Sunday, January 31, 2016

St. Vincent: La Soufriere Volcano

Sunday, Day 23

(I'm so far behind on keeping this blog updated.  So, short version with pictures for now:)

6:45am alarm
eggs for breakfast
make pbj for lunch
out the door at 7:40am

walk down to Diamonds Village gap
catch a ride with local - stops at gas station but takes us to turn off for trail

start walking down road to trailhead, another truck comes up and takes us rest of way - long ways

start hike up - still wearing Teva sandals that I have worn

so hot and humid hair is literally dripping sweat on me
backpack is soaked with sweat

takes 2 hours to reach summit - last 20 minute or so was really hard (steep, loose rocks)
gets cold and windy
walking in clouds last 20 minutes, too

could hardly see anything at top
got some breaks in clouds and little sunshine for couple pictures of the crater
pretty cool view, would be amazing on clear day
could see ocean on other side of island

so cold, shaking
stood there trying to tough it out
Robbie fell twice - bleeding

decide to come back down rather than wait - so so so cold and windy
15 minutes later it clears up - no joke

chat about Peace Corps whole way down
bathroom and snack break at trailhead
continue walk down road hoping for a car

30 minutes or so a car passes and then stops in front of us
4 kids crawl in back and we squeeze in middle row
crawdads from river  - one little boy touches my skin and then screams, haha
drops us off at one intersection past Georgetown

immediately yells at another car at the intersection to take us rest of way
go by Blackpoint, where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean

this guy happens to be going all the way in to Diamonds - not just to the gap
totally lucked out with rides
relaxed back at apartment - Kate napped, I made a green smoothie - she picked up almond milk for me in town yesterday!

showered and cold shower felt good
so humid no point in drying off - it's impossible
deodorant on wet body is awful
decided to warm up last nights dinner leftovers on plate in toaster oven
plate cracked, food okay -- apparently NOT okay to do that

Kate made pizza - haven't had that in awhile, so good

crazy hair got bigger and bigger as it dried - so humid here, there is not taming it

St. Lucia research (heading there tomorrow), uploaded some pics so I could delete them from phone
bed at 9:30

Saturday, January 30, 2016

St. Vincent: Owia Salt Ponds

Saturday, Day 22

(I'm so far behind on keeping this blog updated.  So, short version with pictures for now:)

5:00am alarm
granola and fruit, out the door by 6am
dragging luggage up the hill and over the drainage ditch

only waited a few minutes in Richland Park for a bus to come
held suitcase between my legs - so awkward
short trip to Arnos vale stop by Masseys again
walked across street to bus stop on other side
waited probably 10 minutes for bus headed towards Georgetown
suitcase next to me, backpack on top, so got charged for two seats, but that's okay
told driver I needed to go to "Diamonds Village Gap" - just like Allie said
slight confusion, but eventually said okay - thank goodness
got out in the middle of nowhere, but there was a bus stop that said Diamonds, so I knew we were right
guy immediately said hey you here to see california girl?  Ha - only white person in the small village - everyone knows her
text her to let her know we were walking up, so she left to walk down towards us
15 minute hike up, but about 2 minutes in, a nice guy stopped and asked the same thing and then told us to get in - thank goodness
hike would have been awful and I'm so tired, it's hot, up hill, just no bueno
stood up in back of jeep - no seats - and held on for the bumpy steep ride up to Diamonds village
guy dropped us off right in front of Kate's house - another couchsurfer/Peace Corps volunteer from San Diego (we even passed her and he kept going so she had to walk back - not very far at all)

She has a great place, great wifi, and a cat - no hot water, but I'm kind of used to that by this point
She had birthday party to get to for another peace corps worker so she left

I was exhausted and took a nap
could have slept all day but eventually decided to try and make it all the way up north to Owia Salt Ponds
walked down to Diamonds Village Gap and waited with two other locals for maybe 10-15 minutes - which feels like eternity in the hot sun

flagged down a bus - I thought on my own, but turned around to see local guy behind me -  probably stopped for him, not me
another crazy bus ride, but a pretty short one

got dropped off in Georgetown and waited maybe 5 minutes for another bus to Sandy Bay
even more crazy bus ride actually scared for life
like, craziest one yet. Driver seemed enraged and just nuts.

got out and end of route - parking lot in little village - middle of nowhere and started walking
no buses up north on Sundays
loooong walk, saw one car going the other way
kept walking through the hills in the hot sun - ridiculously hot

finally heard a vehicle coming so I stuck my thumb out
turned around to see ambulance
thought no way this will stop -- but sure enough, he did
i got in the back of an ambulance in St. Vincent for a ride to the Owia salt ponds



he dropped off right in front of the walk down

salt ponds are really just a carve out spot where the ocean waves don't really get to
calm water, coral and fish for snorkeling, and grew view of the ocean protected by big rocks

swam around for awhile - a group of local kids came up and one little girl wouldn't get in because she didn't know how to swim - I convinced her to come in and held on to her the whole time - poor little heart was pounding and she did NOT like it
two other american groups there - one family on a church trip and two american girls on vacation

they had a car and offered to drive us back in to Georgetown - or even to Diamonds village gap
ordered "chicken and chips" up top before leaving - only food around
stopped for groceries in Georgetown - not much selection at all
no fresh fruits or veggies

started talking and over shot drive back by quite a ways - almost to mesopotamia
totally missed Diamonds village gap

had to get out at gas station and start walking back opposite direction - what a pain
nice guy stopped when I stuck my thumb out and took us all the way back to Diamonds village gap - which was a long ways back

had to walk up the hill to the village, kate not home yet, but Beans (the cat) was excited to see me
saw truck full of bananas on the walk up


showered and relaxed, made dinner for kate
rice and beans / onion, garlic, carrots, spinach, sweet potato and soy chunks with curry seasoning
another peace corps guy, Robbie, showed up, and is going to hike volcano tomorrow with us