Anse Marcel: Nature Reserve, 3.3km or 2:30hrs at least that is what we think the sign says in French.
Overcast day, nothing on the agenda we hadn’t been off the boat much and spotted this trail a couple of days ago when we were in Anse Marcel, we are now in Grande Case (spoken as Caaaaas) which is a whopping mile or two down the west coast. I tossed the idea out after the morning radio net and Christine said sure.
First time in months, this wasn’t a one beer hike. So we both filled water bottles as we weren’t sure how long this was gonna take. Was the 2.5 hours each direction since we didn’t have a car at the other end of the trail or was that round trip? Adventure, that is what it is. Normally I take a beer to nurse on the hike up a hill and have a sip or two left at the top, but it certainly would be warm after 2+ hrs.
As we were in Grand Case, we dropped the dinghy and scooted over to Anse Marcel which was a nice ride till we cleared the coast then the surge/waves set in, we went from 17knots down to 4knots to keep dry-ish. Landed safely, but Christine needed something to eat to in case she got hungry along the way (since it could be another 5 hours before we saw food again) so she found something in the french mini-market that would do. We set off to explore the nature.
The sign promised lots of information along the way. We started down the path which looked like a car path, and ran into the water treatment plant – such a lovely aroma to start a hike. But off we went after finding the signs that pointed the right direction to the trail we were off – nice and fresh like. We started at the red spot on the lower left side and walked toward the right, or East around the island.
The trail went up hill, what looked to be a washed out ravine had been marked and trimmed a way to make a single path up the hill. It started with some beautiful trees that arched over the narrow, rocky path which was cool and pretty.
The start wasn’t too bad, but being on the back side of the mountain it was a bit warm even given the overcast skies. Once we crested the first hill, there was a great view of the Anse Marcel bay and Anguilla, we pushed on, up and over the next. From there we could see Tintamarre, and the beach where we would eventually walk on, a long way down.
Christine is going slow and steady, enjoying the birds and butterflies, reading the signs and snapping photos of me–look closely for me in the orange shirt below.
Up and over boulders, tree roots, broken limbs, along the dirt and sometimes rocky and cactus encroaching path. After scurrying over several large boulders, we made the secluded beach and walked its distance to find the trail that continues on. In an attempt to rest, Christine captured a couple that spoke English who said it was worth the hike to the end, so we continued. The beach was a little 1/2 way to the end and we had been walking a little over an hour. So maybe 2.5 was each direction.
After the beach it became rocky, like large pieces of coral and walking became an exercise in watching where your feet were going to step while hugging the coast line. Made the brain work, and keeping more focused on the steps than taking the scenery. Was rough going in flip flops, but we made it. Made it to the end, the end is at the landfill or dump. So what the sign should have said is the most scenic route between the sewage factory and the dump. However, the coast that lined the dump was very lovely with tide pools that could lull you to sleep with the harmonic sounds.
We did the round trip of 6.6 miles in about 3 hrs of moving time, we stopped to rest at the dump and then again to scarf the french tasty treats Christine had picked up earlier.
Back to the boat and a pizza was devoured, and a lots of resting and relaxing till Happy Hour which consisted of Ribs for appetizers and another rum sampling. Thinking the Plantation from Barbados might be edging out my favorite Diplomatico from Venezuela, but I’m sure there will be more taste tests..