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Distance

67.39 mi

Elevation gain

1,841 ft

Technical difficulty

Easy

Elevation loss

1,824 ft

Max elevation

222 ft

Trailrank

32

Min elevation

0 ft

Trail type

Loop
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.
  • Photo of Sunday Evening Drive 1.

Time

4 hours 8 minutes

Coordinates

3838

Uploaded

June 1, 2013

Recorded

May 2013
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222 ft
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67.39 mi

Viewed 1387 times, downloaded 2 times

near Iere, Princes Town (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)

This driving trail starts just outside the town of Princes Town and goes to the Borough of Point Fortin. I made stops at a couple points of interest along the way there..... The first point of interest was the Pitch Lake in the south-western village of La Brea. The Pitch Lake is thought of as the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. This lake covers approximately 40 hectares of land area and is estimated to be 75 meters deep. The Pitch Lake is a tourist attraction is south-western Trinidad and attracts upwards of 20,000 visitors annually. If you decide to visit the Pitch Lake be advised that the Ministry of Tourism has licensed guides available for tours of the lake at the Visitor Center for a nominal fee. There are touts outside the lake that pose as “Official Guides” for the lake. Use these guys at your own risk! The Pitch Lake was discovered in 1595 by Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh used asphalt from this lake to caulk his ship. Raleigh referred to the pitch as “most excellent good... It melteth not with the sun as the pitch of Norway.” Today Trinidad Lake Asphalt mines the Pitch Lake and exports asphalt globally. The origin of the Pitch Lake is related to deep faults in connection with subduction under the Caribbean Plate related to the Barbados Arc. The lake has not been studied extensively, but it is believed that the lake sits at the intersection of two faults, which allows oil from a deep deposit to be forced upwards. The lighter elements from the oil evaporate leaving the heavier asphalt deposit behind. Bacterial action on the asphalt at low pressures creates petroleum in the asphalt. Researchers at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine and elsewhere indicated that extremophiles inhabited the asphalt lake in populations ranging from 1000000 to 10000000 cells/gram..... Vessigny Beach lies only 3 miles from the Pitch Lake bordering the village of Vessigny. This beach is one of the most popular beaches in Southern Trinidad and is usually very crowded during weekends and holidays. The beach is patrolled by life guards from 10:00am to 5:30pm daily. There are also changing rooms, shower facilities, restrooms, picnic tables, and a snack bar..... Point Fortin is the smallest Borough in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and is located in Southwest Trinidad approximately 20 miles from San Fernando. Originally Point Fortin was an agricultural community with three distinct cocoa and coconut estates. During this time access to the village was via costal steamer because there were no access roads. Petroleum was discovered there in 1906 and this caused the town to grow into a major oil-producing center in Trinidad. In 1907, the Trinidad Oilfields moved into Point Fortin on an expedition for the exploration of oil and sank its first oil well on the La Fortunee Estates. That company turned out to be the only one that survived successfully, although there had been several similar expeditions by other oil companies. The company later changed its name to the United British Oilfields of Trinidad then became Shell Trinidad Limited. In 1974 it was acquired by the Government and named T.R.I.N.T.O.C. or the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company, today known as Petrotrin. The change from an agricultural to an oil based economy made a significant impact in Point Fortin. There was rapid development in the construction of dwelling houses, plant, pipelines and oil tanks in the area. Point Fortin was booming and labor, particularly skilled labor for the new technology, was scarce and posed a major problem. Trinidadians did not seem to be attracted to the area. Although people migrated from all over the country, the population in 1931 was less than 500. There were very few houses, no schools, and recreational and other facilities. As a result Trinidadians who went to work in Point Fortin never took their families with them. However, this changed when the company realized that in order to attract and retain workers, they needed to develop the area. This encouraged families to settle in the area, and coupled with a growth in the commercial sector, brought about such facilities as a post office, police station as well as other governmental agencies and banks. In the 1960s the town began to see a decline due to massive retrenchment. The Government tried to revive the economic activity and eventually succeeded in establishing the Dunlop Tyre Factory. However the economic revival was only achieved in the early 1970s as a result of the Oil boom and the acquisition of Shell Trinidad Limited by the government. With this grown the town was elevated to the status of a Borough in 1980. In the 1980s Point Fortin was hit hard by the economic recession and this brought about the closure of the oil refinery there. Today most of the local and expatriate oil companies are established in Point Fortin. This includes Atlantic L.N.G. and their associated natural gas facilities. From here liquid natural gas is exported globally. The oil and gas industry provides employment not only for residents of the Borough of Point Fortin, but throughout Trinidad......

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