Guanapo Gorges

Hikeseekers Hike to Guanapo Gorges

by Salisha Ali

On Sunday 4th May 2003, my mother and I decided to do something enlivening and refreshing which included the aesthetics of nature. So, we decided to join the Hike Seekers Group and hike to Guanapo Gorges. Having not been on a hike for about three years aback, we thought Guanapo Gorges to be the best hike to start with since the hike master, Mr. Lawrence “Snake” Pierre described it as, “an easy and exciting journey.”

Well, it first started with a 4 1/2 mile up hill walk into the beautifully forested area of Guanapo. It was cool, relaxing and absolutely breath taking to be surrounded by so much beauty. Just picture in your mind, walking among tall trees and plants, smelling sweet fresh air, with various birds making eccentric sounds and when you look ahead, you can see the pure blue sky with soft white clouds almost touching the green sheet like top of trees.

Then, the adventure begins once you’ve met the river. In other words, out goes the “Mills and Boons” and in steps “Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.” There we were, about 40 of us of mixed ages and gender, standing in between these two extremely tall and narrow mountains with the winding, cold river ahead of us. As we started to proceed walking into the river, it suddenly rose from waist to neck deep and then of course, the swimming began. But, you need not worry because, Snake and his 4 assistant Hike Leaders were always prepared. They had life jackets and ropes and best of all, they are professional swimmers, friendly, helpful and patient. To get from one point to the next, we had to hand our bag of vital supplies to an assistant, whom in turn passed it down the line, across the river. Then, we had to swim to the other side, while taking comfort in knowing that Snake and his assistants were always close by and the rope was there for us to pull forward on.

The experience was definitely exciting so far and even got better. We found ourselves at a point whereby, we had to balance and walk across a log and then climb up a couple of rocks. Only to discover that, the way to get back down into the river was to use the one thing that connected the rocks to the river which was, a log. If you didn’t have an adrenaline rush before you definitely got one with this realization. We had to sit on the log, lock our feet underneath it and use our palms to pull us across. At the end of the log, we had to once again jump in the cold water and swim ahead.

There was a lot of tiptoe walking in the water as well and with all the rocks beneath, it was pretty tricky and challenging to get proper footing. However, we didn’t always hike on or over the rocks. Along the way, “Snake” casually said, “Oh! By the way, to continue the hike you all have to make a 10 foot jump off a rock like mountain and into a very deep part of the river. At first my mother and I thought he was joking but when we actually reached the jump site we realized that, it was as real as anything can get. “Snake” stood at the bottom of the rocks and the hike leaders were along the river stretch while one remained on top to support the group. They were very encouraging, motivational, understanding and full of positive energy. Jumping was so, “out of this world.” Everyone felt like doing it over and over again. You have to experience it yourself because, describing it with words seem to take away so much from the experience.

At the end of the river trek, we all ate and drank, socialized with our new friends and swam and last but not least, absorbed as much as we could have of part of God’s remarkable creation.

Then came the hike back up the steep, moist hill after all that adventure. “Snake” and the hike leaders, whom are always the prepared “boy scouts,” became even more jovial and cautious as they were aware that members of the group may be weary. “Snake” and his assistants are very reliable, responsible, fit and once again, I cannot stress their unwavering patience and understanding. My mother can sure testify to this as she really felt the crunch and burn on our journey back. But, hike master “Snake” never leaves any of his group behind and unfailingly, reminded my mother of childhood days by, giving her a “Piggy back” a couple of times. As I said before,

“….. you haven’t had excitement and adventure in your life unless you’ve been to Guanapo Gorges”

HATS OFF TO HIKE SEEKERS FOR AN ADVENTURE WELL CARRIED OUT!!!

Experience Adventure Hiking through the rainforests of Trinidad and Tobago!