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It always seems that we’re planning and planning (which, as you know, I do love and enjoy) but then the majority of the time, the planning and plans end up with… “Don’t worry… one day it’ll happen .. One day, hopefully soon..

And then time passes… days.. weeks… months and even years.. and still nothing…

I’m so guilty of this… I’m sure we all are… *sigh*…

So! as another year approaches, I decided that I didn’t want to meet this new year of my life, feeling this way… feeling that maybe I’m not trying to make even my smallest plans and dreams a reality. .. sigh… and I decided if even by myself, a Local Road Trip / Adventure was in order.

With the rise of the sun on Sunday morning, I arose, with only adventure on my mind and set off from home in a southerly direction. With the mobile program WAZE (a navigation phone application) as my guide, made my way through Gran Couva, along the Gran Couva Main Road, and the turning off onto Caparo Valley Brasso Road, to be able to visit the historic Knolly’s Tunnel.

Driving through Gran Couva

Driving through Gran Couva

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“The Knolly’s Tunnel is an old railroad tunnel which is situated off the Tabaquite Main Road in Central Trinidad. Approximately a quarter mile long, the tunnel is reportedly one of the longest in the Caribbean.

The construction which began in 1896 took two years to complete and utilised the skills of over 200 African and Indian workers. The tunnel was constructed to link the Rio Claro hinterland with Port-of-Spain and to facilitate the transport of cocoa, coffee and other agricultural produce from the rich Brasso-Caparo Valley.

The tunnel which was named after Sir Clement C Knolly who was then the Acting Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, was opened by him on August 13, 1898.”
~ Bavina Sookdeo
[Article: “Knolly’s Tunnel”, Newsday, August 22 2006]

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“The Tabaquite Railway Station was built just about quarter mile away. This line was closed down by this country’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams on August 30, 1965, some 67 years after its official opening because it was not profitable.”
~Paras Ramoutar
[Article: “Knolly’s Tunnel …Tabaquite’s hidden treasure”, Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, August 01, 2009]

As you get closer to the Tunnel, the road quality starts to rapidly decrease… as well as the local population around.

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Admiring from this side of the tunnel, although seemingly unkept with gravel roadways, trees, shrubs and overgrown bushes all around… wary of my surrounding and very curious, but highly unaware of what to expect on the otherside of the tunnel, I decided that I’m not ready to turn back, as I’ve reached this far. Consulting my only form of company, WAZE directed to drive through the tunnel, so I decided it had to be done… [Clearly some more research was in order, and should have been done before visiting… lol]

First Views of Knolly's Tunnel

First Views of Knolly’s Tunnel

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Although too dark for comfort… not sure what could be hiding in the corners of the tunnel, I ventured forward… attempting to take a short video as I travelled through, and drive at the same time.

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Driving through the Tunnel

But I am so glad I did it 😀

On the other side of the Tunnel, the Tabaquite side, development has begun to restore and maintain the Tunnel and its surroundings; to clean up and preserve the area. Since circa 2006, a plan for restoration works has been in place, as it was officially considered a National Heritage Site, here in Trinidad & Tobago.

The roadway is paved and there are a couple of picnic sheds around where you can park and relax. Although still seemingly incomplete, I am excited to see what the final outcome would be… whenever that may be.

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Collecting my thoughts as I decide the driving route forward, I am excited that I took the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity. Now reading up on the little history of Knolly’s Tunnel, it is exciting that these places still exist in our own backyard! This is part of our local history!

Where to next?

Where to next?

Please NOTE: Although I am all for solo explorations and travels, I would not recommend visiting alone. Safety is better in numbers, and even if only for my time approaching the Tunnel and driving through, I would recommend going with company; just for the safely factor…

Visiting Knolly’s Tunnel – CHECK!
Another one off the Trinidad & Tobago Bucket List! 😀

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References:

  1. http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,42953.html
  2. http://m.guardian.co.tt/archives/features/life/2009/08/02/knolly-s-tunnel-tabaquite-s-hidden-treasure 
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