I had already tried it in Barbados. Walking through the jungle. Unfortunately there isn't that much of it there. In St. Lucia, the waterfall was clogged with a horde of tourists. Jörg Bauer finally wants to see a beautiful waterfall and I want to go into the jungle. So we get into the rental car and drive off. All the way north to the Cascade Couleuvre. It should be very jungle there. New island - new luck. Neither of us should be disappointed.
As usual in France, there is a parking lot at the starting point. A signpost tells us that the route to the waterfall is only about 1.5 kilometers long. Almost seems a little too little to me. I wanted to go hiking. After the first few meters, however, we already notice that the route will not be that easy. We have to go through the river right at the beginning. There are no bridges. What the heck, I have waterproof shoes. Jörg trudges ahead in his sandals.
We only make slow progress on the narrow and very slippery path. The path is always uphill, along the small river. We're only on the road for 10 minutes, but my t-shirt is wet. We're in the shade under the huge trees, but it's still hot. I estimate the humidity to be just over 100 percent.
The jungle shows its wonderful side. Ferns, palms, huge trees overgrown with moss, and here and there a colorful flower. I keep stopping to take a photo or listen to the sounds of the jungle. But you shouldn't stand still too long. The sweat begins to drip from the face with every break. So on and on through the river.
A little further on we stop to take a sip of water. The T-shirts stick to our bodies. Jörg sees another hiker waving. He points to a bush and calls out something in French. There's something cool there, so I go there and dig my camera out of my backpack. When I see what is slowly crawling over a branch, I start to grin widely. A colorful tarantula! - Bath salts Fans can now smile - I would never have seen them there. I am excited and take around 5000 photos. Jörg ran on for a long time.
I have to really accelerate to catch up with Jörg. The spider fascinated me too much and he has a lead of maybe 5 minutes. It's good that my t-shirt can't get any more wet. One river crossing further and I see him again. In the background we can hear the waterfall rustling softly. So it can't be far.
At the waterfall we see a similar sight as on St. Lucia. Small groups of people cavort under the waterfall in swimwear and take photos. Just not twenty busloads, but a maximum of twenty people. So there is no big crowd and everyone comes under the waterfall.
A few hundred meters from our anchorage in Carlisle Bay are three shipwrecks lying on the bottom at a depth of 3-5 meters. Tourists are carted there on tour boats for snorkeling. The price of such a tour is between $ 60 and $ 90. Jörg Bauer and I grab snorkels and fins, jump into the dinghy and set off on our own. In a closed area we find a buoy to moor and jump into the water. I had never really snorkeled before. We float weightlessly, head down on our belly in the water. The water is pleasantly warm. It's a great feeling.
It doesn't take long for us to find the first wreck. As an artificial reef, it is home to hundreds of small, colorful fish that I only know from the aquarium.
The fish come closer curiously and when I turn around, a whole shoal romps around my feet. I'm slowly getting used to breathing through the snorkel. I could hang around here for hours.
As soon as a large fish approaches, the little ones disappear under the protection of the wreck in a split second.
There are supposed to be turtles here, but unfortunately we don't get to see them. Instead, a large marine mammal slowly glides over me.
It is Friday, January 24th. We - Burti, Jörg Bauer, Jörg and I decided today to take a bus trip north. There is said to be a part of the old jungle. The right bus is the line towards St. Andrews Church. He should drive once an hour, but we don't know exactly when. So we sit down at the bus station and wait.
And we wait, wait and wait. At some point one of the bus drivers speaks to us and asks where we want to go. We explain to him that we want to go to Turner Hall Wood to see the jungle. He shakes his head in disbelief: “There's nothing there. This is boring. Why do you want to go there? Better go to the old windmill or another attraction. ” However, he cannot answer the question of when our bus actually comes. We pass the waiting time with the stands around the bus station. There are cold drinks, grilled chickens and WiFi.
