This is the story of a Spring Break adventure which took places on the islands of Grenada and Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. Beautiful Kimberly and I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate the anniversary of out engagement, which was 23 years ago. We decided to have fun in the Caribbean and to do many hikes and to climb some mountains. The kids tried to tell us that Spring Break was supposed to be for the kids, but we dropped them off with their grandparents and cousins in order to go on the trip. They went backpacking with my Dad in Zion National Park for much of the time.
Kimberly and I had a fantastic adventure and saw many things. This is our story.
A mona monkey on Mount Qua Qua.
Enjoying the views from the summit of Mount Qua Qua.
Cooling off in the Seven Sisters Falls. It was very refreshing!
April 3: Mount Qua Qua/Concorde Falls (Grenada)
In the morning, Kim and I set off to climb Mount Qua Qua and to do the route down to Concorde Falls. The weather was good and it was a perfect day to complete the route.
We saw a monkey at the trailhead, which entertained us for a while.
A mona monkey that was near the trailhead.
At the trailhead, we got talked into a guide since the trail from Mount Qua Qua to Concorde Falls was said to be obliterated by Hurricane Ivan and it was supposed to be hard to find and in bad condition.
Mount Qua Qua as seen from the trail above Grand Etang Lake.
We made our way up to the summit of Mount Qua Qua, which was a very pleasant and scenic walk. There was a little mud and some steep places, but overall it was an easier ascent by rain forest standards. We found the written descriptions of exposure and steep scrambling to be highly exaggerated. At the summit, was an interesting boulder to climb, and adding more interest to the area.
On the Mount Qua Qua Trail.
Mount Qua Qua Trail.
High on the ridge.
Grand Etang Lake is in the old crater of Mount Qua Qua.
High on Mount Qua Qua.
High on the ridge.
Looking back towards Grand Etang Lake.
High on the ridge and close to the Mount Qua Qua summit.
Boulders near the summit of Mount Qua Qua.
The Summit of Mount Qua Qua.
After enjoying the summit, we headed down to Concorde Falls. The turnoff was marked, so it wasn't hard to find the trail. The route was pretty challenging and steep though and had quite a bit of mud. We passed a small, but beautiful waterfall and then the route got more challenging. There were some exposed sections, including a 50 foot/15 meter cliff do downclimb, which was aided by a fixed cable. It was an interesting route.
Descending through the mud on the west side of Mount Qua Qua.
Climbing over the roots in the rainforest on the descent.
Part of the descent route of Mount Qua Qua just after a stream crossing.
A very slippery section of the descent route from Mount Qua Qua. You don't want to fall here. It's farther down than it looks!
Eventually we reached the highest of the Concorde Falls (also known as Foountainbleu Falls) and it was very beautiful. We should have brought our swimsuits as the pool looked really inviting!
We finally reached upper Concorde Falls and knew that we were nearing the end of he hike.
Concorde Falls. It was a challenging hike to get here, but we took the hard way in.
After the falls, it was a fairly easy hike down to the trailhead. We saw one snake along the way. There were two more really nice waterfalls at the trailhead, which we also visited.
A weird plant or tree as seen from the descent of Mount Qua Qua. I have no idea what kind of tree it is.
Lower Concorde Falls was the trailhead at the end of our descent route from Mount Qua Qua.
It was a great hike and perhaps the best hike on the island of Grenada. Since we are experienced hikers and climbers, we could have done without the guide since the route wasn't difficult to find. The entire route took us five hours.
April 4: Seven Sisters/Grand Etang Lake (Grenada)
In the morning, Kim and I took a bus to the Seven Sisters Waterfall Trailhead. We hiked down the good trail to the first two watefalls, which we very beautiful. I had a most refreshing swim in the pools, but Kim didn't want to get wet.
Part of the trail to Seven Sisters Falls. The trail to the Seven Sisters Falls is very well constructed and easy to the first two falls.
The Seven Sisters Falls #2. This is probably the best of the seven falls.
Cooling off at #2 of the Seven Sisters Falls in Grenada. It was a really beautiful hike and the water was perfect.
We also climbed up to the other waterfalls. Since our shoes were so muddy from the previous day's hike, we didn't take them and we did the route in sandals and flip flops. Shoes would have been much better and the climb up was challenging. We decided not to jump down all the falls, which has been done before.
A giant flower we saw on our hike to the upper Seven Sisters Falls.
One of the lizards seen near Seven Sisters Falls. These lizards are actually all over Grenada and St. Vincent.
After taking another dip, we headed back down. I had to do much of the climb down barefoot since I was wearing flip flops.
We then hiked back up to the trailhead.
Part of the pleasant trail to Seven Sisters Falls.
Another couple who were at the trailhead gave us a ride to Grand Etang Lake. We hiked part way around the lake, but we ran out of time and had to head back.
Grand Etang Lake and Mount Qua Qua.
That night we went to see the sea turtles nesting at Levera Bay. It was n incredible experience, but we returned to the hotel very late.
