It’s another beautiful day in paradise. We slept great last night in the protected anchorage after our long hike and a shower. Since we failed to find the petroglyphs yesterday and didn’t get any blisters on our feet, we decided to do a take two on the hiking trail.
My feet were still tired from yesterday, so I was concerned about them today. We started out early, so it wasn’t too hot yet, but in the islands the days warm up quickly. Dave wore his Camelback filled with water and I quickly came to appreciate it. We again enjoyed the sights, plants, and critters along the way.
This time Dave noticed some drama going on; I’ve trained him well. There was a tiny hummingbird chasing away a bird about twenty times its size. The bigger bird didn’t seem too intimidated and never left the tree, but the hummingbird did get it to back off quite a ways. There must be a tiny nest in the tree somewhere; mamas are pretty determined when it comes to protecting their babies!
We spotted a tree I had heard about but not seen. It has a funny common name: tourist tree. It is called tourist tree because the bark on the outside turns red and peels off like a sunburnt tourist. Haha! Love it.
We found a “Y” in the trail where we took a right last time, so we took a left this time. There were no signs at this junction to help. Before long we started seeing trail signs again. “Petroglyphs 2.8 mi” for example. We were on the right trail now! We came to another “Y” that split off for petroglyphs one way and sugar mill ruins the other. First, we went towards the petroglyphs. Eventually we came to a unique area of large rocks and a natural fresh water pool. I could care less about the petroglyphs by the time we arrived, but I would have loved to jump in the pool. Upon closer inspection, it not only looked slimy from algae but looked like a major breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Ummm, nevermind. I’ll just sweat some more. Having seen but not properly appreciating the ancient petroglyphs, we retraced our steps to head towards the sugar mill ruins.
I found these ruins much more impressive than the petroglyphs. So much was still intact. The machinery on the outside (pictured top of page) was dated 1860. There was a furnace, a rum still, and a donkey-drawn mill. Really cool ruins that made the hot hike worthwhile. There were signs all around these ruins explaining what all the rooms and equipment were for. We headed back and looked for signs about the other route we took yesterday, but there was nothing there. It was too hot and my feet were already screaming at me, so we didn’t test Dave’s ghost plantation theory. Think it would still be there? They WERE pretty creepy and not a single sign!
As soon as we got back to the dinghy, I peeled off my boots and socks and dipped my very sore and tired feet in the water. In fact, I rode on the side of the dinghy with my feet dangling in the water the whole way back to the boat. To cool off the rest of our bodies, we quickly changed into our swimsuits and snorkeling gear and jumped overboard. We saw a really healthy looking brain coral.
And the fish were schooling in large numbers.
And I saw this parrotfish. When the sun shined on it, the blue colors just glowed. It was so beautiful I followed it around for a bit. It wasn’t until later when I looked at my pictures that I noticed the goofy face on it. Good thing, because if I had laughed while snorkeling I would have snorted up salt water. Ask me how I know that burns. (Haha) David Knowles needs this guy in his aquarium!
Dave found some sea turtles swimming around and brought me to one that was eating the sea grass on the bottom. I’ve been trying for years to swim with a sea turtle. Finally, here one was only a few feet from the boat. I couldn’t dive the 20 feet or so down to see it, so I waited patiently for it to come up and take a breath. After waiting about 10 minutes (that really didn’t suck) watching it eat the sea grass, it finally came up for air and swam right in front of me! Awesome! I came face to face with a sea turtle! There’s one thing off my bucket list.