Our bus arrives after about two hours. We drive off and land in the thickest Friday afternoon after-work traffic jam. There is also the end of school and there are children in school uniforms everywhere who want to get on the bus. The bus is full and it's hot. The cooling of the open windows does not work in a traffic jam. Slowly resentment and whine spreads among my passengers. “My water is all.”, “I want a cold beer.”, “I want a cold coke.”, “I am so hot!”, “How long?”, “I don't feel like it anymore.”, "Will we be there soon?" ... And so we drive through the jungle to the next place on the coast. We get something cold to drink there and wait two hours for the bus to drive us back. It was fully worth it.
It is Saturday January 25th. My birthday. (Ok, now that I am writing this post, it is much later and we are now on St. Lucia. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for the many congratulations. I was very happy.) My wish for this day is to drive into the jungle again, get out earlier and hike a few kilometers. And alone. I don't want to hear a whine and besides, the blanket from Sissi falls on my head after the weeks at sea.
So I'm going back to the bus station. The bus arrives in less than a quarter of an hour, the traffic in the city is moderate and after about 30 minutes I get off in Porey Spring.
Apparently there is a small Rasta community at home here. Palm trees, walls and signs announce that Yah brings love and the Rastas will win the war without weapons.
A fountain is shared for laundry and personal hygiene.
My path continues along the road. Small cow pastures and thick jungle take turns. I walk through small villages with houses lined with palm trees and old trees.
There is not much left of the jungle. But there are always small oases with dense forest.
After about two hours of walking, I find a small bar and stop off. My stomach is growling. Rice with chicken and coleslaw is on the menu. The portion is huge and the chicken is very tasty. In a corner of the bar there is a small DJ desk and loud reggae music booms out of the loudspeaker. The DJ looks like he could be the little brother of Snoop Dogg be. As if cut from the face. Again and again he is warned by the bar woman to turn down the music. As soon as it briefly disappears backwards, Snoop Dogg turns up the volume again. He also dances with his buddies across the bar. Is that because of the rum?
After eating I set off again. I find a yellow bus parked on a property. One of the bus drivers probably lives there.
At the next corner I turn off the main street and go down a path steeply. I wanted to go there yesterday. In the Turner Hall Wood. Unfortunately, there is no real jungle feeling, because I can only walk along the edge. The actual jungle is protected and is closed to hikers. I still have fun. Photograph flowers and scrub. Shortly before the path leads me back to the street, I see a few monkeys sitting on the way. They are supposed to be totally cheeky and curious. Not this one. When I take the camera out of my backpack, they notice me and disappear into the undergrowth. Too bad, but I saw monkeys in the wild for the first time. That was a nice birthday present.
There are days when I need a little unnecessary effort. A masochistic voice in me makes my body suffer from pain. Sore muscles can be so nice. Monday is our departure day, so I'm planning a hiking day in Anaga National Park for Sunday. It's supposed to be Sunday, because the buses go there only at 05:30 on weekdays in the morning, and I don't want to torture myself so much after all. The timetable says that the departure at “Sabados” is at 07:30. After all, sleep two hours longer. I should have tried a couple of hours of Spanish for a long time. Friday evening, before going to bed, Jörg and I look again at the timetable to plan a tour on Saturday. Other bus lines also have “Domingos” as days in the timetable. Crap! Sabados are Saturdays. I have to start the hike tomorrow, because this bus doesn't run on Sundays.
My alarm clock rings at 06:00. I pack a bottle of water and a few other things in my backpack and make my way to the Intercambiador, the central bus station.
Unfortunately bread is out. I can buy something on the way. Think! At that time the city was pitch black. No people on the street and no shops open. In the bus station there is nothing for breakfast other than coffee. Then I buy something in Chamorga, the final stop. Many hikes start from there, so hungry hikers can certainly eat there too.
