Monday, 9 September 2013

Exploring T&T: Turure Water Steps

Eat your heart out, Dora!

For a small country, Trinidad and Tobago has a lot to offer. In my few travels abroad I've seen and experienced a lot of amazing places, which  made me want to see and experience more of my country. It was with this desire that I decided to participate in a hike to the Turure Water Steps (TWS), three weeks ago that was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Sangre Grande Central. Situated in Cumaca Village, Valencia, the steps are a series of limestone formations that get bigger the higher you climb. At the base of each step, there are pools of water that are great for taking a dip, sitting, posing for photos, jumping into, or finding crayfish and other animal life. 

There I was, dressed in an over-sized track pants and T-shirt with bright orange and black sneakers, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Everything was so peaceful, like the sound of the birds chirping, the air felt/ smelt clean, and the view of the surrounding mountains was breathtaking. I remember feeling rejuvenated, and being very eager to start the adventure.

Eventually, we were asked to assemble at the beginning of the trail, and were greeted by our friendly, neighbourhood Hike Master, Emile. Although I had only been in his presence for, like 5 seconds, I was drawn to how passionate he was about hiking. He had this excited- almost manic- look in his eyes (as though the prospect of giving us a glimpse into his incredible world made his day), was very expressive, and exuded joy. He was also very knowledgeable about the history of the area. Honestly, I can’t remember most of it (I know, I studied history, I should be embarrassed), but I was definitely impressed and even more excited.

Finally, we were on our way up a hill, covered with rocks and stones of varying sizes. My excitement lasted for about five minutes as it gave way to heavy breathing, heavy sweating, and heavy, mental cursing. It was so physically demanding for me because I lead a sedentary lifestyle. I had to pace myself and make sure that I breathed through my nose and out my mouth.

Before I knew it, I found a rhythm: go up steep incline, go down steep incline, duck under tree branch, go over tree branch, slip in mud, be rescued by random dude I don’t know, go up two more inclines, lend a helping hand to that girl who was worried about her hair getting frizzy, roll eyes at said girl’s silly concerns, cross a river, complain about my shoes and track pants getting wet, cross another river, sit on a rock in the river, pose for a photo, drink some water, complain some more, and repeat with some variation for 35- 40 minutes.

By the time the Hike Master announced that we had arrived at the first step, it took all of my depleted strength not to pass out. As my heart rate slowed down, I observed how interesting the steps were. I mean, they seemed to have risen from the bottom of the river. There were the steps themselves with water cascading around them and smaller areas of rock that were fantastic for walking, casually. Equally interesting was the fact that no moss grew on the limestone, which also adhered to the sole of your shoes. Both made it possible to walk on the rock without slipping, and easily climb it to get to the other steps. Nature can be cool! 
That's me, with the orange sneakers, walking up a rock, like Spiderman

After climbing some more, I arrived at the biggest step, and just stared in awe at its size. Unfortunately, some “humans” saw it fitting to spoil the view by carving their stupid, pointless names in the rock. Like, who does that? Couldn't they have just marvelled at nature and leave without spoiling it? Ugh! Anyway, I opted not to go to the top and settled for sitting on a rock with my sneaker clad feet in the water. 

Like so...
The hike back was uneventful, unless you count my slipping three times in the river, falling down on my butt twice, sliding down an incline, and getting bitten by an ant and thinking that I was going to die as uneventful. Overall, it was a great day spent in the great outdoors, exploring my sweet country. I can’t wait to do it again!

Until the next post!