You are here
No big pile-up at Maracas for Carnival cooldown
After a short but jam-packed Carnival 2013 season, there was a surprisingly small turnout at Maracas Bay yesterday for the popular Ash Wednesday Carnival cooldown. Shortly after midday yesterday, anyone heading up to Maracas Bay would have been shocked by the absence of bumper-to-bumper traffic which many have come to expect as a key feature of this post-Carnival event.
Nevertheless, when a news team from the T&T Guardian arrived at the beach at around 12 noon yesterday, soca music could be heard from various parts of the beach—an indication that some revellers were still invoking the Carnival spirit. Locals and visitors alike gathered along the beach lounging on beach chairs, towels, hammocks and some even sleeping in tents pitched on the sand. There were far greater numbers of people lying on the beach than there were in the water.
Children were present in large numbers although yesterday was officially a school day. Some were seen burying each other in the sand, bouncing on a trampoline in the middle of the beach and playing ball games. Adults, equipped with drinks coolers, took the opportunity to lime, read magazines and even sleep.
A group of women visiting Trinidad through a small travel operation called Plan TnT was also on the beach. The group included visitors from London, Italy and parts of the US. The women said they were having a great time relaxing after the last two hectic days.
Milena Maroucci of Italy described her Carnival experience as cathartic, saying: “I lost all my inhibition wearing the costume. I just regained all my self-confidence that I lost before. I felt really safe and really welcome.” She added that she loved Maracas and had spent a lot of time “jumping on the waves.” Kaiya McNellie from London said she was pleased with the “vibe and energy” at the beach adding that “everything is really chill.”
Close to 20 lifeguards were present along the beach and T&T locals praised the lifeguards for their efficiency in ensuring the safety of those in the water. Lifeguards on patrol were alert and paid particularly close attention to children in the water. They said up to 2 pm yesterday there were only two instances of people getting into difficulty while in the water.
Vendors were on hand selling snow cones, handmade jewelry, mango chow, cotton candy, surf boards, beachwear and more. Although the numbers at Maracas Bay were fewer than expected, the line outside the popular Richard’s Bake and Shark was even longer than usual. These long queues did not discourage customers, who seemed willing to wait for hours to purchase one of the succulent sandwiches.
Many locals said they anticipated the typically unbearable traffic heading out of Maracas Bay on Ash Wednesday afternoon after the cooldown. As a result of this, they said, they decided to come to the beach earlier so they could leave earlier. But shortly after 2pm yesterday, the road heading out of Maracas was clear and there was no sign of traffic heading towards the beach.