Charlotteville sits prettily in the middle of Man’o’war bay at the eastern end of the island of Tobago on the Caribbean ocean.
Population about 3000 (Tobago about 50,000, Trinibago about 1.3 million). Most Tobago residents are local afro-caribbeans.
Catches about 65% of Tobago’s fish – fishing is the main work
Small scale tourism with a number of small guest houses and no hotel
Most of the land you can see around is owned by Charlotteville Estates which is owned by Pat Turpin who lives in the village and is president of Environment Tobago. She also owns Man’o’war Bay cottages next to the beach.
The White house is a modern, very comfortable house in a lovely tropical garden. The house has views over the village and the beautiful Caribbean and the surrounding tropical rain forest. It has 2 studio apartments for rent and each is self contained with a double queen size bed, shower room, small well equipped kitchen and an outside terrace with table and chairs. The village centre and the village beach is about 5 to 10 minutes walk. One studio has a sea view over the Caribbean and the other has beautiful rain forest views.
DIRECTIONS TO THE WHITE HOUSE CHARLOTTEVILLE
Enter Charlotteville on the main road from Speyside.
On entering the village turn right at the petrol station. Follow the road straight on bearing right when there is a choice. At the top the road curves round to the left and over a small bridge. The White House is the first house after the bridge on your right. It resembles a white castle.
There is now an ATM in Charlotteville to get cash. However it doesn’t always work so it’s a good idea to bring cash. There are banks and ATM’s at the airport and in Scarborough. Get plenty at the airport on arrival or when in Scarborough.
The water is good but we recommend boiling it before drinking.
Water can be in short supply in Tobago in the dry season so go steady and don’t have long luxurious showers.
If you have a problem phone Sharon 660 5196/498 8320 or Cat the caretaker 777 1964. Both are very helpful.
The gas cylinder is in the cupboard underneath the cooker and is switched on by flicking the little tap on the top to in line with the tubing. If the gas runs out Sharon or Cat can connect a new cylinder.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
In the front downstairs apartment or upstairs, when out keep the front windows closed or slightly open as a sudden downpour of rain will wet the inside. At night keep only slightly open or bats could fly in. At night keep door shut too for bats.
Front door of building should be closed and locked at night and if out.
Leave terrace lights on at night to discourage bats
PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP
Sharon Holder-Alleyne is the housekeeper. She should be here to meet you on arrival and will explain about the apartment. She comes twice a week to clean and change your bedlinen. She is very friendly.
Cat (Fitz) (Fitzgerald) is the gardener come maintenance person – very helpful
Sharon phone no. 660 5196. Cellphone 498 8320
Cat phone no. 777 1964
Pat Turpin is our agent in Charlotteville – she also runs Man o War Bay Cottages – phone 660 4327 or at home (emergency only) 660 4289
Walter and Sharon are our nextdoor neighbours and friends and the owners of Sharon and Pheeb’s restaurant in the village.
Jemo and family are next door but one – very friendly
Pussycat and family are nextdoor but two. Pussycat drives the maxi which can take you to Scarborough or places en route.
Dave Alleyne is next door the other way, across the bridge and also has a maxi taxi which can take you to Scarborough etc
The main hire car companies are available at Crown Point
Ask Cat our caretaker to arrange one in the village.
SWIMMING AND SNORKELLING
The nearest good swimming is at the Charlotteville Beach Bar 5 to 10 minutes walk. At the Beach Bar between the two flags is an easy place to swim. Snorkelling is better at Pirate’s Bay a beautiful little beach which is a hot walk along the other end of the village or a short boatride with one of the fishermen. You can get taken to one of the other beaches in Man’o’war bay by one of the fishermen.
You can have a lovely swim at Blue Waters Hotel beach in Speyside. Nice place to sit for a drink and there is a little tourist shop there. Wouldn’t bother eating there as it is expensive and there are many more atmospheric places to eat which are half the price or less.
Several dive shops in Speyside
Kayak centre in the village
The house is in the tropics and the terraces are open to the outdoors
You will see parrots flying about, cocricots – large bird walking around in the trees, little yellow banana quits, humming birds and many others.
There is quite a bit of insect life, moths, flies, some mosquitoes – Autan active spray seems good.
Geckos are the little lizard like animals walking around the walls particularly in the evenings. They are harmless and eat the flies and mosquitoes.
The apartments have fly wire on the louvres so if you keep the door and windows shut you shouldn’t have a problem with insects. If you do there are mosquito nets or they can be controlled by putting a tablet in the little machine (bugmat) kept in the wardrobe and plugging it in. This lasts all night and is quite effective. Please unplug it next morning as it can get overheated.
Also you can burn a mosquito coil on the plate provided. This is under the sink. There is no malaria here but sometimes Dengue fever.
You will see plenty of bats in the evening.
There no poisonous snakes.
DOCTORS and DENTISTS
If in trouble ask Pat Turpin for details of best doctor around for that problem.
The Community Hospital of Seventh-day Adventists has private doctors and clinics and emergency services – 639-1115, 639- 4014, 622-1191, 622-1192, 622-3302, 622-3048
There is a public hospital in Scarborough – avoid if possible.
The neighbours are all local Charlotteville people. Very friendly and helpful if you smile and say hello.
The local evening pastime is meeting people for a chat or liming. Usual place is on the wall at the seafront especially on Fridays about 6pm. Lyda’s bar near Gail’s restaurant is a popular liming spot and good for sunset watching.
HOW TO GET A CELLPHONE
You can buy Digicel phones very cheaply (ours was 40tt$)
There are one or two internet access places in the village
PLACES TO VISIT
Pirate’s bay – walk along track or get fishing boat to take you – usually 20 tt per person single, but agree price before getting in boat. Beautiful beach with nice snorkelling.
First Historical Café at Studley Park – fascinating for a drink on the way along the southside road
Castara small village with 2 beaches and 3 eating places. The restaurant at the little beach is in an idyllic spot but the food is erratic.
FOOD IN THE APARTMENT
Keep food in the fridge or in sealed containers or the ants etc will get it quickly
SHOPPING FOR FOOD
You can get all the basics in Charlotteville.
There are two small “supermarkets”, a rum shop which sells Carib and Stag beer as well as rum and spirits. Several fruit stalls on the main street by the sea. A fish market next to the petrol station. Freshly baked bread is available at about 7pm most evenings in a small shop just more or less opposite the pier owned by Ann Murphy and also at Jane’s Quality Kitchen. The prices in Charlotteville shops are a bit higher than the big supermarket – Pennysavers in Canaan near the airport is probably best for a big shop if you have a car and are going up to that part of the island.
Fresh fruit and veggies can be bought from a pickup truck opposite the supermarket on Fridays from 3-5 pm
In the supermarket
No smoking in the apartments please – outside on the terrace is OK. Use ashtray and don’t throw cigarette ends over the wall and start a fire.
Don’t take apartments towels out of the building please.