Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Hike.... Grand Etang To Concord Falls.


A little over a month ago I went on an intrepid hike through Grenada's lush rainforest with my friends Silke and Andy. Silke had mapped out the route found on Wikilocs - An informative wiki site that shows you hikes and cycle rides logged from all over the world for others to follow. This one has all the info on this particular hike. I did not know all this info at the time and blindly followed my friends in my very unfit and under exercised state. Had I read the info that said it was 'extremely challenging' and rated as 'very difficult' I might have thought otherwise about going. But I hadn't. Which I'm grateful for as although it nearly killed me - I loved every minute of it...in a torturous kind of way!

We took the number 6 bus out of St Georges up the west  coast and then inland into the bowels of Grenada's cool interior. We jumped off the bus at Grand Etang tourist centre and headed to the start of the trail.
The start of our hike that goes up and around the peak of Mount Qua Qua (2370ft) and a long descent down to Concord Falls.
We hiked up a fairly well marked path and around the west side of the Grand Etang Lake. The air was fresh and cool and the views, stunning. We could see for miles and miles.
Andy on top of the ridge to the west of the Grand Etand Crater Lake.
We had been climbing for about 45mins.  There were a LOT of up hills and I was starting to flag.  Andy and I traipsed behind as Silke lead the way.  It was around this time I asked how far we had gone....really meaning how far did we still have to go. I was in for a shock when Silke told me we were only 1/10th of the way to our destination! And once we reached there, it was a 2 mile walk back down to a bus to take us back to St Georges!


All along the ridge we marvelled at the awesome views and all the different ferns and plants.





You can take an hours detour to the peak of Mount Qua Qua to the right on continue the journey to Concord Falls. Needless to say I wasn't up for making any detours.



We finally started our descent. The rainforest canopy thickened over us and it wasn't long before the obvious path disappeared and we started to follow the yellow tags periodically tied to trees to lead the way.






I honestly don't know how Silke found the way without us back tracking once. We climbed over rocks and boulders, waded knee deep through rivers. We clung to the sides of slippery slopes and our feet were often ankle deep in mud. We had to descend the side of a steep rock face - not a place for anyone suffering from vertigo and I admit I spent a fair amount of time sliding on my bum. 

Silke taking the big leap.
I was exhausted by the time we reached Concord Falls four hours later. My legs felt like jelly and walking was painful. We were lucky that it was still cloudy and cool.  We ordered water and beers and hobbled (OK, only I hobbled) down to the pool below the falls for a welcome swim.



The long walk home
By now it was getting late.  We still had a two mile walk to the bus stop to take us back to St Georges and then another bus to take us back to Woburn. I thought we would be back in time for me to pick up Sim from work but we were hours late.  At 6.30pm we rolled into Nimrods the local rumshack where Sim was waiting, tired but exhilarated by our days wonderful hiking adventure.
View froms the bus on the way home.



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