Paul and Gayle are taking a year from their roles in Picton and Belleville and will be teaching at the Maple Leaf International School in Trinidad. We will use this blog to record some of our edventures!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Not just a waterfall hike...

Yesterday was Sunday and we had booked in with tour guide Emile to hike to another one of Trinidad's finest waterfalls - the Avocat. Tucked in the northern range of mountains, we had to meet at the Maracas lookout at 7am to caravan to the trailhead and begin our hike. Paul and I picked up fellow Canadian teachers Marie, Maddie and Janetta and hit the road for our destination.

As per usual, we arrived early at the meeting point at 6:46 (darn - I could have slept another 15 minutes), and "limed" for an hour, waiting for everyone to arrive. By 8:30 we reached our trailhead destination, were given a short briefing by Emile and were off like a herd of turtles, slowly hiking a steady incline to the waterfall. 

It was a gentle walk uphill, and we were surrounded along the way by gorgeous rainforest plants. We reached the waterfall after about 1.25 hours, and clambered among the slippery rocks to take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the falls. And by refreshing I mean "take my breathe away". After a little snack and more liming, part two of the trek began. 

This leg of the journey included a river walk/wade/swim back to the carpark. Despite some slippery rocks and wet shoes, all was going well. A few Trinis were in front, then our group of Canadians, the the American families (with 5 kids under age 9 and 1 very active dog) and Emile and a few other Trinis were bringing up the rear. Lost in my own little world of maneuvering the rapids and rock dodging, I came upon Maddie holding Paul's backpack with no sight of Paul. This was strange to me, as Paul was working very hard to keep his backpack dry while swimming through the deeper parts of the river. I'm sure you can visualize Paul tippy toeing with his backpack held over his head, trying to keep it dry. Dry snacks and shorts are worth the effort! 

Anyway, as Maddie and I were trying to figure out the backpack mystery, out swam Paul from around the rock wall which framed the left side of the river. Paul was signalling for us to throw the backpack upriver to him. At this point, the river widened into a large swimming area that looked as though swimming would be necessary. It turned out that as Paul came to this area in the river, he saw not one but two of our group struggling to stay afloat. Oh dear, I guess we should have asked who didn't know how to swim! With his fast thinking and reasoning, Paul directed another hiker to help the flailing woman while he went to the bobbing man. Maneuvering the man to the rock wall was not effective as the loose moss and roots were ineffective anchors for the panicky swimmer. This lead to Paul forcefully releasing himself from the wrist death grip of the "victim" and contemplating having to kick him in the chest to save his own life. Paul managed to find a small rock underfoot and get Buddy to rest on it and relax from his panic state. Maddie threw the backpack, Buddy grabbed it with all he had and it became used as a flotation device which carried him across the water to safety.

The remainder of the hike was uneventful (how could it be anything more with a near drowning earlier) and the car ride home was filled with a few holy cow realizations.

To mark this "alls well that ends well" experience, Paul and I dashed off to McDonalds. Nothing celebrates saving a person's life more than a half price $15 TT Big Mac and a chocolate sundae!!!

We did manage to take a few pictures along the way. Click here to see them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment.