrying all these feathers on my shoulders. The discomfort was caused by the strap on the shoulder. No one (not even the internet!) told us to get some shoulder pads because some of the straps were made of metal. It was metal rubbing against my shoulder-blade (if you know me, you know I have very little flesh) with all the jumping, dancing around and blazing sun.
Day of rest. Many people rest in Tobago but we had to catch our flight back to Kingston.
I would love to be there again but without the feathers or the next time, have a comfortable strap. 🙂
Damage: THOU SHALL NOT SAY 🙂
Wotless: Not having a care in the world. Having the best time of your life!