Friday, September 8, 2017

Instead Of Irma - Part II - Sapphire Falls

Well I'll just jump right in with this continuation of Instead Of Irma... If you missed Part I and want to see a bunch of pictures of gorgeous flowers... go back.

There is some discrepancy about the name of this falls... We're going with Sapphire.  There may or may not be a second falls called Superman... not sure.

We left the main road and turned off on the secondary road that leads to the Drive In Volcano, and made a hasty left turn onto a much less civilised road, and by road... I mean path that you can drive on...  for a while...  After about half a mile, we chickened out and stopped at the only place that looked as if we might be able to turn the car around.

Turns out, that was the start of the hike down into the river bed anyway...

Looking out over the valley, it looked like we were going down into the jungle... the nearest town was way over there!!!











Sally (Pyxis) led the way
We began our descent, about a 250 ft drop via a surprisingly well maintained path.

There were seemingly endless numbers of stairs carved into the damp forrest hillside, and a nice rope handrail alongside the trail all the way down.











Bruce and Jesse bringing up the rear!
We zigged and zagged... all the while knowing that we would have to backtrack UP all this way when we were done enjoying the falls!

There's a Fungus amongus...

Tall Ginger plants grew over the pathway... almost there!
There she is!  Sapphire Falls
I can't begin to describe how wonderful this is!
Only a little worried about rocks or coconuts falling on my head!

The last time we rented a car and visited a waterfall, we didn't think to check the Cruise Ship schedule... There were hundreds of people there and we could hardly move, let alone get the falls to ourselves for a photo...  This time, we were the only people around for miles!

I stripped down to my swimsuit and was the first one in!  There was no way to NOT enjoy this!  It was sheer magical delight!  The wind created by the falling water was fresh and cool... the water was the perfect temperature, not too cold and not hot, in spite of the fact that it was coming from somewhere near the volcano. Even the grey color wasn't off-putting, and the water actually tasted fine.  (no, I didn't drink it... on purpose)

Want to know what it looks like when you look up from beneath a waterfall?
Waterfall Selfie!
Sally joined me but the guys remained on dry ground...

Nutmeg just decaying on the forrest floor



Eroded ridges around tiny rocks...

Gumbo Limbo or Turpentine Tree
Downtown Soufriere 
Lunch at the fanciest restaurant in town!

Locals hanging out at the restaurant bar


All good things must come to an end and our day was almost done.  We had delicious local cuisine and the best table in the house.

Things are simple here.  Lunch comes slowly and as we watched the young men just outside the window shovelling sand and gravel from the seawall back into the sea... our thoughts returned to the ominous unknown things that were happening at that very moment to our friends in the northeastern Leewards and the Virgin Islands.




Young men cleaning up the minimal storm damage we felt here
Please don't take our enjoyment of this day and hold it against us.  The guilt weights heavily on our hearts.  Our angst will do good for no one.  We will return to watching and waiting and will do what we can to help our friends and families in the aftermath.

We took the long way home, trying to divert our thoughts for as long as we could from the ongoing train wreck that is Hurricane Irma.

Driving around the island of St. Lucia, I couldn't help but think of other islands we've visited.  We've fallen in love with them all!



Things change when you live this life  It is impossible to understand until you've "lived" here.  Back when we were tourists, visiting one island or another for a week or ten days... we loved these islands.

But it's different now.  Sometimes when I'm walking across a now familiar street to pick up a few groceries or some other routine sort of thing... the familiarity strikes me... This is our 'normal'.  This is where we live.  The sum of the many islands we've visited have become a much smaller world in our minds.  They are our home.  They are our playground.  They are our people.

What happens to one of these islands brings home the hard reality that "There but by the grace of God, go I".  Our hearts are heavy and we realise the luxury that fate has afforded us in this day to choose to do something happy.  Something joyful.  Something else... instead of Irma.


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