Our trip report of activites

What to see, what to do, where to go
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DavidKram
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Our trip report of activites

Post by DavidKram » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:56 pm

Below are some of the fun things we did during our 9 day stay on the island.

We were supposed to go snorkeling early in our trip, but we arrived when the sea swells were very high (one person actually drowned on the north shore while we there). So, we had to wait for the waters to calm a bit. Peter (from Zoe) kept in contact with us to let us know when the waters were calm enough for a food snorkel trip. As it turns out, it really never calmed down quiet as much as we would have liked, but it was getting close to the end of our stay and Peter did find a day that was rougher on the water than eh would have preferred, but it worked out just great.
He took just my wife and I out on his jet speed boat (no propellers to worry about) and gave us a tour of the whole Bucco area, stopping at the Nylon Pool for some great pictures, and for snorkeling out on the Bucco reef. Due to the rougher waters, Peter suggested that rather than fight the current, that we grab a rope and he would tow us around over the reef. What a great idea! We spent an hour going back and forth over many areas of the reef and saw some fish and coral that we had not seen before. We even saw a few large manta rays!
Yes, the water was a bit cloudy and rough and the coral is broken up a bit due to many folks not knowing how to be careful on the reef, but it was great trip with Peter anyway.
It was really nice to have the boat all to ourselves. Bring your own water though as Peter is a no frills tour.

On another day, we drove up the Caribbean coast line from Bon Accord to Parlatuvier where we cut over to the other side of the island through the rain forest on Roxborough Parlatuvier Road. We stopped for pictures at many of the beaches along the way. The best picture of the entire trip was at the top of the hill just outside of Castara Bay – what a great view and a wonderful pictures of the bay from up there.

On yet another day, we drove up the Atlantic coast line from Bon Accord to Speyside and Pirates Bay. Again, we stopped for pictures at many of the beaches along the way. The best picture spot from this day was at the Speyside lookout. We did take the trek down the steps to Pirates Bay hoping perhaps that the water was calmer in the bay for some snorkeling, but alas, the seas were still very rough and the surf was incredibly high. So, we trudged back up the steps. We did first try driving up the road that leads to the top of the steps – foolish mistake. As previous posters have mentioned, the road is very narrow and there is no room to turn around. When visiting other islands we have read about similar posts and found out that the road were never as narrow as what people were saying. However, in this case you should believe what those previous posts stated – it is VERY narrow and very difficult to back up your car down the road. Thankfully, we backed up our rental down the hill, parked in town and then did the 15-20 minute walk to get to the top of the steps.

Near the end of our trip, we drove back up the Atlantic coast to tour the cocoa plantation. The tour was interesting, but we were disappointed you could not purchase any of the actual chocolate there (the cocoa beans are sent to France where the actual chocolate is made).
On this same day, we also planned to go to Highland Falls. Well, we found the dirt road and the stream near the falls, but never found the falls. We started to drive down the road, but the road started to become narrow with a lot of pot holes, We did not want to risk going further with our rental. So, we backed out and parked by the bridge and began walking down the stream hoping to find the falls. We hiked for about 30 minutes – crossing the stream once, but got to a point where we really could not go further on either side of the stream. The water was higher than normal and moving fast where we did not want to risk going further. I’m thinking that perhaps we should have walked in on the dirt road to find the falls rather than following the stream? Even though Highland is the highest falls on the island, I guess it is not too popular because of the difficulty getting to it.

We also were able to get to Sunday School – glad we did. The night started with a 60 minute set of one man on the steel pan and was followed by 90 minutes with a steel pan band of about 12 performers and 16 pans. The music was very enjoyable – lots of people dancing.
We arrived at 8:15pm (about 45 minutes before the music began) and were able to snag some chairs and a table. Get there early so you do not have to stand – or bring your own chairs. Food vendors are nearby and a bar and restrooms are also next to the music area.
Thank you,
David

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Paul Tallet
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:02 pm

Thank you for your reviews David.

Sorry that the seas were a bit rough and I agree with your point about the Cocoa Plantation.

But thank you for writing such good reviews.

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DavidKram
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by DavidKram » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:08 pm

Submitting our comments is the least I can do to thank "give back" to the forum that was so helpful in planning our trip.
I find that the focused forums such as these are much better than Trip Advisor because there are generally a few passionate contributors that either live on the island or travel there frequently. They then provide some of the best comments and feedback.
Thank you,
David

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Steve Wooler
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:42 am

We really appreciate the effort you have put into providing all your feedback, David. It is all just SO valuable to other travellers.

Highland Waterfall is very difficult to find if have never been there – and it is quite a hike. The track only takes you part of the way and then you have to follow a narrow foot trail along the northern bank of the river. It is also not somewhere you should go on your own. Sadly, there have been robberies down there. A local property manager tried to set traps for the scumbag responsible, together with some locals, but sadly they were unsuccessful. The scumbag uses a trail from Mason Hall then hangs about at the falls, waiting for small parties of tourists without a local guide. There has been no violence, but someone waving a cutlass is quite enough for most people. The police know about it, but as usual, do nothing.
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Glyn Kirpalani
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:04 am

Careful Steve, you will get Paul excited at the prospect of luring this hoodlum to an uncertain fate at the hands of his karate squad gang of tourists (doing the island a favour in the process!)

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Paul Tallet
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:08 pm

Don't Glyn ... I am already starting to get a tingle :wink:

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Kurt.Halfyard
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Re: Our trip report of activites

Post by Kurt.Halfyard » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:55 am

Steve Wooler wrote: Highland Waterfall is very difficult to find if have never been there – and it is quite a hike. The track only takes you part of the way and then you have to follow a narrow foot trail along the northern bank of the river. It is also not somewhere you should go on your own. Sadly, there have been robberies down there. A local property manager tried to set traps for the scumbag responsible, together with some locals, but sadly they were unsuccessful. The scumbag uses a trail from Mason Hall then hangs about at the falls, waiting for small parties of tourists without a local guide. There has been no violence, but someone waving a cutlass is quite enough for most people. The police know about it, but as usual, do nothing.

A few weeks ago, we did the walk into HIGHLAND FALLS, aided not by a guide, but three young local boys who were easygoing and looking for something to do. No worries or issues, and it is a truly wonderful walk in, and a brilliant waterfall, enhanced by its privacy and isolation. There were 3 adults and two kids in our party. Not that I fully recommend the way we did it, but I guess with it being our third trip to the island, and that we had local cellphones, we weren't too worried.

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