Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
2 friends and myself will be in Trinidad Feb 9 through 17 (traveling on the 8 and 18.) I have been before but my friends haven't. We all play pan and that will be our focus. Any suggestions on what we should try to see and do while there? Semis are for sure on the schedule. Are there any panyards that we should make sure we get to? Should we go to all of the prelims? We will be staying in Diego Martin. Any suggestions on what do do for money...US cash, convert, credit card? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
Definitely go to semis, and now semis spans over two days (Saturday and Sunday) with single pan/small bands on Saturday and medium/large on Sunday. Don't discount categories other than large - there is a lot of music and excitement all the way down to single pan.
As for prelims, the large bands usually have prelims in the yards so it's a good evening to yard-hop. I'm not sure what date that is but it would be your best bet. There is also north bands small/medium prelims in Port of Spain which is worth a look - check the calendar for the exact date and location.
Yards not to miss include Renegades, All Stars, Invaders, Phase II, Desperadoes, Starlift, Silver Stars. Those are in town, easy to get to, and are usually pretty happening. If you get to traveling, be sure to check out Exodus in the east. In Diego Martin there are Valley Harps (medium), Merrytones (small) and La Creole (single).
Money-wise, I suggest converting US at the airport and also having some traveler's checks as a backup. A credit card isn't worth bothering with.
And of course be safe and careful, it pays to be on one's guard... but above all have fun. You picked the right time to go as a pan lover (semis).
I definitely plan on going to both nights of semis. Northern prelims small and medium is on the Saturday we arrive. It starts at two and we don't arrive at the airport until 8:45 so not sure if it will be worth going to it after we check in to our apartment, too bad because the location would be great to get transportation to. Sun prelims are at Skinner Park so thinking we could spend the morning in San Fernando and then go to the prelims. Hopefully we can get to some of the large prelims on Sun, Mon and Tues but transportation will be an issue to get to the individual yards. We will have to check out the bus schedules. I appreciate the list of must see yards and also the ones in Diego Martin. Is there any cost to go to any of the prelims? I am trying to work out how much money I will need for admissions. Yes, I am aware that safety will be an issue. I think the three of us will be traveling together most or all of the time and we will keep our money close. My husband was pickpocketed during Grenada carnival. He thinks it was by the rasta that was sitting very close to him chatting him up and I think it was the woman who was wining against him while he was waiting for a rum. Will never know though.
If you can get into downtown Port of Spain it is actually not difficult to walk to many of the yards that I mentioned. I strongly suggest going to south for prelims, especially if you have never been to Trinidad before. A lot of visitors don't venture far from Port of Spain unfortunately. Just make sure you know where you are going. I believe prelims is at Skinner Park, which most taxis do pass on the way into the city. As I play, I don't know what the cost is to go to prelims but it shouldn't be much. Maybe like $40TT. You could also hang out on the drag which is the preferred way of many to take in such an event...
Pickpockets can be a problem especially in the crowds at the Savannah, so leave the wallet and jewelry at home and just carry only what you need and maybe have a small stash of money in your shoe or an interior pocket just in case. I like to wear a shirt with buttoned breast pockets for my cash.
I have never been to prelims before so would be good to get to some of them and will plan to so to the south one for sure. Good to know that we can walk to many of the yards in POS. I appreciate your taking time to give me some tips.
No problem. I remember having to ask many questions myself at one time :)
Noah, just reviewing all the suggestions here. I have finished working on my travel clothes. My pants pockets have zippers, velcro and/or a button now. My wedding ring is off and will stay back home. And I wrote down your list of yards to go to. Thanks again.
Denette, I don't think Noah want to leave your Wedding Ring at home, That's your identity letting the Guys know you are Married,
I didn't want to bring jewelry, thought that would be better. No?
I don't know if someone would rob you for a wedding ring but then again I'm not a robber so I can't say... however Bede is right, it may be helpful as a deterrent against "tusty" men..
Lusty men and "Women", lol
Lusty men? I can handle. Pickpockets and thieves? I would rather not find out.
Denette, If they try to Pick your husband Pocket in Trinidad tell them they already Pick his Pocket in Grenada (they will leave him alone) lol