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Trail Pace

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July 2015

El Cerro del Aripo is Trinidad’s highest mountain with an elevation of 940m and the hike to the peak is truly fascinating. The hike along the ridge passes through undisturbed tropical evergreen forest and views of the north coast can be glimped through the trees.   

El Cerro del Aripo

From Tiny Birds to Giant Turtles: a Trinidad Eco-Adventure Guide for 2015

quichecakes:

Morning view on Bande du Sud, Chacachacare

Getting To: Pt. Goudre Trail

The Pt. Goudre Trail is combination of a deteriorated road and an actual trail. The road which is mostly broken up and covered with vegetation ends at a wastewater treatment plant. At the first junction, there is a side road (on the right) which leads to some telecommunications towers and then near the end of the road, there is a fork with the left branch being the start of the bench trail.

This trail is located in Chaguaramas (refer to Getting Around: Chaguaramas) on Pt. Goudre which is immediately after Hart’s Cut (the bay with the moored sailboats). Heading west along the Western Main Road and passing the sailboats in Hart’s Cut on your left, you will come to a side road on your left with a sign indicating the wastewater plant at the junction (see pic below). 

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Turn onto the side road and shortly afterwards you will see a blue WASA building on your right. The trail is  south of the building and the trailhead is indicated by a swing gate as shown. There is a sign stating restricted access but that’s not really an issue. You can park along the side of the paved road and your vehicle should be safe there. 

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Getting Around: Chaguaramas

Chaguaramas generally refers to the north west peninsula of Trinidad and encompasses everything west of Carenage which includes Tucker Valley, Pt. Goudre, Hart’s Cut, William’s Bay and Macqueripe Bay and also the islands of Monos, Huevos, Chacachacare, Gaspar Grande (Gasparee), Five Islands and the San Diego Islands (Carerra and Cronstadt). 

There’s a lot of things to do in Chag (as its commonly called) with some of the main outdoor activities being sailing, kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, zip-lining, fishing, and of course just enjoying the beaches. Personally, I think Chag is a place you must visit if you’re looking to do adventurous stuff in Trinidad with some of my favourite activities being kayaking in William’s Bay, biking and hiking in Tucker Valley, visiting Gasparee Caves, zip-lining in Macqueripe, and bathing in the Salt Pond and watching turtles nest on Chacachacare (which is shortened to Chac). 

To get to Chaguaramas, you simply head west from Port of Spain and it’s not really more complicated than that. If you’re using public transport, you need to either use a Route 1 (yellow band) maxi taxi which you’ll find at the western end of South Quay in Port of Spain or take a PTSC bus from City Gate. Most taxis don’t go to the end of the Western Main Road or through Tucker Valley so make sure and tell the driver where you want to go first before boarding. The bus service is surprisingly reliable for this route so that may be your better option for this area. 

In the Central Range, the tallest mountain is Mount Tamana with an altitude of 313 meters.The rock formation of the mountain is mainly coral limestone, which shows that thousands of years ago the mountain was probably a reef. Midway on its path, there is the famous Bat Cave with an estimated population of 1.5million bats and home to twelve species. The cave attracts visitors from all over the world and the colony in the cave is the second largest in the region. The highest in San Antonio Texas called Bracken’s Cave. The bats eat a variety of foods, and some are insectivores, frugivores (fruit eaters), nectarivorous and sanguivorous (vampire bats).
The highlight of the evening is to witness the bats migrate from the cave at dusk. This spectacular event can last for several hours as thousands of bats exit in a spiral formation in search of food. Bats play a significant role in keeping mosquito populations under control, and in an hour one bat consumes as many as 1000 mosquitoes. The cave has two distinct chambers, the first runs parallel to the surface and is easier to explore while the second descends vertically underground. There is the option to go inside where one has to crawl through a narrow channel surrounded by thousands of frenzy bats and cockroaches. However, although eerie bats are harmless and do not attack. The inside filled with bat guano, and one is sure to get their clothes soiled and some may prefer to stay at the top for the migration. Fascinating on the ceiling and walls, bats of different sizes and species hanging in clusters. The exit situated on the other end requires some rock climbing and is an adventure to get to the surface.

The exploration of the cave is a short twenty minutes uphill trek, and there is the option to venture higher up the mountain to the Mt. Tamana Summit located thirty minutes away. At the top, there are splendid views of the Northern and Central Range.

Island Hikers is having a hike to Tamana Caves and Mt. Tamana this weekend. I went with them last year and it was a really wonderful trip; the view from Mt. Tamana is spectacular as you can see most of central and west Trinidad and being in the cave is exhilarating. 

Tamana Bat Cave and Mt. Tamana

Island Hikers is having a hike to Tamana Caves and Mt. Tamana this weekend. I went with them last year and it was a really wonderful trip; the view from Mt. Tamana is spectacular as you can see most of central and west Trinidad and being in the cave is exhilarating. 

Tamana Bat Caves “Evening Hike”…Sat1st August’15

Did this trip with the Kayak Club and it was a pleasant outing. We stopped as shown as the river became too narrow due to mangrove blocking the path upstream. 

Nariva River Kayak

Hiking on the Pt Gourde Trail

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