Flying their Easter kites, children from Joanne's Little Angels, Arouca, spread out on the grounds adjacent to Compte de Loppinot Historical Complex-an historical landmark in the community.Teacher Joanne Agard said: "We came here because it is peaceful. We had the Easter egg hunt and now we are flying Easter kites. We will be picnicking. The breeze is lovely for kite flying."Consensus among locals and tourists was the typical plantation house set amid the sprawling samaan tree, bamboo groves and verdant greenery with pink bursts of periwinkle was a sight to behold.Clutching his guitar, tour guide Martin Gomez gave the children a traditional parang serenade.Before, Gomez said they were getting ready to replace the artefacts in the Great House by next week.Among them was an eclectic collection of photographs, pottery, mortar and pestle and snake antidotes.The fresh coats of yellow attested to the restoration and beautification works which were done.
Gomez said: "The furniture is 208-years-old. The tile and marble is about 100-years-old. The furniture dates back to the 18th century."While the furniture withstood the test of time, the cashew tree under which the French count's ghost was spotted died.Gomez said: "We planted another in the exact spot. The juice was as red as blood."Gomez also had a chance to share the legend of Compte de Lopinot with Sci Fi channel and Ghost Hunters Incorporated.In 1806, legend has it that Charles Lopinot settled in the Valley, naming the estate La Reconnaisance.Gomez and his daughter, President of the Lopinot Village Council Donna Mora will be featured in a series from June.
Poui bloom at Lopinot
Meandering alongside the Great House, the Lopinot River offers many cool spots for bathing and relaxation. Along the winding road, yellow poui bloomed profusely.Lopinot resident Shirley Baptiste views it as a labour of love to sweep up the delicate blossoms which layer her roof.She said: "As it falls, I sweep it up. I don't mind. A lot of people pass by and admire the poui tree. They take photographs. After the yellow, the purple poui will come in. The purple is gorgeous."
Apart from the majestic poui, there is a significant remnant of the cocoa industry. Red and yellow cocoa hang at Cafe Mariposa-where nature tours are conducted.There is also a cocoa house and implements like the cocoa rod for picking and picadol for shelling and sweat boxes for fermenting the beans sought after by chocolate connoisseurs.Glorious citrus hung in the groves. Rare fruits like tambran dayzah (Chinese tamarind) and caimite sprung forth from the fertile Lopinot land. The odd donkey brayed.But it was the welcoming nature of the people which came in for top marks. Decked in tall boots, with poya case (cutlass) at their sides, farmers trudged peacefully to their homes. At times, the dog-man's best friend-bounded alongside his master. (ML)