We’ve been taking advantage of living in the non-resorted Caribbean. We make and eat slow breakfasts, finding ourselves lazily drinking coffee and bird-watching (Aaron just bought a humming bird feeder and a seed feeder for other birds so he’s been trying to wean the regulars onto those). When we finish, there’s some reading to be done. In the afternoon, right when the rains fall, we start to get itchy for some activity. It would make more sense to be outside during the sunny morning, but I’d rather be wet than be woken up by the alarm clock if I get a choice.
There’s a 10 mile hike round-trip up to a Doppler tower that we often walk/jog up and jog/run down. At some points, on clear days, we can see the southern tip of Trinidad, poking far out to the west, and the multitude of islands between the north and south. Up at the top, there’s a sign that says, Congratulations! Any and all encouragement helps. There are always vultures, called cobos locally, on this hike, and sometimes we see howler monkeys, the little reddish-brown ones that sound like grizzly bears as they hop from tree to tree. One time, an orange-winged parrot flew right by us, just under eye-level and we realized that they are much more intricate up-close. More than just the sqwuaky, green couples that fly above us during out weekly ultimate Frisbee games, on top they are actually mini-rainbows with orange wings with purple streaks.
Another option is to bike the 20 K route between Macaripe, a quiet, small cove of a beach deep within Chaguramas and the end of the peninsula. We usually do this for a few hours. Aaron recently found a hilly trail from Macaripe to the Chaguramas Golf Course. It’s 5 K both ways of jungle ridge-running at its best: bamboo splitting around us, mini streams and giant roots to jump over, and once we heard owls hooting. Then, we change into swim suits, tricky when you’re covered with sweat, and descend down the steep and tilted stairs to the beach. More often than not, there are circles of senior citizens, heads bobbing in the water near the sand. Sometimes there are toddlers chasing the waves as they crash. On weekends, older kids come and play soccer on the beach. It’s a perfect spot for getting wet in the Caribbean Sea. We swim back and forth from one side of the cove to another—300 meters maybe? Hard to tell. It just takes a couple minutes to swim one way, but we get to watch schools of fish swim with us (which sometimes is cool, but sometimes is nasty when you can’t see or feel anything but fish). I wear regular swimmer-goggles, but Aaron and Tom wear scuba diving masks and snorkels, and if you ask me, look kinda dorky. But, yesterday Aaron saw a huge Southern Stingray (Effin huge, he says, at least 8 feet, maybe 11) on the floor of the ocean. Tom saw a Spotted Eagleray, the rays that are covered in white polka-dots. And I see the same parrot fish every day, the iridescent ones, except once I saw a turtle.
Easy days include one or two activities, or maybe yoga at my favorite yoga studio in the world: Moksha Yoga. Big days include the biking, running, and swimming/snorkeling. Thursdays are Ultimate Frisbee days. Rest days include more reading and more cooking. Friends here, Trinis, are surprised we didn’t stay in the states all summer. But I feel very lucky to live in the Caribbean and get to play in its massive, natural playground.