The hooting of the red howler monkeys had my adrenaline pumping while walking through their territory in the Covigne River Gorge.
This hidden treasure in the forest in Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas, has many features that arouse the senses in a way that thrills and calms simultaneously.
It could be the shaded hue caused by the morning sun peering through the arching bamboo along the roadway passing the Arboretum or the World War II bunkers, a reminder of the island’s part in global history. Or it might be the solitary blue butterfly accompanying you on your trip through the rocky river, flanked by nature’s impressive rock wall formations.
For me, the thrill was grasping those ropes, pulling myself up the inclining parts of the gorges and relaxing in the clear waters of a deep plunge pool after working up a sweat.
Last weekend, elderly and young nature lovers set forth on an adventure to the Covigne River Gorge for a morning of excitement. Starting at Samaan Park along Tucker Valley Road, the crew trekked across part of an old cocoa and nutmeg estate before veering off the road to meet the river, which forged its way out of the mountain by a branch of the Cuesa River. Rocks of varying shapes and sizes litter this river, with very few areas of significant depth.
Rope climbing adds to the fun.
The destination of this adventure is a deep plunge pool shaped like a tub and filled with a narrow section of the gorge. A swim across the pool and climb up using another rope takes you to a smaller pool ahead.
This hike took the crew about an hour to get to the plunge pool. It is one hike that you must be sure to wear hiking or water shoes to get a good grip on the rocks.
A helpful tip: whenever you have to climb using ropes, always plant your feet in the water. You should wear long clothing or spray insect repellent as the bugs will try to feast on your skin. Most of all, walk with any medication you need and snacks and be sure you leave no mess behind, as we need to preserve the environment for ourselves and others.
Covigne River Gorge is just one of several treasures in Chaguaramas. There is Macqueripe Bay, Bamboo Cathedral, the old World War II Tracking Station, Edith Waterfall and the plane wreck, to name a few. The peninsula is full of natural gifts that adventurers have visited for years. While nature should be free to all, the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) now restricts open access to some sites. In a public notice, the CDA said that while people are free to walk, cycle and run on the peninsula, they must get permission to visit Edith Waterfall, Covigne River trail, Nutmeg Vale trail, the Golf Course to Macqueripe Bay trail, plane wreck and Land of Palms. Visiting offshore locations such as Gasparee Caves and Chacachacare Island requires you to book with the CDA and use their vessel.
It’s so relaxing in that plunge pool.
Rocks of varying shapes and size litter this river.
It’s always a fun time when you’ve made it.