Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Into The Woods We Go

 Guadeloupe is home to an expansive protected parkland on Basse Terre. This National Park of Guadeloupe is a rich rainforest with volcanic mountains, waterfalls and excellent hiking trails throughout. We read through the guidebooks looking for an appropriate path for our family to take - 2 adults, one carrying infant in Baby Bjorn, 3 boys aged 9, 5, 3, and our dog Stanley.  We chose one labeled Easy that begins at the base of the volcanic mountain La Soufrier.
We headed through the town of St Claude and followed the steep road up to the starting point. There did not seem to be any signs, however, we were able to follow a clear cobblestone road.  Four barking dogs came out to welcome us as we passed a farm house. The rooster and chickens ran around us as we continued along the path.  It took us past fields and up and up until the path seemed to disappear.  We stopped at the top of the hill for a drink break and a snack and took pictures of the stunning view. We were all pretty excited by our successful first hike and headed back to the car.
On the windy drive back down the mountain we noticed a curious sign directing us down another road. It seemed to be indicating an official hike. This entry point had a map and a sign. This was indeed the trail we had been originally looking for.  We felt a little sheepish as we realized we had just spent an hour hiking and picnicking in some farmer's field.

Anyway, this hike was delightful. We followed a clear pathway through the leafy green forest until we arrived at the riverside. We continued along the rocks to the lovely Matouba waterfall. Water spurts out of the gully and spills into a deep basin. I stayed on the lower rocks at the river's edge with baby Milo, Odin and our dog Stanley as Peter took the older boys up and over the cliff. They loved climbing the rope ladder to the next level.
After a successful day traipsing through the woods we headed to the beach for a quick cool down before dark.  We are looking forward to going on more hikes together, however, this time I think we will remember to bring the map!

1 comment:

  1. wow! looks gorgeous! did everyone climb that rope up those roots?