The Next 100
It was the vertical brown tendril of a bearded fig tree, (Ficus citrifolia) growing from the rocks of what was once known as the Conset Bay Cut-Out. This channel in the limestone bedrock was cut to facilitate easier passage of the train. Now generations later the cut out is over grown by the plant from which Barbados derived it's name. The bearded, Los Barbados.
It was easy to see how a Portuguese explorer would have come to that name. The brown tendrils were almost everywhere, giving it a jungle like feel. I was reminded of an adventure movie I saw, long ago, with trees like these growing over the hand carved stone temples of men, in another more ancient part of the world. Unfortunately I had no fedora or whip and my satchel was black polyester instead of brown leather but the feeling of that adventure was there. The eerie silence, the sound of crunching leaves, the sound of boughs rubbing each other in the wind and as we climbed our way through their interlocking obstacles.
There was a small clearing on the trail before we re-entered our tree branch obstacle course. Though grateful for the clearing , I couldn't help but notice three points of grave concern to me:
1. the clearing was on a cliff edge and I hate heights.
2. The cliff edge showed signs of crumbling and I was absolute terrified of the rocks below.
3. The alternative path was to navigate the biggest crab holes I have every seen and I for certain was not doing that!
So I overcame a fear of heights and with eyes focused on the next orange marker, I made it across the cliff edge to the second obstacle course of trees. Fatigue began to set in but this was only about the half way point. My feet were in pain; the stone in my left shoe did not help; and though the scenery was photograph worthy, my mind had abandoned looking for the existential and was focused on the practical. Where is the next orange marker? Scouting through the menagerie of leave and branches I spotted the next marker attached to the start of a rope that was tied to a tree. My hiking partner descended first and disappeared around the corner of a patch or sea grape trees.
" Okay, a rope! I can do this!" I thought to myself. I grabbed the rope, tried to find some footing on the white powdery " trail" and as I started my descent, I asked, " All clear?"
There was no reply!
To be continued...
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