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Dave and family keep camping tradition alive

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Members of the Salim family having fun rafting.

Easter is not only a season for Christians to honour, renew their faith and rejoice, but also a time for citizens to follow other unique Trinidadian traditions.

One such tradition is the making and beating of the bobolee on Good Friday. Another Easter tradition that is growing in popularity is the flying of kites. Yet another tradition is the eating of hot cross buns, fish and provision on Good Friday.

A tradition that is also gaining in popularity is camping during Easter. Trinidadians flock to the beaches to camp for what is now called the long weekend.

One such site still to be discovered by the majority of the population is the Malabar Farms Estate on the Manzanilla beach.

The campers are a self-sufficient and resourceful group often making their own equipment from portable toilets you would find in your home, showers, outdoor kitchens hooked up to their own water systems fed from portable water tanks on trucks. They generate their own electricity with generators, are eco-conscious burning fallen coconut branches and termite nests for the smoke to repel biting insects, walk with gas tanks to fire up their grills, and even bring their own BBQ pits.

Dave Salim said he has been on that particular location for nine consecutive years for Easter with his family and friends.

He said they started out with makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin tents and over the years they now have their own generators, commercial-made tents, music, flushing toilets and bathrooms.

Salim said public health inspectors also passed in to check the kitchens in the camp and give advice on how to store food.

He said the police also passed by regularly and there were no reported incidents since he was there. Salim actually started visiting the Dass family at their camp. The Dass' now mark 34 years camping at the Manzanilla site.

Salim said every day was a different menu, Friday's menu was cascadoo, provisions, tomato and saltfsh, roti, rice and potato salad. Later in the night, they did accra.

He said he even had his own Cuban-Chinese roasting box; la caja China where they would roast or barbecue a whole pig which would attract the other campers.

Salim said the children had fun playing on their home-made raft made out of barrels, and plywood, rode their bicycles, and fished.

He said they also made their own ice as he was into meat production and had a walk-in cold storage.

Salim said as the children were on holidays, the Easter camp was a great place for outdoor activities.



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