Sunday, February 10, 2013

Frolicking through Forests

Good Day!

The breeze has betrothed my room. The bugs have crowned me their queen! Every day, I leave the windows wide open and every night I invite the moon into my abode. At home, a single spider will send me into a frenzy. I have come to accept that everything here is open, welcoming- whether to other humans or to whatever critters slip over the windowsill. The spiders and I have an agreement not to cross each other's paths too often, though.

Is it overkill, how much I talk about the nice people here?! They're more than nice, I've said. Friends and strangers alike go out of their way to be kind! Just this weekend, we ventured to the east side of Trinidad, the side facing the Atlantic Ocean. Our shuttle bus wound its way through small towns and forests, wrapping up and down the mountains. Little did we know, the path often trodden to our greatly desired Rampanalgas Waterfalls had been closed!

Beardy, the man of few words who has become our main contact for transportation, would not give up. After consulting with a few locals, he drove us straight into what appeared to be a cow farm with a thick trail. The cows sat lazily in the hot sun as we passed. Beardy was so dedicated to making sure we arrived safely that he attempted to drive us into the waterfall itself. Eventually, the trail became so thin it was clear we would have to step out of the vehicle and hike on foot.

Beardy went far beyond his call of duty as our paid transport. Before the second half of our group parted ways with him, he handed us a grocery bag full of ripe, juicy mangoes. "You bought these for us?" we asked, surprised. He nodded gruffly, and asked us to call him when we arrived safely at the waterfalls. The mangoes were sweet and satisfying as we munched and walked under the warm sun. Beardy is far too kind! I will have to sneak a photo of him when I get the chance next.

A quick note on the purpose of hiking: I suppose everyone has their own goals when beginning a hike. To me, however, a hike is about the path itself and not the end goal. Whether you are hiking to the top of a mountain, an abandoned beach, or the waterfall at the end of a slippery slope... the hike itself is the joy. There is so much beauty to appreciate on the path itself. The waterfall at the end is just the cherry on top of that sundae!

Eventually we relocated ourselves to Balandra Bay on the Atlantic Ocean facing side of Trinidad!

Until next time~

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