You dingy up to a beautiful beach in the stunning Grenadine Islands, cooler full of Carib, ready to layout that towel and lime away in paradise. Sounds like complete heaven right? To a point. You can lay on a beach anywhere and sip rum until you forget your name, the reward of getting to know your surroundings and exploring a little is well work the effort. Then you can say you have truly been to a place, and not just the beach.
The first thing I did when washing up on Anse La Roche on Carriacou and two islands in the Tobago Cays was to explore. Sunscreen slathered on, camera in hand, ready to get a lay of the land. My foot prints in the sand quickly lead into thick brush, interesting trails and run-ins with modern day dinosaurs.
Carriacou is part of Grenada’s Grenadine Islands. It was our clearing out spot while sailing on the Island Windjammers’ Diamant. Near the north end of the island on the lee side is a secluded stretch of sand called Anse La Roche. We dingy up to the beach and the Bama Babes and other guest were quick to stake out plots and bask in the beauty of the setting. Who can blame them, the setting was beyond beautiful. I had other plans though. I set off down the beach to find adventure and found what looked like a trail leading up the hill into the lush forest. Time to get lost.
When I see a trail an almost irresistible urge comes over me to find out where it goes. The fact that I set out hiking up an unmarked trail all by myself on a Caribbean island I had never visited before didn’t even strike me as something that might not be a smart thing to do. Hey, when in Rome right! I’m not saying it wasn’t smart, just that I didn’t tell anyone where I was going and had no idea where the path lead to.
I followed the trail up a steep hillside into a clearing that gave stunning views of the Diamant below and Union Island miles away to the north. I hiked further until the clearing gave way to thick jungle like forest. The trail was still there but fading a bit. I’m not sure how long I walked, probably 25 minutes in one direction. I crossed another ridge line and finally decided to turn back. I had no idea where the trail would end up or how long it went on. I was soaked in sweat and thoughts of ice cold Carib on the beach were starting to sound pretty good. Exploration urge satisfied….for now.
A couple days later, after leaving Bequia, we arrived in what many call the most beautiful spot in the Caribbean, the Tobago Cays. The Cays are a group of 5 small islands that are protected as a national park. It truly is a special spot, one I never wanted to leave.
After our lunch on the beach it was time to do some exploring. The first island we visited in the Cays was Petit Bateau. I didn’t find a lot of trails to explore, but there was one that led to the windward side of the island. I didn’t find much there so it was joined the group for some underwater exploring with fins and a mask.
The second island, Baredol, was a lot smaller but had a bounty of trails to explore. While walking these trails you quickly realize you’re not along. Huge iguana litter the path, sunning themselves on the warm Caribbean dirt. Their eyes were locked onto me as I dodged cactus and low hanging branches. It didn’t take long to exhaust the trails that basically wrap around the small island. It took all of 15 minutes to see the inner workings of the island. Now once again it was time to do that all important activity…limin’ island style.
Do you like to explore and get lost on purpose or chill at the beach with a cocktail? You win either way!