Volcano Climbing

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
leslie's guesthouse

Flag of Grenadines/St Vincent  ,
Monday, February 5, 2007

It took me a while to get round to climbing up and into the volcano.. everday i'd get up and watch the sky for clouds as i'd heard the volcano would only be decent to climb on a clear day, and for 4 mornings i'd end up at the 'bounty' restuarant eating my english breakfast and wondering what else i can do. One day i took a walk up to the botanical gardens where there is a breadfruit tree that captain Bligh of 'mutiny on the bounty' fame planted coming over from the south pacific a few years after the mutiny. I also spent acouple of hours walking round Dr Cecil Cyrus' little museum, the doctor has been hoarding things all his life.. from personal nick nacks, old sport equipment, passports, postcards through to his professional life he'd collected probably everything he'd touched including stuff he'd collected from patients bodies.

Another day over breakfasti had a look on the tourist map and saw the Arawak stone carvings highlighted as a tourist attraction, I got on a 2.50ec bus to Mesopotamia, which is a cool place name stolen from the middle east, and walked the rest of the way down the road following the river to find these carvings.. there was no signs anywhere so had to ask at the rum shop for directions, one guy laughed and said you'll never find it on your own, he was quite right as after i'd haggled the 'guiding fee' down from 25US down to 10ec I was lead down a path, waded across a river, bushwacked through unused land and lead through a banana plantation.. when i reached it i was thinking i'd got scammed as it looked like some 3 year olds had just painted some faces on a rock for a playshool lesson. On closer inspection they were real carvings just that someone had painted white paint over them to make them stand out, I was told there was some more further inland but it would cost me the original sum he was asking for, i managed to pay just another 10ec but knew i was getting scammed. The other rock had more carvings and because had less paint felt more authentic.

St.Vincent seemed to me much wetter than the islands previous even though it had got more into the dry season since i started northwards, the day i decided to climb the volcano was after a heavy night out on a pub crawl with a vincy arsenal fan, who knew way more about them than me, anyway in the morning i woke up with clear blues skies and headed down for a quick brekkie and set off north up the windward side of St.Vincent to a small town north of Georgetown, which was where i was ment to check in to the police station to let them know i'd be climbing alone just incase something happpened, anyway it was a very long walk up the coast and then inland through the banana plantaions to the trail head. The trail i amazing as you walk through you notice changes in vegetation and temperature the higher you go. By the time i walked into the clouds it was pretty chilly and as i approached the crater rim the climate was a world away from the caribbean beaches that i'd left a couple of hours below. As i sat on the edge putting on my trousers and rainjacket the clouds came rolling up and over and then into the crater, i had a clear view of the volcanos dome and the surrounding walls.. The wind was strong as i made my way round the trail at the top. Right on the otherside there is a rope that leads down the steep face into the crater, i was having second thoughts of going down as i was the only one on the volcano that day and if i slipped and broke something important no one would know that i was missing up there. Anyway i was glad i went down and had a walk around and eat an apple inside. 2 o/clock was my turn around time so up i back up to the trail around the rim, as soon as i reached it the rain came in soaking me along with the cold wind and clouds making impossible to see 10 meters ahead. By the time i made it down and home back south to Kingstown it was dark and my sore legs still had the last climb of the day to do up Melvile streets hill to my guesthouse.

The next day i went down to the travel agents trying to find a flight to St.Lucia, the first girl was saying the only flights are via barbados leaving at 6 in the morning, i really didn't want to spend half a day in a plane going back over to barabados to make my way half an hour north. Luckily i skipped the travel agents and this time walked into the Liat store where i was offered a direct flight at a more resonable departure time of 1pm.. At the airport i was quizzed by the lady at check in about onward tickets, i told her i'd got a flight from antigua home, but she still wanted to see an onward ticket from st.lucia.. i told her i'm getting a boat north to martinque and the tickets are waiting for me at castries. She relunctantly let on the flight, I went outside to try and finish that africa book i've been reading for months and turned up on time to the gate to get through outgoing immigration, I was rushed through by a Liat girl and they quickly slapped on a blue caricom wristband which will let me clear immigration on the other side with no questions.
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