Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hiking Nevis Water Source

Well, we've done it again. We hiked to the water source in Nevis. Apparently, it's not the highest peak on the island, but it was certainly good enough for us. A Canadian couple organized and led the tour, and apparently they organize lots of hikes (just because they like to hike with other people), so we're looking forward to going to more. Mike & I were late to our rendezvous point with Tina & John, the bus was late picking us up, and the ferry was 45 minutes late too. Must be Saturday in the islands...

Side note: John, a Kittian, lived in Sweden a long time and is a music producer. A Swedish counterpart in the music industry, Lena Bjärskog, is here to work with him and other locals for a few weeks and was game enough to come along. She not only produces music, but also writes her own songs and sings. She started her own label so she could rail against the industry's treatment of women and made a quick name for herself. If you're more curious about her, you can read about Lena here. She's actually going to sing at The Godfather today, so we'll document a bit of that later. Some of the pictures were kindly donated by Lena - thanks!

Back to Nevis. Here we are enjoying our bus ride to the ferry dock. We hadn't been in a bus this full since the Dominican Republic (although Grenada knew how to maximize their space too). Thanks for the ride Rollin Deep!

Since we waited so long for the ferry, there were quite a few cars lined up to get on.

There was really no shade, so we were doing our best not to get overheated before we even started our hike.

Incredibly, every car, including a fuel truck, made it on. I know I've mentioned this before, but they really do pack 'em in. Of course, it took a half an hour...

It was so crammed, as a matter of fact, that we couldn't get to the stairs to the passenger area. A dozen people climbed up this ladder before I started my ascent only to get yelled at by the ferry operator. I stifled sticking my tongue out at him and finished my climb. Everyone else had to inhale and crab-walk past the cars to the stairs.

Here's Lena & me enjoying the ride.

Then we drove to the Golden Rock hotel where the trail started. I must digress here again. I completely forgot about this awesome place. They've done a fantastic job of blending old with new. It's one of the neatest places on both islands. It will be on our next Nevis tour...

Ok, we're back to the hike again... We did this hike during our first Nevis visit a couple of years ago, but it was rainy, chilly, muddy, and slippery. We wanted to do it again under better conditions. They were definitely better this time, although it was still slippery at the top. The hike took about one and a half hours one way, so wasn't too bad.

Here's where we were going.

There were some great gnarly trees along the way. Don't you just expect the tree roots to start moving toward Tina? Doesn't look like she's aware of this possibility, however.

Here's one view point.

The mountain wasn't engulfed in clouds like usual, so we did actually get a hazy view occasionally.

There were even a couple of waterfalls.

It was really lush.

Fools...Can you tell we weren't tired yet? There aren't any pictures of us coming back...

We had mossy steps to negotiate.

Slippery slopes with ropes to assist us.

And narrow, slippery ledges to cling to. Wahoo! My kind of hiking!

And finally, a loooong, rusty, rickety ladder to climb in order to get to "the source."

Turns out Lena was scared of heights, but she was determined to conquer the thing and did. Yay Lena! Now if only there was an elevator to get back down...

Here comes Tina!

No! Don't look down!

Another happy face at the top. Yahoo!

Here we are around the "pool" cheering on all the brave souls

Michael, of course, had to further scramble up to see what else was there was to see (nothing so it wasn't worth the tumble he took). You must note his "backpack." It's a tourist beach bag with St. Kitts brightly embroidered on it. We do have hiking bags, why this one? I learned to stop asking these questions a long time ago.

Back at the bottom, our hiking hosts had coolers full of water, ginseng (a non-alcoholic drink you have to acquire a taste for), beer, and Smirnoff ice. If that wasn't enough, they made a huge pot of rice and some kind of spicy meat. Of course, that wasn't for us, but how nice that it was provided. And all for free (we only paid for the ferry ride)!

Back on the ferry and a look from afar at what we just climbed and that was it!

We took much needed showers and then had another one of Mike's gargantuan cheese sandwiches with homemade French fries. Awesome.

We learned about an old French military trail in St. Kitts we want to do next. We hope to have lots and lots more hiking in our future! No - hashing is just not enough! Hans & Kristen - bring your hiking boots! If we can pry you away from the pool, that is.