Monday, July 2, 2012

The Source

Any rain we were going to see from that tropical wave came Saturday night (well, early Sunday am), right as Toni Braxton got going on the final night of the Music Festival. It downright poured for a half hour, soaking the audience and leaving them to stand in the mud for the rest of the set (well, the non-VIPs anyway). I heard she was so good though, that most people stood their ground. Unfortunately for those artists to follow, people were getting cold (wet + winds) and started to leave. It's never perfect...

Actually, Sunday turned out to be pretty close. First up was our hike to one of the island's water sources. What's becoming fun about these Sunday treks is that you never know who's going to show up. Popcorn used to throw parties like that - it was fun to network and meet new people.  Now we're doing it while working up a sweat. Here we go.

Today's rotting veggie? Cucumbers. They looked like squash all yellowed, but they were once delicious and now wasted cucumbers. Grr.

While we didn't get rain, it was cloudy - which looked cool out on the water. It was fabulously windy too.

For some reason, that first bit just to get to the start of the source trail seemed tougher than last time. You used to be able to drive this, but no more. Rest stop #1.

We had been expecting Greg from Greg Safari's (born and raised here and who started the whole nature-hike tour industry on St. Kitts), but he was either running late or not coming, so we had headed off without him. When we got to where David thought the path started (he hadn't done this hike in over a decade), we couldn't find it. Hmm.

David walked back to see if we missed it somewhere and ran into Greg. That certainly worked out, because here was the entrance - I'm not sure we ever would have found that (as hashers, we were tempted to put a tie wrap on it...).

Once on the trail, it was pretty easy to follow; the water department must maintain it. See the remnants of what must have been some kind of rail/fencing?

Lots of fern-like moss lined the trail initially. You'll note the brown leaves too - slip-per-y.

Water pipes were all over (I still wonder if some of them have any lead in them) and sometimes with the water running through them would sound like those Australian didgeridoos. You did not want to step on them - they were very slick.

There was a cool little geyser-type thing where we could all get a bit of fresh water.

And, of course, we must always go up.

Rest stop #2.

No one told Simone that we were switching this hike from the usual, "leisurely" walk to this slippery climb through the rainforest, so she wasn't prepared mentally or physically - wearing these shoes with absolutely no grip. She did great though (but should not wear those for the usual hike either - it's not that leisurely).

These pipes had different amounts of water in them, so made cool sounds. Babbaloo'!

Gaining altitude.

And then we ran across this gate. Shrug.

Not much farther and we could see the source/waterfall.

Derek took a little tumble over the cliff side, right before reaching the target. We had to watch our foot placement the entire hike, because we were on a rather narrow ledge almost the whole way. As I mentioned, wet leaves, roots, and water pipes criss-crossed the route so you had to tread carefully. Cosmo the pooch went over the side at one point too, but was able to claw his way back up. In Derek's case, I think he was looking at the waterfall when he slipped. Luckily, he grabbed a root and held on until the guys could pull him back up. No problem! He made it the rest of the way and we all celebrated with a drink from the sweet, clean water.

I have to admit, I don't think it was what any of us expected exactly, but that water is gushing out from the cliff side, not over from an unseen stream above. There's no real pool to hang out in, but you can climb behind the fall and take pics and/or get wet.  We filled up our water bottles too (I finished it off during my workout this morning - yummy).

Brian enjoying the fresh air.

David celebrating the fact that he's one year out from his massive heart attack and able to accomplish this hike at all. Excellent.

The way back entailed a couple of challenging spots - there really isn't anything to grab onto when you're going downhill, so you have to watch your momentum. Luckily, there weren't too many of those areas.

Several hikers employed the slide-on-your butt technique figuring it was better to voluntarily be down there (and have a lower center of gravity), but there were still some entertaining moments.  I have Prithy to thank for keeping me on my feet during one slip up. I also thank(ed) her for taking on the spiderwebs that were stretched across the trail. Ick.

Greg is an expert on all things green, so always stops and shows you things you might not have known about the plants around you. This one was used as a perfume, but I wasn't impressed.

That little geyser was shooting higher on the way back and Popcorn couldn't resist.

Prithy, Popcorn and I got back a good 1/2 hour ahead of the rest of the pack for some reason. We were quite happy to have a cooler of beverages to enjoy while we waited. As a matter of fact, once everyone was back, we stayed under the Poinciana tree for over 2 hours just chatting and resting up. The hike took about 3 1/2 hours (4 for some) and probably would have taken Michael and me about 2 1/2 if hiking at our normal pace. David's phone app clocked the trek at around 12km/7.5mi.  Add in the chit chat after, and we didn't hit the road until after 2pm (with a 9am start time).

The route (we started from the right).

Endomondo (free app)
By the time we showered and got cleaned up it was too late for any sunning, so we headed to Spice Mill to check out their annual after Music Festival concert.

When we got there, Courtney Pine was playing - we had seen him Friday night. He serenaded his wife, Jeune, with a birthday song and we all sang along (she's in the leopard-print dress).

All was well, until his last song, where he hit and held a key that sent every dog in the neighborhood whining and running away with their tails between their legs. I had to stick my fingers in my ears until it was over (is that blood?). Yowza - just because you can; doesn't mean you should.

Let's have a zen moment by staring at Nevis and all all its weather moments, shall we?

Next up was Rob Zii Taylor from St. Lucia and some other musicians/singers from there as well, all featured on his new CD (Destiny). The whole group was fantastic. I get on the fence about ensembles like Courtney Pine, because I'm not thrilled about instrumental music. I need words to go with my tunes. Taylor combines the two and is just amazing.

These little girls were hysterical. They'd pick a move, do it in unison, and then get all the grown ups around them to copy them.

We planned on leaving when Taylor was done, but a DJ started playing some really good stuff, so we ended up dancing to that for a bit before finally tearing ourselves away and going home (there were more bands to follow).

I'm glad the week is here so I can recover...