The weekend after block 3 exams, aka St Patrick's Day weekend, we flew over to Saba for some hiking and diving. We didn't get a chance to go diving last April when we visited, since I was not certified yet. Two friends went with us and we left Friday after class and stayed for the weekend. When we arrived Friday, the top of the mountain was actually clear! This is very uncommon, as it is usually sitting in cloud cover. So we dropped out bags at the hotel and headed to summit. Unfortunately by the time we got up there (1.5 hours later) it was in cloud cover! Apparently the views are beautiful on a clear day, but I guess we'll never know. It was still a good hike either way.
After that, we headed down and finished our hike in the dark (good thing we brought flash lights!). By the time we got to the Bottom, literally (that's the name of the town, end bottom of the mountain) we discovered our original plan to eat dinner was not going to happen, as there really isn't anywhere to eat, it is Saba after all. We decided to stop by the medical school and take a look, then started back up the mountain, this time on the roads. We decided it was way to far and uphill to hike, so we hitched a ride! My first time hitching from a total stranger, but this is very common in Saba and everyone offers rides and is very friendly. There are only 1400 people that live on Saba, so there is very little crime and people help each other out. We made it back and ate dinner in Windward Side, the town we stayed in. Also, Saba is run off of rain water, and since it had not rained lately our eco-friendly hotel asked us to conserve water, so there went my nice long hot showers hope! It's funny how St Maarten makes you appreciate the US and Saba makes you appreciate St Maarten, it's all perspective.
Anyway, we dove Saturday (pictures and details in the next post) and hiked again Sunday. We originally planned on the North Side trail but after talking to our hotel hosts, we were told it is very dangerous and you must hire a guide. So that was ruled out immediately. We found a different trail and made a long route back to the airport. One girl stayed behind, so she kept our bags and brought them to the airport on the shuttle with her, which was very helpful for our hike. After 6 hours of hiking, without much view, we finally arrive at the airport and were on our way back to St Maarten for some nice long (cold) showers! Here are a few hiking pictures and look for diving soon!
|Leaving St Maarten|
|Heading straight for the mountain before turning to land|
|Crazy landing strip, quite an adventure|
|It was clear|
|Still clear halfway up|
|You can at least see the water, last April we couldn't see anything|
|The Elephant Ear leaves were huge!|
|One of a view views on Sunday's hike|
|What most of our trails looked like|
|Sulphur mines that Owen explored|
|We saw a few large, dark iguanas, this one still had a full tail. Owen says this is proof dinosaurs existed :)|
|Our innovative coladas to go, recycled milk containers, courtesy of Joost and DJ at El Momo|