Thursday, October 25, 2012

Found It!

The goal: find the hypersaline pond on Chacachacare

Snake plants, but no snakes
 When we flew back into Trinidad in September, the plane came in low over Chacachacare, and we saw a pond on the southern side. This pond is indicated neither on the nautical chart, nor on the drawn map in the guide book. Well, I see that as a challenge; we’ve got to find it. My recent blog on hiking Chacachacare detailed our first attempt to get to the pond, or even just to see it. It looked like we might be able to go over or along the western ridge to get to it (hence our fighting our way to the hot, rocky top of that hill), but that didn’t work out (though we did get a nice hike out of it). So the next time we were at Chacachacare, we followed the offshoot trail we found that traversed the southern ridge, and—BINGO!—there it was. Along the way, the trail passed through four distinct groves of snake plants (related to and resembling the plant known as mother-in-law’s tongue), and another short offshoot led to a cliff overlooking a little beach where we saw the tracks of two nesting turtles. The trail terminated at a rocky beach that looked south over the Gulf of Paria. It had rained hard two days before, and the mosquitoes were out with a vengeance (we each had our own little buzzing entourage), so we used a lot of Deep Woods Off as we traipsed through the woods. We were hot and sticky and smelled of bug spray by the time we got back to the dinghy, but we had accomplished our goal—always a good feeling!
Turtle tracks on isolated Chacachacare beach

Chris leads the way with our trusty cutlass

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