Friday, May 31, 2013

Six Waterfalls in One Day

Last Saturday, I went with Kedar and his hiking photography bosses to Tobago to hike/ walk to six waterfalls throughout the island for pictures.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 5:45 a.m. and we were supposed to catch the 9:45 p.m. flight back (when I saw the return time, I was all O_o). Since it was a domestic flight, Kedar said he was going for around 5 to check in. My sister missed a flight some years back when she went to check in an hour before, so I nagged so he could drag his butt out a bit earlier. Naturally, he didn't listen. At 4:30 a.m., I got a call saying that Kedar's brakes disc broke off around the bend from the airport and if I could ask my dad to drive me down. He was waiting for his dad and the tow truck at the side of the road.
Our flight was a bit late. Kedar and I got soaked boarding the plane cause we didn't know where to get the transparent garbage bag rain coats. We reached around 6:30 a.m. and had to wait at the airport until 7 for the guides that the bosses hired, to take us around. We got breakfast, changed into our hiking gear and waited. I saw some Form 2 and 4 students also waiting to go somewhere. We also saw Kedar's sister who was spending the weekend on the island with her friends.
After the guides reached, we separated into two cars (there were 6 of us plus 2 guides) and we were off.

First stop, Highland Falls.
In Northern Trinidad, the common motifs on a trail are large ferns, vines, curled roots and branches, and lots of canopy.
When we went around Tobago, the canopy wasn't particularly thick, even close to the falls, so the lighting was pretty bad, picture-wise, especially for a point-and-shoot camera person like me (all my pictures of the waterfalls have blue water that I can't remove post because my Windows 8 computer - the only working one I have now - does not have Photoshop). Common motif? Cows. In almost every walking trail (those that were longer than 10 minutes), there were cows. Black and white ones and all-over khaki coloured ones. Most were tied. Most were skinny. Some relayed moossages when we passed. I didn't get any good pictures of them, unfortunately.
Along the trail, I saw these:


Haldi/ turmeric lined the trail. I know the plant root but I've never seen the pink flower.

The waterfall was really pretty...

Then on the way to Castara Falls...


Some birdies were hanging around. I have the Jacamar, great heron, Motmot and a kingfisher.



Some fallen fruit and the rubber tree's flower/fruit


A goat by a mango tree and the Tobago Rose hidden by the trees.


Castara trail and cocoa.


The Castara Falls. When we got there, there was this rasta dude washing his hair by the falls.

We took a rest stop at Castara Bay to restock on water and snacks.


Then we were off to Parlatuvier's falls. Parlatuvier Bay is so pretty. Off the bay to the far left are the 'Sisters', where hammerhead sharks live.

We followed the trail to the Top River Falls where these nice long vines grew on the right of the river.


The falls had water winding down down down...

The Top River Falls.

We then headed to the Argyle Waterfalls which cost us TT$30 each to go on the trail. I was quite disgruntled because we paid the guides around US$100 each and this was not included in the cost. Anyway, the trail was nice...

The bamboo off to the left and right reminded me of the Bamboo Cathedral trail in Chaguaramas.

The Argyle Waterfalls had lots of people so I tried my best to get a shot without anyone in brightly coloured clothing. Kedar and one of the guys climbed up the levels to get shots up and off the top - apparently the water starts in the far right higher up. I couldn't get to the rock on the left without swimming with my bad understatement coordination. By this time it was getting pretty late, so I didn't get a chance to stop for many pictures along the way.

Then we walked along the river to the Twin River Falls. This is where the rivers split. The falls are at the end of the trail to the right. I should mention that while this trail was flat, it was along or through the river, which means that it was very rocky. Kedar and one of the other guys got one perfectly round rock each. I liked the Dalmatian-looking ones.

The Twin River Falls...

We walked back to the cars and headed down to Greenhill Falls. These falls were literally off the road. Like, park, cross, walk down steps close. It was a rainy afternoon so the water was pretty gross.

The water trail in front of the steps.

These were planted at the top, close to the road.


Right off the road, there were two Manicou Crabs - these are cannibals. I only got a poor shot of one because it was really dim.

Then we found a place to shower and change (that had no tables, stools, benches or hooks to put anything so that took forever to balance) and headed to the airport. The sour-faced immigration lady made Kedar and the other guy throw away their rocks. I blame her if they fall on the feet of the person who has to change the garbage bags. It was such a long day! We got on an earlier flight (yay) but still left the island after sunset.

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