‘Mad man’s rant’ is blasting from the Colt’s stereo, we have the windows down to let the cool air rush in, Pete’s at the wheel and Andreas Muller sits smiling contentedly in the back – all’s well in Tobago.

Much of the T & T ‘Soca’ music is topical, dealing with social issues like drugs and gang violence; political, blaming the politicians for high prices and squandering public funds or be-rating certain ethnic groups – I’m not sure a lot of it would get played in the UK.

Our morning mission was to take Leif to the supermarket and pick up his bikes ready for them to go on the ferry to Trinidad.

Leif has his girlfriend and family members over, they’re staying in a rented villa in Tobago and Leif will travel in at the last minute to ride Saturday’s crit in Port of Spain.

Leif shopped, Andreas made good use of the villa’s swimming pool and Pete took me to Store Bay to see where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean.

Store Bay.
Store Bay. (click for the full image)

The north side of Tobago sits on the Caribbean, whilst the south side catches the bigger breakers from the South Atlantic – at the eastern and western tips of the island, the sea meets the ocean.

Lifeguard post.
Lifeguard post. (click for the full image)
Why they have lifeguards
Why they have lifeguards. (click for the full image)

Bob Marley’s face is everywhere in Tobago, and Store Bay is no exception – the towels bearing his image are coolly kitsch or ghastly, depending on your point of view.

Cool or horrid - you be the judge.
Cool or horrid - you be the judge. (click for the full image)

We also got a skek at the current ‘must have’ Tobago wheels, man; the Nissan ‘Cube.’

As the name suggests, it has a very square 'boxy' shape and looks like a child's image of a car, but it's cool.
As the name suggests, it has a very square 'boxy' shape and looks like a child's image of a car, but it's cool. (click for the full image)

All manner of customisation takes place, blacked out windows, lowered suspension, lights under the cills, additional valances below the rear bumper, over size wheels with ultra low profile rubber – and if you’re real cool, giant Kalashnikov decals.

Shopping done, bikes dropped, it was time for the main event – a loop round Tobago in the hire car.

Where in the world we are.
Where in the world we are. (click for the full image)
Head east, and it all calms down.

Scarborough, the capital is hectic – crowds, open air stalls, music, cars, guys drinking beer on the bar patios, shapely girls promenading.

The cat from Scarborough to Port of Spain.

But head east and it all calms down, the road chases the Atlantic coast, the views are stunning and if it wasn’t for the breeze it would be brutally hot.

Cars quietly rust away; moored boats have rods and lines set waiting for a bite; traffic is light and bars have doors and windows open to catch the breeze.

Quietly rusting away.
Quietly rusting away. (click for the full image)

We pulled in for a Carib at an ocean side bar and typical of all good Tobago bars, the brew was ice cold.

Despite their preeminent position as the island’s top beer; Carib never ease up on the marketing – there are Carib posters, banners, giant inflatable bottles and signs everywhere.

You're never far from a Carib.

Betsey’s Hope was a good photo opportunity, complete with cannon and vandalised phone.

Pete in broken phone foto op.
Pete in cannon foto op!

Betsey was a slave woman who was into the voodoo and fixed it so that the slave master’s wives felt the pain if the slaves received beatings – spooky!

The vistas became ever more spectacular – and the photo-ops kept coming, Pete the lifeguard, Pete the goat herd.

Pete the lifeguard foto op.
Pete the goat herd foto op.

At Speyside, the cool Rasta guy took time off from renovating his bar – with it’s wonderful views across the bay – to make us fruit smoothies; ‘I don’t use ordinary water, dat’s coconut water,‘ we believed him, they were amazing.

The view takes in Goat Island and Little Tobago Island – the former is where James Bond creator, Ian Fleming had a house; it’s clearly visible from the beach.

James Bond was created here.
James Bond was created here. (click for the full image)
Looking down on Charlotteville.

Just past Speyside, the road rears north across the ridge to find the Caribbean near Charlotteville.

Pete took us to a view point at a communications mast, high above the road.

To the left, the Atlantic, to the right, the Caribbean - stunning.
To the left, the Atlantic, to the right, the Caribbean - stunning. (click for the full image)

The climbs on this road are savage, many of them are used in the Tobago Classic (Tour of Tobago), a five day stage race which takes place through the end of September to the start of October.

It's pretty hilly round on the island
It's pretty hilly round on the island. (click for the full image)

Motor Point’s Pete Williams (who won the 2009 Drummond Trophy) won last year – big boned sprinters need not apply.

Stunning vista follows stunning vista, the bamboo grows beside the road and all of a sudden – there’s Glasgow.

Well, the 'Glasgow Bar' with a view that would cost a fortune in Europe.

And yes, they do stock Tunnocks caramel wafers.

Just gorgeous.
Just gorgeous. (click for the full image)

‘Englishman’s Bay’ is off the main drag, but Pete knows the ropes here and we were soon sitting in the elevated dining room eating fish and chips as the warm waters lapped at the beach, behind us.

Englishman's bay.

Up at Moriah, we missed our turn for Plymouth and ended up in Mason Hall.

Between Mason Hall and the main Claude Noel Highway, we saw one – hand painted – road sign.

We guess the thinking is that the locals know where they’re going and if fool tourists are using the roads, then they should have a local guide.

We headed for Mount Irvine Bay so as Pete could have a dook (that’s swim to non-Fife readers) and we could watch the sun set.

Time for a swim.
Time for a swim. (click for the full image)

The sunset was beautiful, not as nice as an Ullapool sunset but not bad at all for the Caribbean.

Not bad - for the caribbean!
Not bad - for the caribbean! (click for the full image)