I am the only passenger on the bus. According to the timetable, the journey takes approximately one hour. I find € 1.25 for a fair fare. The bus winds through the narrow streets into the mountains. The rising sun turns the low-hanging clouds pink. Spanish fiesta music can be heard on the radio and the driver is slowly torturing the bus with manual switching up the mountains. After about 2 hours I will be dropped off in Chamorga.
The place is very clear. After 10 minutes I saw everything. Also the building, which was probably a bar or a snack bar at some point. Nobody far and wide. So I have no choice but to start on an empty stomach and without food. A 10-kilometer hiking trail towards the coast promises a supermarket in the next town, according to the information board. Fine.
Fog hangs in the mountains. The forests in Anaga are a kind of rainforest. It is also the wettest region on the island. The trails are wet and slippery.
Legends about witches who mischief in the forests and caves of the mountains are told. I can imagine that very well. The landscape looks magical and magical.
I take my time and enjoy the fresh air. I can't move quickly on the slippery surface anyway. The climb to La Cumbrilla is steep and my stomach soon reports. The tuna steak from the previous evening gives me strength and the nearby supermarket motivates me. After about an hour I see a few small stone houses. I'm looking forward to a baguette and delicious Serrano ham.
A black cat greets me on the way to the village. Is that the cat of one of the witches? Delicious kitchen smell comes from one of the houses and a woman sings at work. This is torture! And I'm slowly really believing that witches are doing their mischief here. You have hexed the supermarket. The next bus will take about 6 hours. I have to move on quickly, otherwise I end up in a saucepan myself.
It continues steeply. There are cacti on the side of the path that bear ripe prickly pears. If this hike becomes a struggle for survival, I could eat it so as not to starve. I actually prefer things like tequila.
The path is getting steeper and stony and is hardly recognizable. After a few slips I climb on all fours. Am I still on the right track? I haven't seen a mark in a while. It seems to me Spanish and I turn around. After about 20 minutes I find the last mark. I actually should have turned. The thing was also difficult to see. Were sure to be the witches to lure me into the trap. At least the way will be a little easier again. Steps dug in clay make climbing easier. My mood improves and hunger is forgotten for now.
Once at the summit, the path crosses a road. I could also sit on the side of the road and hitchhike back. The people on the islands are usually very nice and the chances of someone stopping are great. The little masochistic voice, however, answers again and forces me to continue running. The path becomes smaller again and leads me through a valley into the next enchanted forest. I miss the way markings at a fork. Left or right? Not correct! Back. I've got lost again. And I don't even have bread to mark the way. Or ham, or ... muzzle your stomach!
Fortunately, the right junction was not that far away this time. The white and yellow marking shows me the way.
It keeps going up and the vegetation becomes barren. Trees become small bushes, palm trees become cacti. I reach the highest point of the tour and I am rewarded with a breathtaking view of the coast. It was worth it.
I see Igueste down in the valley. I have to go there. There the bus runs every two hours and there are always restaurants on the coast. The goal is in sight. Passing a few goats, I climb over the mountain and start to descend.
I did it. I escaped the witch forest. There is no fog here and no dark paths. Almost only cacti are growing on this side of the mountains. Each of my steps is accompanied by a rustle in the undergrowth. Thousands of little lizards whiz around and hide from my big feet.
At some point I reach a street again. It is only a few hundred meters to the town. My steps speed up. I can smell it. Something to eat. Again I am greeted by cats. But this time it's white cats. Sissi was a black cat and actually black cats always bring us luck. Different laws apply in a bewitched forest. In any case, I find a tapas bar just behind the cats and stuff my chest full.
It took me about 5 hours to cover the 10 kilometers. With this cut, I think I have the best chances should I apply to DHL.
People with amputations often still feel pain in the amputated limbs. This is called phantom pain. A part of yourself that has always been there is missing. But it feels like it is still there.
I have phantom hair.
The other night I caught myself pulling the hair tie out of my hair. When I put on a T-shirt, my hands move automatically to the collar to pull my hair out. I put my glasses on so that no hair gets caught in the temples. When I take a shower, I try to be careful not to get water on my hair because I don't want to wash it. Jörg reports of similar events.
