Lopinot must be one of the top ten most popular locations in Trinidad that children go on field trips. However, after that childhood experience most people have not revisited.
Where is it?
The Lopinot historical site is in the Lopinot Valley, a beautifully green area that looked like a lush green mirage during this boiling hot dry season that we are having. Driving along the Eastern Main Road, we turned onto Lopinot road, which was quiet, narrow and winding. After a while, we consulted the map in the Discover T&T book to make sure we were on the right track. The map reassured us that we were and so we relaxed, taking in the beautiful scenery of the village that we were driving through. Along the road at different intervals were a series of wooden crosses marking the Stations of the Cross. Finally, we saw the sign for the Lopinot Historical Site and we pulled into a very small car park.
Lopinot Historical Site
This site was once a cocoa estate called La Reconnaissance and was owned by a Frenchman named Count Charles Joseph of Lopinot. Here on this sweeping estate is a main house, where the count lived from 1806 to 1819, a cocoa house, a jailhouse, a clay oven and the tombs of the Count and his wife.
The main house
Remnants of the cocoa house
A clay oven
Fenced in tombs of Lopinot
There was no guide on site that day. However, through the use of a brochure, information signs and a friendly groundsman, we found our way through the premises pretty well. There were picture keys next to the places of interest that related to information in the brochure.
The main house was under renovation (which was a bit disappointing) so the items on exhibit were relocated to the jailhouse as a temporary museum/visitor centre.
There are other interesting features on the premises such as: a direction post pointing out Diego Martin, Blanchisseuse, Siparia and Toco and the distance to each, a wooden display portraying men from the village playing parang, which the village is known for, and a small glass section of the existing wall through which you can see the original material the main house is made of.
Picnic blanket please
After exploring the buildings we took some time to walk around the grounds. With the large expanse of land you can choose where to throw down a blanket and get comfortable with a book and some food or utilise one of the many thatched roof huts or benches.
We wondered why we hadn’t thought about bringing a blanket or a yummy sandwich ourselves, as it would have been wonderful to sit beneath one of the shady trees, enjoying the cool breeze. The grounds were well kept with bright colorful flowers, and the lawn well manicured (even if slightly browned by the lack of rain during this dry season). A river runs around part of the property and due to the season the water was a trickle. With the vastness of the estate, children have many places to run and play and there is a playground for their enjoyment.
Even if you are already familiar with the history of Lopinot, it is such a beautiful place that it can be enjoyed over and over again. With large shady trees, chirping birds, creaking bamboo, and all the relaxation these can bring, you have a reason to pack up your picnic basket, jump in your car and head in that direction no matter what age you are.
- A guide is on site Wednesday to Sunday, 10am–6pm
- Bathrooms available
- No restaurant but there is a parlour and bar nearby
Aisha and Ariann are ready to reacquaint themselves with and in some cases ‘meet’ Trinidad and Tobago. Follow as these two travel to different places and interact with a multitude of faces while ‘Discovering T&T’