April 5: Mount Saint Catherine (Grenada)
Today Kim and I climbed Mount Saint Catherine. We were thinking of doing the hike on our own, but we heard some horror stories about the condition of the route. This time, the route lived up to the hype. We were also very tired since we spent much of the previous night watching the sea turtles.
Mount Saint Catherine as viewed from the east. It was a lot harder climb than it looks!
We took a bus to Paraclete and walked up the steep concrete road to the radio towers. From there, the route immediately got challenging. There was a lot of razor grass which stung like hell and lots of steep slippery mud and some bushwhacking. We had brought long pants, but wish we had brought long sleeve shirts as well.
Rainforest and hiking in the mud up to Mount Saint Catherine. Most of the route is steeper than this.
It wouldn't be so bad, except for the razor grass cuts you and stings like hell!
View from near the summit of Mount Saint Catherine.
This is typical of the route to Mount Saint Catherine. Much of the route is very steep and covered in mud. The places that aren't have bushwhacking.
We slowly made our way to the summit. It was pretty challenging since the trail hadn't been cleared in a long time. Once at the top we were greeted by an old derelict radio tower (serviced by helicopter). It was no longer functional. We ate lunch at the summit before heading down the Victoria side of the mountain.
The summit of Mount Saint Catherine.
The route was very challenging and muddy and landslides had obliterated some sections of the trail. This time, the guides came in very handy and the route would have been harder without knowing the correct route. Even then, we got turned around a few times.
Descending through the deep mud on Mount Saint Catherine.
Descending the steep route on Mount Saint Catherine. It was actually very slippery.
Descending the steep mud and roots on Mount Saint Catherine.
The going was very slow and challenging and we didn't make it to the trailhead until nearly dark. We did see some monkeys near the end of the hike. The hike was pretty, but I was a bit disappointed with it. Although it was the highest mountain on the island, I thought the Mount Qua Qua to Concorde Falls was a more scenic hike and it wasn't as difficult either. We also didn't pass any waterfalls on this route. We took the bus and arrived at the hotel quite late.
April 6: Dragon Bay/Flamingo Bay
Today was a laid back and relaxing day. We spent time in the hotel pool and went snorkeling at the Underwater Sculpture Park near Dragon Bay and also snorkeled Flamingo Bay. We saw lots of fish and a moray eel.
Grand Anse Beach, the start of our snorkeling trip.
After that, it was time to head back to the hotel and then the airport so we could fly to Saint Vincent for a late night flight.
April 7: La Soufrière (Saint Vincent)
Since Kim and I flew to Saint Vincent the night before, so we were tired by the time our ride came to pick us up. We could have taken the bus, but we were really pressed for time since we had to catch a plane back to Grenada that afternoon.
La Soufrière is an active volcano and the last big eruption was 1979. We found the trail to the summit to be a scenic one and very enjoyable. It wasn't very slippery for a rain forest hike and there was only a little mud. The route was very beautiful as well.
Part of the very nice La Soufrière trail.
The La Soufrière Trail is quite nice and pretty.
We passed some nice pools and small waterfalls part way up. After that, the trail steepened, but it never got too bad, though it was quite steep near the summit.
High on La Soufrière and near timberline.
The upper mountain was socked in with clouds most of the time and it rained. By the time we got to the crater, there was enough views through the clouds to see the bottom of the impressive crater at times. We then walked west to the highest point on the south side of the crater. The end was a steep scramble up some slippery rocks. We did get some views of the ocean, but they were so short lived that they were gone by the time I got the camera out.
The summit in the south side of the crater of La Soufrière.
The Lava Dome inside the crater of La Soufrière. It was formed during the eruption in 1979. On the left side, it is steaming.
The true summit of La Soufrière is actually on the north side of the mountain, but it's a long way over to there and we didn't have time to climb it. The views aren't as good from there anyway as it's a long way from the main crater and you can't see it well.
The summit ridge of La Soufrière.
We headed back down the mountain and to the nice waterfalls, where we took a break and ate some lunch. After that, we hiked back to the trailhead. I would consider this to be one of the best hikes in the Caribbean.
Taking a lunch break at the little waterfall on La Soufrière.
Unfortunately, once we were back to the airport, the plane was delayed for several hours and there was no where to get any food or drinks, other than alcohol.
April 8: Annandale Falls Falls/Grand Anse Beach (Grenada)
Kimberly and I rode the bus to Annandale Falls, where we took a refreshing dip and hiked the nearby nature trails. The falls was quiet since it was afternoon and since no cruise ships were around.
After the falls, we walked most of the length of the Grand Anse Beach, seeing the sunset. The sand here is softer than any other beach I have ever been on.
Sunset walk on Grand Anse Beach on Grenada. The sand is very soft and isn't gritty at all. It is the nicest sand we ever walked on.
April 10: Mount Olympus Trail/Bonneville Shoreline Trail (Utah)
After spending a day trying to convince the kids to forgive us for ditching them on Spring Break, Kessler, Shaylee, Kim, Mark (brother), Matthew (nephew), Josh (nephew), and I hiked up the Mount Olympus Trail and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail for a few hours. We did not have time to climb to the summit.
Just off the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
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