Sunday, January 23, 2011

Language barrier.

In St. Kitts, lots of things don't mean what you think they should or what you're accustomed to. Like they call millipedes "worms" here. And "customer service" means you'll wait at least 30-45 minutes after you've finished eating to get your check, pay and leave a restaurant. That's just how things are here, and you adjust and move on. Today myself and my roommates learned that the Kittitian meaning of the term "leisurely hike" and our understanding of such a thing are very different indeed.

But to backtrack, here is how we spent our morning:

The Marriott pool and swim up bar/restaurant. We swam for an hour, had lunch, and left feeling relaxed and at ease.

Then we decided to go on a scheduled hike up to see the bat cave with several other first semester students and a few experienced students as our guides. The hike was described as being short and not too strenuous. Now, I'm an avid hiker from way back. My family has regularly gone on camping trips since I could walk (my dad once told me that I was actually conceived in a tent, thanks Pop). Some of my best, earliest memories are of exploring the steep hills behind my grandmother's house and the mountainous trails of Brown County State Park. I've even hiked in the Smoky Mountains once. I'm no novice when it comes to hiking, and I can say without a doubt that this was an inaccurately described hike.

It started with a path through a sugar cane field.
Our fearless leader, giving us some history on the area and the trail we would be hiking along.
We set off! Already at this point I'm thinking that this is more of a moderate hike than an easy hike. The terrain was much too rocky and unstable to allow you to do much scenic gazing as you constantly had to be aware of where you were putting your feet.

Yeeaah, no. This is not by any stretch of the imagination an "easy" hike.
Okay, what the hell?! What is it about a fifteen foot scale up a sheer rock wall that indicates "leisurely" to you? It took me two attempts to get up this thing, and a lot of help.
Okay, the cave drawings left by the Carib Indians were pretty cool.
Finally, the bat cave! I didn't get any pics inside the cave, sorry. The rocks were covered in moss and it was dark inside, I was too afraid of slipping and breaking my camera.
This was not inside the bat cave, I just thought it was pretty.

Let's assess the damage:

First hike to make me bleed in several years. I was exhausted by the end of it, and right now I feel like my bones have about three times their normal density and have a mild dehydration headache. But hey, I'm glad I did it, and bats are kind of awesome. Never again, though.


  1. Hahahah! Was your fearless leader named Laura? (Rather looks like her in the photo.) She's the same fearless leader we had on the volcano hike, who told us that it was a "moderate climb". When I pointed out that she was saying this the day after she did a 50-mile bicycle ride for fun, and I therefore doubted her definition of "moderate", she merely grinned wickedly.

  2. haha, Laura is a crazy character indeed!!! ridiculously good looking too ;-P

  3. Oh, absolutely. Loving the new 'hawk, by the way.