Hikeseekers Hike to Sombasson Falls
by hiker Kathy Marsh s/v Tundra (featured in The Boca – T&T’s monthly waterfront magazine)
On the approach to Mother’s Day last year in Trinidad, there was a cheery announcement on channel 68 informing all cruisers of an impending hike with Snake of the Hikeseekers. My husband, Brian, suggested that we might sign up for this Mother’s Day hike. Needless to say, I was delighted!
Muscat, the maxi-taxi driver, picked twelve of us up at 0630 and we were on our way to Arima. “We were ill-prepared,” Snake said, “Where are the long pants, long sleeves, socks, boots?”OK, we would make the best of it! We were in great company of about 12 yachties and 12 Trinis. One of the Trini gals hiked the whole trail in her street shoes! Off we went, up and down hills, through forests and across streams and it didn’t take long to become soaked with perspiration.
En route we managed to pick up hiking sticks that were most helpful. Questioning our endurance, Brian said jokingly that he hoped there was a helicopter pad close by! Stopping at a clearing, to make sure we were all still accounted for, Snake pointed out a huge nest of leaf cutting ants, but we weren’t sure about the trees. Lunch at the water- fall was pleasant including a swim.When Snake started putting on his several layers, plus bright orange coveralls, Brian and I started scaling the trail hoping to make some headway. Around the next corner, Snake and company tied a rope alongside so people could brace their descent and not slip into a gorge below! Our five pints of water were depleted so we filled them in a stream crossing. Better parasites than dehydration! Our return trip was an alternate route where we scrambled over and under logs. One was a huge fallen tree. Someone had chopped several axe steps across it but I didn’t think I could make it. Brian got across and with his help; I too managed to get across just barely. The alternative was a 100-foot drop down the mountainside!Muscat was our hero of the day. He hoisted one of the children onto his shoulders for the return hike. Passing through a deserted orange orchard was a saving grace as well. Here Muscat and the men cut up oranges for us and we ate them ravenously. What energy this little juicy fruit can impart!
The sun was well down in the western sky as we single filed down a hill. Lana, on Muscat’s shoulders, shrieked. She had come eye to eye with a real snake. Our Snake went into action and retrieved the treed snake! On we went again to the parking area in time to wave to Snake as he drove away. Having a healthy sense of adventure, I was disappointed not to see either snake at the end of the trail.
One male Trinidadian who hiked along with us, said he’d been on many of Snake’s hikes, but never one so long and arduous. Also he mentioned that most Trinis over the age of 30 don’t hike! So, with all said and done, Mothers take heed. Since then I have discovered a hike schedule in the Boca that lists the nature of Snake’s hikes. No pun intended… Happy Mother’s Day.