Wednesday, 4 July 2007

More photos from the rainforest hike

This little monkey was rescued as a baby and is not yet fully grown. It is startling how human they are, especially as babies. There are said to be two monkeys on the island for every person. The green vervet monkeys lack prehensile tails and, as such, do not swing but rather walk around. I saw most of them in the evening when the sun had come out and they would come out of the woody areas. This baby was very shy but quite willing to come to us.
This is the gingerbread facade of the Caribelle estate house where batik cloth is produced. The gardens here are spectacular and the crowning glory is the 350 year old samaan tree that greets you as you drive up to the house. It is a whole ecosystem with epiphytic bromeliads, orchids and vines.
The exquisite flower of the flamboyant or the poinciana is almost orchid-like in its delicacy.
The diversity of St Kitts really surprised me. On the Southern peninsula, the land is scrubby and dry with not a few cacti thriving. But inland, there is rainforest filled with butress trees; mango trees and sandback trees with their distinctive polished , sickle shaped wooden disks that explode loudly in the heat of the sun with sharp, cracking sounds. The aquaducts put in by the Brtish in the late 1700 and early 1800s to service the sugar estates are still very much present in the forest and the pipes have held up remarkably well to the ravages of time.
Our hiking group stumbled across Nicholas Spencer and his friend hunting crayfish in the river. They had a bucketfull and assured me that they were going to cook it themselves. I ran into the two of them a few nights later at Spratnet as it turns out that Nichlas is the nephew of the owners Mark and Jack Spencer. Very small world.

1 comment:

Angie said...

There is nothing better on this earth than hiking in a rain forest. I have been lucky enough to have done this once, 7 years ago, in St. Lucia and have been ready to move and live near a rain forest ever since.

I am in the U.S. near the Great Lakes and there is nothing here to compare to a rain forest. Thanks for sharing your pictures.