Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shirley Heights - Take 2

[Maryanne]We loafed around most of the morning. We were intending to collect our new oars later in the day. Much of the communication on the island is done by VHF rather than phone, so we were able to contact our supplier who told us the oars were in, but he was out for the afternoon; advising us to come tomorrow. No problem!

So we decided instead to try a new trail, that Kyle had noticed on his "Swallow's and Amazon's" dinghy trip the other day.

As Kyle and I have discovered trails in the area, we have followed them. For the most part they seem to be (so far) managed by the an informal club known as Royal Navy Tot Club. We have taken to calling them the "Dot Club" as we follow the white painted dots, for which we have been very grateful many times. The trails pass through various National Parks, and some are quite hard going. After taking a 1/2 mile trail from Freeman Bay to Shirley Heights, gaining 148m (485') to reach the top, we had assumed the 1.5 mile trail with the same start and end would be a more leisurely, and gentle climb. WRONG! this just looped further around the cliffs, took us up AND down, passed some spectacular rock ledge formations scrambling in places like goats, slipping around WAY too close to sheer drops, while all the time avoiding the prickly cacti and other plants. We deserved a drink when we arrived at the top.

This time we had Shirley Heights to ourselves, and it had such a different feel to it; we were able to take some time to admire the scenery, and reflect on our hard earned elevation. Finally the weather was clear enough that for the first time we could see Guadeloupe in the distance. We took the 1/2 mile trail back down, one that we had previously considered steep was now an easy walk! (Or maybe we are simply getting our land legs back?).

We finished the day with a drink at the Galleon bar, and a swim in Freeman Bay to cool down and refresh us.


kate said...

what a cool looking tree growing out of such a steep slope! sounds like a perfect day, and perfectly well-earned. cheers to you both!

Mommy Dearest said...

Yes, I like your second take on Shirley Heights better than your (crowded) first. Other than the 485ft climb it took to get there, it sounds idyllic. Am I right this island is a mixed blessing, or is that just how I'm reading your adventures?