Last updated on : Jun 10, 2020
Before I went on a Trinidad Pitch Lake tour, the term “pitch lake” made no sense to me. Pitch, which refers to asphalt or tar, has been one of Trinidad and Tobago’s major exports for centuries, and the country is home to the largest deposit (i.e., lake) of natural asphalt in the world.
La Brea Pitch Lake in Port-of-Spain was one of the more unique travel experiences I’ve had, but I had no idea what a tar pit was prior to visiting La Brea Pitch Lake. To further prove I had no idea what a tar pit was, I wore flip flops while visiting it. Below are three important reasons why wearing flip flops on a Trinidad Pitch Lake tour is not a good idea.
In order to reach the main area of the tar pit, I had to traverse a series of ponds, which are popular places for soaking due to the therapeutic properties of sulfur-rich water.
While walking through one of the knee-high ponds of murky water, I lost my footing and nearly fell in, because my shoe became planted in the bottom of the pond.
I somehow managed to find and lift my flip flop with my foot, but once I stepped out of the pond, my wet feet and shoes made it hard to maintain my balance.
Pitch Lake reminded me of an unfinished parking lot, but unlike a parking lot, it’s not a smooth and easy place to walk. In fact, walking on a tar pit is like walking on a large surface of hot glue.
However, I really only realized this after pausing to snap a photo and observe more of the scenery. That’s when one of my flip flops became stuck in the tar and required prompt removal, or I’d risk permanently losing a shoe (that flip flop still has tar on it even after rigorous cleaning).
As a result, I couldn’t stand in one place for longer than a few seconds, so I got quite a workout!
Among the many “fossilized” things you’ll discover at La Brea Pitch Lake are well-preserved small crocodiles. These poor crocodiles were just no match for the extremely sticky conditions of the tar pit.
Experiencing a tar pit definitely awakened my senses. I couldn’t walk very well and was nearly overcome by the strong smell of tar, which was amplified by the intense Trinidadian heat and humidity.
However, touching the surface of natural tar, while very hot, was actually kinda cool!
Have you ever done a Trinidad Pitch Lake tour or visited another pitch lake in the world? How was your experience?
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