Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hiking Grenada Part 1😘

Hiring the car for two days, gave us the opportunity to explore the island. The first day was slightly hampered by the lack of road signage once you are out of St George's, poor quality maps (we had four in total and found none of them related very well to the actual roads we came across. In fact we resorted the position of the sun to help us know which direction we were actually travelling in!) and the fact there were four cruise ships in. So the one place where we could have picked up information on the hiking routes in the Grand Etang National Park, was heaving with white skinned, loudly dressed tourists who had vacated their coaches for the 50m walk to the tourist shops. So we did a short muddy walk by the lake on our own and then spent half an hour washing our feet and sandles in the lake, listening to a local bus packer telling the tourists a good story about the bottomless lake and how you couldn't swim in it as a poor unfortunate who had, ended up in Jamaica. We left as he began to tell them his version of how the island chain was formed, it would never have got passed a lesson observation, unless it was in creative story telling possibly.
Which ever of the roads we took in the aim to get to the east of the island seemed to double back on themselves and take us to the west, causing some frustration for the driver! 

Bamboo in the rainforest.
 We did manage a more satisfactory hike on the second day. We drove up to Concord falls along a road that has been severely washed away, which caused some tense moments with passing vehicles. The security man at the falls was rather taken aback when we said we wanted to hike up to the second falls. He tried his best to put us off with the fact the bridges had been washed away. We turned down the offer of a guide and reassured him we would be fine. He found a spot for us to park the car, leaving room for the traffic to turn. As we left we did notice that some wheel nuts and hub centres were now missing from the car. It was a very straight forward route to follow. If slightly muddy in places. We had to cross the river in several places, which required negotiating stepping stones or boulders, not always successfully. 
The rainforest tra
We meandered up through the nutmeg tree groves, through the rainforest, every now and again coming across cultivated patches of vegetables. We met a couple of farmers walking down, machetes in hand, who stopped for a chat and gave us pointers for the best way to go. The last part was a boulder scramble up to the waterfall pool, which we had all to ourselves. After a refreshing swim in the cold water, we had a picnic lunch and then set off down the valley. The first waterfall was empty of tourists when we reached it, so we took advantage of the quiet time and climbed down to it and watched the locals fishing.

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