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!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Macajuel Pond and Many Smiles

When a hike in Trinidad starts with caution tape, "Police Line Do Not Cross", you know you are in for an exciting day!

Without any major plans for the weekend (grading tests, planning lessons, recreating the school's hacked website and volunteering at an obstacle course event don't count) we decided to join Emile on yet another Saturday hike. To be honest, I wasn't overly excited about venturing to Macajuel Pond at 6:30 am and I became less excited as we were still driving deep into the Northern Range at 8:30am.

As soon as we hit the trail at 9 am, the beauty of the mountains, the fresh clean air and the luscious green rainforest vegetation put a smile on my face. Well, that smile grew as the wore on. In driving to the trailhead, we drove through Braso Seco, and well know hamlet for thugs and murders. No joke. So when we walked past the police tape, it wasn't overly shocking. Yes, it was a bit disconcerting, but not shocking.
Soon the sights took over our thoughts, as we stumbled upon fresh nutmeg, grapefruits, oranges and coffee plants. Some nutmeg managed to make the journey home. I'll let you know how the cookies turn out! We arrived to a nice, simple waterfall after about 2 hours of hiking - the Madamas waterfall. We snacked, swam and chatted with our fellow 7 hikers. With a fast river walking pace, we left Madamas and we soon found ourselves upon a gorgious gorge. It was SO fun manoevering through the gorge, plunging into the water, skirting across logs, jumping off of rocks and swimming through caverns. Did I mention it was super fun? This trek brought us to Macajuel Pond. Now you might be wondering what macajuel is? It is the Trini name for a boa constrictor that is often found in fairly large numbers at this pond.

As luck (if you like LARGE snakes) would have it, we later almost stepped on this monster boa in the river. It must have been about 8 feet long, and thankfully it looked like it had just eaten. I think it is one of the coolest things we've seen so far in Trinidad.

Anyway, the rest of the hike was relaxing, and we managed to stop for buss up shut (a favourite Indian food of curried meat, dhal bread, pumpkin and sweet mango) on the way home. It was a great day. Oh - there was one more thing that made us smile, and perhaps shake our heads. As we were driving through Port of Spain, they were painting the lines of the road - BY HAND...WITH BRUSHES.

Click here to see the rest of the pictures!

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