Speaking of showers - after my first shower after shaving, I was surprised to find something. I felt something like the shock of power. My sack hair is now longer than the one on my head
I had planned to take the bus to Muxía for that day and then hike back along the Rias to Camarinas. That is about 25 kilometers. The sun burned from the sky and I got out of bed late as so often. So I rejected this plan and decided to go on a bike tour. Our bridge neighbors from Milena Bonetti borrowed mountain bikes and enthusiastically told us about the beautiful bike routes. So why not. Jörg said I could take the on-board bike, a Brompton folding bike. I don't have to walk to the rental. As it turned out later, it was a really good idea.
The bike was quickly opened and the tires inflated. I had two cold cans of cola and a bottle of water in my backpack, sunglasses on my nose and safety sandals on my feet. My goal was the lighthouse “Faro de cabo Vilán” on the Costa da Morte. I drove off.
The road climbed steeply just beyond the marina. A little foretaste of what to expect. The asphalt ended behind the first curve. It continued on a forest path. Time to take a breath, because it became flatter again and because of the many stones and potholes I could only drive very slowly. At a fork I turned left to take a break at another smaller lighthouse.
After a short rest we continued. Brompton crawled over stick and stone at a snail's pace. If I jogged, I would be faster. Wanderers looked at me and my vehicle in amazement. When I got to a beach I had to get off and push a bit. The tiny wheels just got stuck in the sandy slope.
From here on it was all uphill. It occurred to me that I had only seen these bikes before on the subway or on the train. Before e-scooters, this was a popular choice for commuters to walk the last hundred meters from the stop to the office. In the Taunus, on the single trails, nobody rides a folding bike. Why not? Sport is supposed to be contagious. With a mountain bike and 300 gears, it is much too easy. I drove in first gear. Of the three courses, this seemed to me to be the right one. After kilometers of agony, the path led me back to an asphalt road. A little relief. My thighs and lungs were burning. I rested for a moment on the side of the road and got a first look at the lighthouse.
I now understand why Don Quixote's fight against the windmills was so hopeless. The things are here on every corner along the coast. They just don't turn. I would have liked a little cooling wind. Inspired by the thought that I am almost there now, I drove on. My effort should be rewarded with a great view of the Costa da Morte.
The way back was a feast. After a short time I turned into a forest and the road went downhill. I shifted into second gear. The cool wind gave me new energy. Third gear. The Brompton shot across the street. In the drift, the tires painted black stripes on the asphalt. Potholes were no longer a danger. I just flew over it. At least that's something I remember. I returned exhausted that afternoon and took a cold shower.
It happens. I kept out of it for a long time, but now I can't avoid it. I'm writing a blog post. Today is Jörg's birthday and to celebrate the day we want to go out for a delicious meal afterwards. I pass the waiting time with this post. Only I can write it, because that day, in Camaret-sur-Mer, I was alone to go for a walk on the cliffs.
We started together, past the ship cemetery and the promenade. When it went uphill into the cliffs we separated. The way to the train station was more exciting for Jörg.
Once on the cliffs I had a great view of the marina. Who can find Sissi in the photo?
A narrow trail, the GR34 hiking trail, winds up and down through brambles, blueberries and colorful flowers.
Even cacti have died of thirst in my apartment in Frankfurt. I just don't have a green thumb and zero botany plan. I really liked the purple flowers, however they are called.
After a while the path led me to a beach. It was very hot and I felt like jumping into the water myself. So I made my way back. Right next to the marina is also a beautiful beach, which I had almost to myself at a late hour.
The next day, like many others, we started on Biscay. The stay in Camaret was short. I would come back here anytime to see more of the great scenery.
Jörg has just reminded me that our table is reserved right away. My stomach is growling too, so I'll end the post here. Maybe I'll write something again sometime.
Addendum: We just rolled back out of the restaurant - RÜLPS!