This is The Magdalena:
This is also the Magdalena:
I am only inside of one of these.
The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort nestles in Tobago’s Lowlands, looking out towards the Atlantic from Little Rocky Bay. By day you get a clear view of the island capital, Scarborough and at night a shimmering, near crystalline rendition of the same.
The image above is one of the many publicity stills you’ll find on Google images. I have my own images, including some night shots. Unfortunately my camera can’t transfer, my iPad doesn’t have a card slot and my phone’s Bluetooth isn’t a team player.
Not that it matters too much. Pictures can’t really convey what I’m seeing right now, and certainly these words won’t do any better. I’m on the balcony underneath more stars than I can ever remember seeing back home. Palm trees sway, lizards dash and dart between the bushes and the rhythmic, enduring tides keep their time.
What really catches my eye is the perfect dark stretching from the sand all the way to the horizon. Last night a full moon, low and yellow, hung over the water. A perfect reflection, moonlight slicing through the few clouds who dared stand to deny it. Beauty is something I’m fortunate to find in the everyday, but this was something else.
The resort’s moniker references the original Spanish name for the island, “La Magdalena.” Besides the obvious deference to the Holy Roman Empire, I’m told the Magdalena was also one of the ships in Columbus’ fleet. “Tobago” itself references “tobacco”, which was one of the island’s primary exports, especially under British rule. The resort is on the Lowlands Plantation Estate, and its not difficult to picture the harvest taking place where the PGA approved 18 hole golf course now resides.
Trinidad is where the action is apparently. This isn’t peak season, so many of the rooms are empty, and the current cliental is predominantly white (a mixture of Scandinavian, Germans, Americans , South Africans and us Brits as far as I can tell). Stages within the bars stand empty, but it’s not impossible that this place can shuffle towards jumping if it wants.
Older couples, affluent families, businessmen on conference/golfing jaunts. Its very much an enclave, putting distance and definite masonry between us and the Canaan village, which leads towards the airport and the beautiful Pigeon Point Heritage Park (which itself is very much secured).
It delivers. I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed. Unhurried, despite the ever-present CMB of my polarised mind. A disquiet I cannot shake despite the warmth of the people and the beauty of their home. I’m embarrassed when people call me ‘sir.’ I dislike having someone hop bells and carry luggage for me.
I can’t deny that this downtime has been needed, but my instinct is to get stuck in. Disappear into Scarborough and seek out the lesser measured angles. Follow my powerful desire to run into the ocean and swim towards this midnight sun.
Everyday distractions drift away, and new ideas are breaking the waves. I need to change or, more importantly, make changes.
The moon is rising again. On the horizon a cruise liner ferries souls towards a light I jealously consider to be mine. I made an offering to it earlier; carving “Grace” into the sand. A sigil representing beauty, for the stars to wonder at and the waves to carry out into the world.