No matter our intention to set limits and be choosey... we couldn't help ourselves. There is just so much to do here and each thing seemed to be more wonderful than the last! Even a terrible forecast calling for squalls and thunderstorms - all - day - long - couldn't dampen the spirits of this group! Who's afraid of a little rain???
We loaded up Shade Man's van with high spirits and made our stops at the Merry Bakery for some delicious breakfast and then to the grocery to pick up some things for a picnic lunch at Concord Falls!
|Yes Andy is SOAKED!|
|Doesn't that look like a party? Who ARE WE???|
A veteran Cruiser once told me that I would become less impressed by the sights as the years go by. It is my fervent wish that this never happens to me and that I will always be as WOWed by the beauty of the islands. So far, though we've seen so many mountains and so many waterfalls... They are still unique and wondrous. Every. Time.
|Our first glimpse of Concord Falls|
|Unfurling ourselves from the van|
I'm just going to go ahead and put this video out there, and then tell you about it. The falls are breathtaking. Due to the recent (and current) rains, the water is muddy and the falls are rushing. Our visions of swimming in a crystal clear mountain pool were dashed, but our enjoyment of the beauty around us was not.
Our group milled about in the light misty rain, wandering through the tourist shops and checking out our surroundings while the organisers of our little excursion spoke to the facility people. Our plan was to have a nice swim, then spread out a picnic and while away the afternoon... But the rain was causing some havoc in that there wasn't really a dry place for us to set up camp.
|He reached his warm little hand out and grabbed me!|
|They look so innocent...|
|Papaya flowers - soon to be fruits!|
|A real cabbage patch!|
There was a display of picked fruits from the surrounding hills and I'm still awed by the fresh nutmeg growing.
It grows on the tree as a fruit, then when ripe, the fruit splits open and the nutmeg - encased in a shell and a beautiful nest of mace - falls to the ground.
|It looks like fingers|
Here's something I've never seen before. What are these lovely flowers of red and yellow? They look almost like a sort of orchid.
They are growing on a large, spindly bush that is taller than I stand, and about 8 ft across. They have a beautiful pod - green with a striping of dark red.
They are Pigeon Peas! Yes, the unassuming little peas that we've been eating in almost every rice dish since the Bahamas!
|And of course there's cocoa!|
I followed young Daran down the steep red steps leading down into the ravine. He is one of two divers preparing to entertain us with their daring dive from the top of the falls.
These young men hang out here at the falls every day, leaping from the top and plunging into the pool below... for tips. The fee to enter the falls was less than $1 per person. Help a man out and put some cash into their tip box!
|Climbing back up to the landing from the ravine|
I stood on the landing about halfway up the falls and watch the two young men prepare to jump. They climbed around the rim and stepped over the rushing falls, then waited until they had everyone's attention. Then, one by one, they made the leap! I'm so glad they did that so I don't have to! But wait! I guess Andy is going to do it! Perhaps they allow visitors to jump from the top when conditions are less dangerous. They allowed several of our group to jump from the landing level, which is still plenty high!
As the rain continued to fall on us, wetting our bags and our clothes, the employees of the facility finally took pity on us and gave us the upper deck for our picnic.
We had shelter from the rain, makeshift furniture to lay out our spread and even some chairs! What else do we need? Sure we could be dry back on our boats... but then we would be dry. And back on our boats! Here we had adventure and new friends. Oh, and waterfalls. Don't forget waterfalls!
|We wore out the Shade Man!|
Here we sit, closely examining the tiniest bit of lichen growing on a rock in the the Caribbean.
Here we sit with the rushing wind of a mountain waterfall leaving a dewy mist on our faces and hair.
Here we sit with wet butts and we don't even care. Just us. Cruising life is good.
|View from downstream|
|The rushing water is working up a froth!|
|Keep your eyes open, you never know what you'll see here!|
|Calm seas and the rain has stopped.|
|Dinghy half FULL of water!|
Sometimes the surprises aren't so good... but mostly they are!
A huge thanks to Andy, Penny and of course, Shade Man!