I am up early getting bags packed with snacks, water, change of clothes including shoes, laptop (just in case we have good wifi we can post a blog), camera (is the gopro charged, nikon, and our phone), our maps, bug spray (zika virus), and sunscreen (see mom). For snacks I boiled enough eggs for all of us to have two each, I have crackers, cheese, chocolate, granola bars, apple and orange slices, and nuts. I think we are all set.
Matt drops Johannes and Mary off to get the car and he rides over to pick up the fish while I clean the kitchen. Loaded up we head toward the town to find our route for Trafalgar Falls. After a couple wrong turns down a few one ways, we figure out that when people are yelling at us while we are turning it means we are turning the wrong way onto a one way. I suppose that works almost as effectively as street signs. I had downloaded an app early that had all the GPS coordinates of the main attractions. We are using it to find Trafalgar Falls. It is wrong and we are way lost. We stop a car driving by and ask for directions, he tells us to follow him and he will get us almost there and then we can stop and ask someone else. This becomes our pattern. There is a sticker in the windshield that says, remember to keep left, honk frequently and drive safe. There are never any stop signs or street lights, you just honk to let people know you are coming, especially on narrow roads as we take corners.
We arrive at Trafalgar Falls and buy the week long national park pass because it is the most cost effective option if we are going to see more than than 3 sights. The pass cost $39EC which is roughly $13.00 US per person.
Just as we get started walking it starts to rain, I worry for the camera but it is only sprinkling so I snap a few photos while hanging out under a tree. The trail is very well maintained, and an easy walk till you get to the viewing platform. As you start to approach the viewing platform the first thing you see is a 8- foot high waterfall cascading into a sea of giant boulders, that waterfall is known as the father. Then you start to scan and you see a 50 foot waterfall known as the mother directly to your right also falling into a pile of boulders that in turn have made a number of smaller waterfalls. We take off from the safe platform and all start climbing over the boulders and seeing how close we can get. We did not stop to take any swims along this hike, however, since Hurricane Ericka hit this summer it moved some of the boulders around exposing hot pools for bathing. What a rush. We are sweating, and want to actually jump into the water so we take off back to the car for the next adventure, Middleham Falls.
It is a short drive here, even shorter when you don’t get lost, but it is a solid hike. According to the guidebook it is 4 miles round trip. Not an easy 4 miles but climbing over muddy rocks and steep inclines. Matt is of course only wearing flip flops and as people pass him, they ALL comment on his choice of shoes. The weird part is that Matts feet are actually the cleanest with the least amount of mud. You can always hear the falls before you see them, but holy shit the moment it is revealed is incredible. At 165 feet tall falling into a pool of water and creating a rainbow at the same time it is stunning. Matt is the first one to climb down and jump in.
I take some photos and head down there. Jump into the water and it is a 1000 needles all over your body the water is so cold. I love it. What a thrill. I hardly want to leave when its time to go. Johannes was smart and brought his soap to take a shower. The walk back is little easier since it is down hill and Matt and I jog down playing tag and catch. I usually win this game, plus I am wearing better shoes.
After the hike Mary is feeling like it would be a good idea to check out the sulphur springs we saw signs for along the way. Relax our muscles. We make our way to Wotten Waven, always stopping to ask the way. Usually, people are so excited to see you and be helpful, however, when we got to Wotton Waven and tried to find the sulpher springs no one seemed to know what we were talking about. We were directed to some spas that have man made hot pools. But the hot water is coming from the river so we know there must be natural baths we can sit in. Matt finds the river and you can see these pockets in which steam and boiling water is coming up. I think we have to hike up the river to find a nice place with a warm bath. At this point the group seems undecided about what to do, I am hungry and Mary agrees lets get lunch and then decide. We find a nice place, actually a little to nice. Matt and I head down the hill to a small shack for some fries and fried chicken with beer. Mary and Johannes decide they are not hungry so they find a spot to use wifi. While chatting with the owner of the shack he explains that the natural sulphur pools are secrets among each local. They all have their own spot. So no one will tell you which way to go. He did offer us the location of a place they hang out and take a shower. We headed there to see it and rinse off before moving on.
Our last waterfall of the day. Emerald Pools. After a few more wrong turns we make it there once everything is closed. The locals explain we can still go see it just at our own risk. Hmmm…well that is not a problem. It is a short walk and a beautiful site. We take our photos and call it a day.