Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Rainforest Adventure

A favorite lunch spot for Cory and Brad (and lots of other Ross students as well) is called OJ's Ital. OJ sets up shop in a large truck across the street from school, and makes some amazing vegetarian meals
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Ital is the Rasta term for “Vital”, which is a strict diet and way of life. Most commonly Rasta food is pure, unprocessed, and unsalted...and vegetarian. (I highly recommend the veggie lasagna...so good)
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Sometimes, OJ's other Rasta buddies hang out there for lunch as well, and Cory and Brad ended up meeting a few of them awhile ago. They told Cory and Brad about where they work, and life on the island in general. One really nice guy, Randy, offered to take them hiking where he lived and worked, since it was near the rainforest and very scenic. So they fianlly took him up on his offer, and we all drove to meet him at the part of the island where his village is located.

We picked up Randy in his village, and he showed us the way to begin driving up the mountainside. We drove through huge sugar cane fields, giant puddles of mud, sections of rainforest and pretty much everywhere that didn't look like it could be a road. It was some serious off-roading, but very fun. Here is some video I took during the drive both up and back down.....(not for those who easily get motion sickness!!)



Once we drove as far as the road could take us, we parked on the side of the mountain, and prepared for our hike. We even had a giant bull hanging out nearby to guard our car for us
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This bull had quite the nice view from where he was tied up
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The hike started out in the open cane fields, surrounded by local farms. Here is Brad stopping to try an orange that Randy picked off of a tree for him
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But as we kept hiking a ways, we were suddenly in the middle of a rainforest.... the trail got very narrow, slippery, and steep at times....
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Here is Cory standing next to some huge plants
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And to show some perspective of how tall the trees and plants were, you can see how tiny Brad and Randy are at the bottom of the picture
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We came across a small waterfall, just a tiny amount of water trickling down between the tree roots
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And at the end of our hike, we arrived at a larger waterfall, which Randy explained to us is also the main water source for the village of Cayon, where he lives.
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Here is a little video montage of the hike:





One really tall tree in the rainforest had huge leaves, and they did a good job of blocking out alot of light
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Once the leaves got ready to fall, the changed from green to white. Look how big they were!
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When we finally hiked out of the rainforest and back to the car, we found that the bull had really taken a liking to our car. He was licking the front of it, it almost looked like he was trying to kiss it. Here is some video:





After we had returned to the car, Randy showed us some of the nearby farms, and what they grow there. A lot of the farms surround an old sugar mill
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Here are a bunch of banana trees
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I think this was an orchard of passionfruit trees
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Randy even picked some fruit for us to try. Here is Cory enjoying a starfruit, or 5 fingers as they are usually called here. They are really good!
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And I am eating a tasty guava in one hand, and a small St.Kitts cherry in the other hand. The cherries look like tiny red pumpkins, and they have 3 seeds inside instead of just 1
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We even spotted a little friend hanging out on the farm too
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As we stopped at one last field, we were parked next to a donkey tied to a tree. It is common here for cow/donkey/horse/goat owners to tie their animals to a spot for awhile, then move them around to another spot to graze. But this poor donkey had gotten himself pretty tangled around the small tree, which didn't give him much rope left to move around. There also wasn't anything left for him to eat where he was tied, just dead sugar cane. I was able to feed him a couple handfulls of grass that I picked, but we still felt bad for him.
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So we decided to help him. Cory and Randy untangled his rope from the tree, then Randy untied him and led him down the road a little ways to a new spot full of lots of tall, fresh grass. He seemed very happy after that. Here is a video of his "rescue":





After saving the donkey, we enjoyed the view one more time before heading back down.
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And here is a quick narration from Cory up at one of the fields overlooking the village of Cayon:





Once we made it down to the bottom and back to Randy's village, he brought us over to meet his horse, Turbulence.
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We also hung out at a local bar for a little bit, to get some drinks and relax after our long hike. We stuck out like sore thumbs...this village is in a more remote location on St. Kitts, and it isn't exactly a place where any tourists go. So we attracted a bit of a crowd of locals from Randy's village. But they could see that we were friends with Randy, and that we were nice, so they were respectful of us being there.

Once we finally headed home, we stopped quickly near the edge of their village so I could get a quick shot of this beautiful church
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The hike was quite an adventure, and we were very tired and sore afterwards. But we are looking forward to meeting up with Randy again soon, and finding more challenging hikes to do with him.

2 comments:

*BITCHES* said...

i LOVE all these pics, i just scrolled thru them really fast so ill have to go back and read the captions but it looks sooooo beautifully amazing there! i CAN NOT wait to visit!

Krista K. said...

So jealous... I am definetely coming next time... Maybe we will rent a car that day.. lol.