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Unscrpited fun, adventure
I was briefed to walk with a change of clothing and wear comfortable footwear, sneakers preferably, as well as clothing for the hike to the Rio Seco Waterfall in Salybia, Matura, on Tuesday by the Manager Corporate Communications of the Ministry of Tourism, Sherma Mitchell.
My four hiking companions, June Sargeant, photographer Andrea De Silva, her daughter Tylah Head, our guide, Nevon Williams, Turtle Programme coordinator/manager at Nature Seekers and I did not know of the unscripted fun and adventure we were in for that day.
I packed as if I were on a fishing trip bringing sandals, a roll of small plastic bags, emergency food rations, insect repellent, sunscreen, ziplocking my equipment, cellphone and wallet which all came in handy.
The day began around 10.30 am at the Nature Seekers’ headquarters on the Toco Main Road in Matura.
The trip to Matura was facilitated by the Ministry of Tourism to experience Nature Seekers’ activities as part of our ongoing Staycation series to highlight the picturesque beauty of the country.
The plastic bags were used to carry our delicious pelau lunches by the ministry to the waterfall, to cover the car floor when we entered with our muddied shoes and to put our wet clothes.
We walked a distance of approximately 1.5 km, the trail would take about 45 minutes to an hour at a moderate pace.
We took a little longer than that as we stopped along the way to take pictures of the breathtaking scenery, the birds that Williams’ sharp eyes pointed out in the dense mora forest.
We saw semps, a bananaquit, colourful butterflies, snakes and bats, but we were not fortunate to see pawis and even ocelots that Williams said were encountered sometimes on the trail.
The ground was saturated from the rains on that day and there were several trees that fell on the trail paths which also slowed us down. We saw several shoe soles and discarded slippers on the trail. I also lost my shoe soles and had to go along gingerly as I was feeling the hard rock and tree roots underfoot. Tylah’s shoe soles were shredded but were still on.
I nicknamed that part of the trail the valley of lost soles.
We forded two small river crossings to reach the waterfall and it was spectacular. It was ideal for swimming. The water was crystal clear and teaming with aquatic life.
De Silva threw a piece of chicken to attract the crayfish but a wabeen grabbed it and other fishes swarmed him. The pristine landscape was marred a little by some plastic cups and plates that Williams said were more likely left by some hikers as conscientious hunters would not pollute the land.
A trip to Matura would not be complete without having some of Gail Charles’s coconut and soursop ice cream at her establishment on the Matura Main Road.
Even falling trees along the Rio Seco Road that prevented us from reaching another nature walk destination around 4 pm was turned into an adventure. Sargeant was ecstatic at the sight of the impassable road. She had discovered a prized native specie of plant she was looking for among the fallen trees.
I adapted like the Borg and sat down with Williams in the middle of the road and interviewed him amidst the lush scenery until his colleagues Richard Villafana and Christopher Mitchell came around 5.30 pm and made quick work of the trees with their chainsaw and cleared the road.
It was indeed a memorable adventure, you should try it.