The Bamboo Cathedral
In the Tucker Valley in Chaguaramas is the Bamboo Cathedral, a 300 metre stretch of roadway where the bamboo stalks bend towards each other above the road. Their tops form arcs reminiscent of those found in cathedrals. Several watercolours by Michael Jean Cazabon (b. 1813 d. 1888), Trinidad’s great nineteenth century artist and National Hero, were painted on this trace, now known as Cazabon Trail. The “Cathedral” has remained the same for over 150 years.
Cazabon Trail meets the main Tucker Valley Road on the way to Macqueripe Bay. The trail leads to a satellite tracking station overlooking the bay. The valley was named after the Tucker family, one of the original owners of the estate.
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Old Radar Station
IN THE 1960’S, DURING THE Cold War, the USA deployed inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) stations in the Western Hemisphere to prevent any Russian attacks, and one of the first of the stations to be installed still stands with its massive satellite dish on a Trinidadian peninsula.
It was during this tense time that the US also developed the Early Warning System to get a jump on any imminent missile attacks before they were able to reach American soil. The radar station built in Trinidad near Chaguaramas was one of the first stations built in the monitoring network. The installation was finished in 1958, and the site had been chosen since the area had already been leased by the British to the USA since the early 1940’s to construct a naval base. The Chaguaramas radar station operated until 1971, but as it had been built without warning the local authorities, the abandoned remains continued to be important as a symbol of the Trinidadian fight for sovereignty.
Today the empty structures on the site retain a gloomy movie-like atmosphere when the day is misty, but it makes a great place for star gazing when the night is clear. Despite its scientific, historic, and social relevance to the area there are rumblings that the site will be demolished to make room for hotel space. Unfortunately there is no early warning system to defend against the inexorable roll of commercial development.
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PLACES Archives – Sweet TnT Magazine
By Nerissa Hosein. Summer is usually the perfect time to take those extra long drives with the whole family to go to the far parts of Trinidad. Toco has one of the best beaches in Trinidad, if not the best! It does not have the popularity of Maracas and geographically …