In your opinion, which ways can help you experience the vagaries of nature-not merely trotting around on a rural road? For me, the best hike is answer and I had several hikes over different terrain especially when I was a young adult-a moderate trek to the Maracas Waterfall. It is a bit of a workout mixed with ample fun in a four-hour excursion.
It was a cool Sunday morning when our large hiking group gathered at the foot of the Northern Range. The ultimate goal was reaching the waterfall, one of the best on the island of Trinidad. I noticed the effect of the morning dew increased the humidity and dampened the abundant foliage of the Maracas hills.
Our trek began at a lively pace; the initially moderate gradient providing much encourage to the less fit hikers in our group. Nature’s wishes ensured that we got out feet wet, after being forced to wade through the thigh-high (but mercifully clear) water of a robust stream. We continued our purposeful strides while listening to the incongruent chirps of birds nestled comfortably in the flora. That the wide trail we traversed was littered with decaying leaves lent comfort to our tiring legs. With the gradually steeper ascent of the hiking trail, our motley group of hikers seemed to get closer to the early morning sunlight that pierced the thick forest cover.
To reach our goal, we had to rise and then descend. I almost descended too well, nearly toppling over and taking a fellow trotter with me. Arriving at the waterfall-after close to an hour of hiking uphill-was a reward in itself. My hiking group, so cohesive at the start, arrived at the waterfall in an oddly disparate manner. The waterfall was powerful and was right at the heart of the Northern Range. It was only three “drops” high-perhaps not more than 80 feet high. It certainly seemed more powerful than it was high.
The pool of water surrounding the fall was multi-coloured. We soon figured that the different hues reflected various depths; the shallow area was rather transparent while the deep area was opaque and dark green. Fortunately for the many non-swimmers and cowards in the group (me included), there substantial area of shallow water to wade through. I did not dare venture beyond my comfort zone, avoiding the forbidding depths surrounding the plunging water.
The more adventurous hikers challenged the power of the water-swimming directly under the drop. Around the fall was deep enough for divers. Indeed, some daring folks executed dives into the deep-although they would have been lucky to qualify for Village Olympics with their efforts.
Perhaps the hardest part of the hike to Maracas Waterfall was the uphill movement. It was one of the better hikes I have been to, where you can combine the rigors of a hike with frolicking in the water and a picnic on the smooth slabs of rock. The hike to the waterfall was a mixture of adventure, sightseeing and relaxation. For all of the hikers, it was certainly worth waking up early on a Sunday morning.