The Upside of El Salvador

Crater Lake

Plant Sculptures

“The Rocky Path”

2,381m

Santa Ana Volcano/ Ilamatepec

Sulphur Lagoon at the crater

In the clouds..

                Monumento a la Revolución (Monument to the Revolution) – “El Chulón”

Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo (Monument to the Divine Savior of the World)

Palacio Nacional (The National Palace)

Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral)

National Police Headquarters

Monument to the fallen soldiers

 

Hiking In Spice Isle Style

Typically hiking is a favourite pass time for those who enjoy exploring nature. It’s an ideal escape where all your problems don’t seem to matter. In the following points I break down the upside and downside of exploring from my experiences.

Great exercise. While basking in all the greatness of Mother Nature you also get to lose a few lbs. The intense cardio work out is more than worth it!

Relax, the return is easier. When you have arrived at your destination free up yourself and enjoy the moment, you’ve done the hard part. The return trip is usually easier given that its mostly downhill however the comfort in knowing that you reached your destination also puts you at ease which leads me to my other point.

Gratification. It’s always a fulfilling and humbling feeling when you’ve reached your destination that gives you a clearer perspective on life; whether its a waterfall or the top of a mountain with a spectacular view.

Be Safe. Before you set off on your adventure it’s mandatory to find out about any potential threats: poisonous snakes, predators. Thankfully I live on an island where there are neither. The animals I usually cross paths with are harmless (dogs, goats, sheep) and they are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Insects. When you’re surrounded by bush and rivers are present be confident in the fact that you will be bombarded by mosquitoes and sand flies. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a vector for transmitting several viruses which include Zika which we recently had an outbreak of. I am grateful I did not contract it given that I have been doing a lot of exploring recently. P.S Insect repellents are becoming obsolete!

Being out of shape. I can attest first hand to the difficulties in being a soul adventurer while being grossly out of shape especially when you don’t hike every week. The after effects can be extremely painful lasting several days. You don’t usually feel it right away but when you get up the next morning it feels likes ten cars ran you over!

Balance. Chasing waterfalls is a passion of mine and sometimes you have to cross or follow the path of the river which means jumping river stones. Something that requires good balance. This so happens to be a task that I find little joy in performing. The thought of falling has a somewhat paralyzing effect on me and so I move as slow as a snail, and offers as amusement for my friends. I’m a work in progress!

When the topography of the area you’re exploring is mostly mountainous (like Grenada aka Isle of Spice) the trail can be very intense. Sometimes you have to get dirty, be on all fours and subject yourself to the squashy feel of mud between your toes. It’s all in the spirit of being one with nature!

 

Tobago Cays Marine Park

In less than 2 months I have had the pleasure of experiencing the wonders of the Grenadines more specifically the Tobago Cays; one less thing on my  bucket list.  On this second time around the trip was much shorter but nonetheless exciting.

The flight from Grenada to Carriacou via SVG Air was smooth although the landing got a bit shaky. The view was spectacular. Instead of a sail boat (Savvys Sailing) we went via speed boat on Simply Carriacou Island Tours. Our ride up to the Cays was a very bumpy one but our captain assured us that the boat was made to ride the waves best.

The Tobago Cays is a Marine protected area that consists of 5 uninhabited islands. It’s most prominent feature is its picturesque turquoise waters. The main inhabitants on these islands are iguanas and birds. Out of all of the islands, Baradal is most fascinating since its located on the boundary of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. As you walk towards the Atlantic side you can feel a slight difference in the temperature. We devoured our scrumptious  lunch on Petit Bateau compliments Chef MandyMan- best Lambi anyone ever had.

IMG_0536

“The Landing”

image1

      1. Jamesby Island

IMG_0634

2. Petit Tabac aka ‘Rumrunners Island’ from The Pirates of the Caribbean:

The Curse of the Black Pearl.

FullSizeRender (31)

3. Baradal Island

IMG_0729

Taking in the view on Baradal Island.

IMG_0632

View of the Caribbean Sea side from Baradal Island.

IMG_0614

View of the Atlantic Ocean side from Baradal Island.

image2

4. Petit Bateau

image3

IMG_0584

5. Petit Rameau

 

A Glimpse of the Grenadines

My three day sailing adventure up the Grenadines has been by far my best boating experience. Although it was my first sailing trip, and given that I am not a deep water lover, it exceeded all expectations and incentive to do it again. It was a truly authentic experience of sun, sea and sand aboard Savvy. Pictures simply doesn’t do justice. After you’re done viewing you’ll feel compelled to book your trip to The Grenadines.

1st stop: Carriacou

okromain-06651

Just landed: Hillsborough

FullSizeRender (23)2

Grabbin’ a bite: Kayak Kafe, Hillsborough

FullSizeRender (22)2

Anse La Roche Beach

2nd stop: Union Island

IMG_03151

“Indeed!”: The Snack Shack, Clifton

IMG_02901

“Where else would you find a bar in the middle of the ocean…” : Happy Island

3rd stop: Tobago Cays Marine Park

FullSizeRender (19)2

Petit Bateau

okromain-09491

“When you have a professional photographer around….” © Orlando Romain

4th stop: Mayreau

FullSizeRender (25)2

Salt Whistle Bay

okromain-10741

5th stop: Saline Island

IMG_03901

Spice Isle Rock

I was meant to be where the coldest it ever gets is 70 degrees
life is simple; there’s no autumn, winter, summer or fall
where you can walk the streets any time any day
and the sunset never ceases to take your breath away.

I was meant to be near the sea
And feel the sand between my feet,
to explore the forests deep
and revel in its serenity.

I was meant to be where childhood entailed climbing trees, stoning plum and running bare foot.
where games such as hop scotch, moral, and hand games were when girls united
and marbles got the boys competitive.
where during the Easter season the sound of kites are heard all through the night.

I’m meant to be where mangoes and cashews are a big part of our diet
where a cook ain’t a cook without oil down,
and drinking coconut water on a hot day is a norm.
I’m meant to be where rivers serve many purposes including catching cray fish.
And there’s a rum shop in every nook and cranny.

I’m meant to be where cocks crow daily and animals roam the streets
and when current goes the generators and candles come out.
Where there’s a strong presence of Caribbean Folklore
and our elders speak vehemently about la diablesse and lugarhoo.

I’m meant to be where it’s a norm to go out and have no idea how you’re getting home,
nevertheless it’s the least of your concern.
I come from a land where when carnival comes nothing can stop the Mas,
all you need to have a good time is crazy friends, good music and a bottle ah rum.

I’m meant to be where the atmosphere is so laid back,
You’ll never want to work but lay on the beach 7 days a week.

I’m from a picturesque island in the sun,
where the people are patriotic and the love is so strong.