Hikeseekers Hike to Three Stone Pool
by hiker Marsha
My first hike with Hikeseekers (my first hike ever) was a bitter/sweet experience which will forever be embedded in my memory. All odds were against me that morning. Although I had been eagerly anticipating this hike for two weeks, I must admit I was not fully prepared. In the first instance, I forgot my sneakers at the gym and had to compensate with an old pair which had been discarded under the bed for years. I felt it was adequate for what the hike leader Lawrence Pierre (aka Snakeman) termed as a “beginner’s hike”.
Even when I missed my ride at 6:30 am (still snuggling under the covers), I still did not let that deter me. I jumped in a taxi and travelled east to Lopinot Junction, only to find that the hike had already left. When I called Snakeman he told me to take another taxi to Arima Old Road, where he and the group waited patiently for me. When I finally caught up with them, I was greeted by a large group of about 85 hikers from every age group and ethnic background.
After walking about half-a-mile up Arima Old Road, we branched off into the forested area. It started off as a cool and relaxing stroll through the shady forest of fascinating bamboo and tankabean trees. Then we hit the water and the nightmare started! The soles of my boot-like shoes had become detached in the water and I was advised to just pull off the base of both sides, leaving a thin layer of material. I discovered moments later this was a huge mistake. Every step I took was more torturing than the last as I began feeling every stone beneath my feet. The bottom of the shoes had deteriorated and I was practically walking barefoot. Unable to go on I just sat on a rock feeling very disheartened and wishing I had never gotten out of bed that morning. I had fallen behind everyone and was just about to call it quits when I realised that a group of hikers had returned to help me. They sourced shoelaces and other material in their bags and in the bush. They tied up my shoes and padded the insides to make my feet comfortable.
As I continued on the hike, they kept close to me to make sure that I did not slip on the slopes. When we caught up to Snakeman, he was able to source another pair of sneakers for me. Although I was consumed with self-pity and embarrassment, he made light of the situation making me laugh at my own tribulations. That is when I learnt that another young woman had fallen and fractured her arm and other hikers had come to her rescue. They had banded her arm with plaster of Paris and she was doing fine. I realised my problem was trivial compared to hers and I stopped feeling sorry for myself.
When I eventually got to Three Stone Pool, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was one of the most breathtaking sights and I felt so privileged to be there. At that moment I knew I would continue to hike with Hikeseekers with the full knowledge and security that I was hiking with a team of caring experts.