|Another day, another crash ...|
A few days later I was making the (almost) annual pilgrimage to Wichita Falls' Hotter'n Hell when I witnessed an oncoming 18-wheeler jackknife on rain-slick HWY 183 and plow into the median. I was the first one on the scene, and thank goodness there was no fire since I would have been totally helpless with the two occupants being trapped in the cabin, hanging upside down but thankfully being responsive. I called 911, other cars stopped, and first responders were on the scene in less than 15 minutes. That experience was certainly not a good omen for Friday's crits and Saturday's road races, but the crashes that did occur were limited to road rash and no broken bones, at least in the races that I worked.
|Now, that's a serious crash!|
|Is this called track rash?|
|This is the Couva velodrome, a modern and well-equipped facility|
|Afternoon excursion to Port of Spain, Trinidad's capital|
|A Trini, as they call themselves |
And so we drove back to the velodrome, passing fairly crummy-looking shopping malls that our driver proudly pointed out. Had the bus broken down, there would have been enough repair places to get us rolling again. The visual onslaught of billboards hawking everything from Nestle products to international banks was almost too much. Trinidad most certainly must have a different side somewhere, but we never came close to it. For all the talk about ecology, pristine beaches, and refreshing waterfalls in the tourist booklet in my room, the stark reality of all those smokestacks and rusting infrastructure didn't make me feel as if this could be the same country. How else can one explain the cemetery of seven ocean vessels right in front of the hotel, half sunk, rusting, and looking like the aftermath of Pearl Harbor?
|Pearl Harbor just off Trinidad's western coast, in front of the hotel|
|Immediate surroundings of the Cara Suites Hotel|
|Downtown Claxton Bay in the evening--yep, it ain't much|