Location: Prickly Bay, Grenada
The day began at the same time it does every day, at 7 am. Right away, our chefs Steve and Katie were in the galley cooking up a mean breakfast of bagels and watermelon. It didnt take long, but you could tell it was prepared with love and care. As the crew ate, I let them all know the plans for the day ahead. First, a hike up to Mount Qua Qua, a short walk down to the seven sister waterfalls, some trivia at the marina and a drink or two, if we so desired (which I did). With a little bit of OutKast to get the troops rolling, breakfast was promptly cleaned up, and Wiggy began to dinghy us over to land. Bernard, our Grenadian taxi driver, picked us up, and with a quick detour to the clinic for Ian, we were our way to Mount Qua Qua. The drive lasted about 30 minutes, gaining an altitude of 1900 feet. As we moved further away from the bustling city center of St. George, bright colored homes, broken down shacks, and an abundance of goats started to fill the streets. The final stretch up to the mountain was a steep and windy road, overlooking Grenada, overgrown with the tallest and thickest bamboo I have ever seen. Soon enough, we were all standing at the trailhead with smiles stretching from ear to ear. The rain began immediately, but once we started moving, the only thing it disturbed was the soft soil beneath our feet. About 20 minutes into the hike, Kelsay, Peyton, and I lightly dipped our fingers in the mud applying a layer of war paint to our faces. Thats when the chaos began. Moments later, we were running up the trail, sliding every few feet and covering our bodies in the soft but thick mud. Soon we put a bit of distance between us and the rest of the crew; then, a tribe was born. We call ourselves the Muddikaii, our language is extensive, unwritten, and difficult to understand, but somehow, we managed to speak it for nearly two hours straight. After being covered in several layers of mud and obtaining a few scrapes and bruises, we made it to the summit. Being ahead of the others, the three of us found a small hole in the ground just big enough for us to hide in and scare the others. Our plan did not go quite as we hoped as, after about 2 minutes, our laughter began to pour out the hole, and within seconds of the crew arriving, our position was compromised. Once the three of us gremlins had left our sacred hole, ate some lunch, and snapped a few pictures, we were ready to race down the narrow and slippery mountain trail. The word slippery is very critical in understanding how, in the 40 minutes from the summit to the base, I managed to fall over 15 times. I definitely have a great balance, dont worry. Most of the others were very much in the same boat as myself. Finally, we arrived back in the little village where our adventure began, and soon, we were on our way to the seven sisters’ falls. Before the real walk began, we first had to follow the main road down about 10 minutes. The road was busy, and despite how narrow it was, the cars whipped around each corner, coming within inches of our bodies that hugged the curb. Now with a bit more adrenaline, we met out guide Warren who took us down another muddy trail, this one much less than the last. The sound of fresh flowing water began to radiate around us early on, and after a 15-minute walk, we had arrived at two beautiful cascading waterfalls. Immediately I jumped in and cleansed my body of the Muddikaii rituals known as mud bathing. Once a fraction of the dirt was cleaned off, several of us followed Warren up the cliff to jump the seven waterfalls. The climb was beautiful, and each and every waterfall was spectacular, the final jump being around 40 feet. Will, Matty, and Kelsay jumped ahead of me, and although my stomach was in my throat, I jumped too, screamed, and landed gracefully(?) in the cool, refreshing water. Peyton, Duncan, Hunter, and Katie followed, each with a little scream as well. Too soon, we had to pack our things and head back up to meet Bernard, our taxi driver from earlier. The moment we left the pools at the base and all grouped together, Kelsay and I were attacked by mosquitoes. We both managed to kill about five bugs with one slap to our leg. However, I still managed to sustain around three bites on each appendage and another few on my back. Thankfully Steph was there to save the rest of our bodies with handy-dandy bug spray. Everyone was very vocal about how incredible it smelled, but I paid no mind. It was a small price to pay for safety against the evil mosquito. Slowly but surely, we started our walk back up, passing by locals offering foot baths and others offering beer. Both sounded incredible, but we kept on moving. With tired eyes and sore feet, the drive home was a complete blur. I think I finally came back into consciousness when dinner was set out right in front of me. Tropical tofu (or for everyone else chicken). Thank you, Steve! As everyone gobbled down their final few bites, I linked hands with my neighbors, as did the others, and I asked the crew to tell me something(s) that they were passionate about as well as their favorite part of the day. Teaching kids and ranch dressing were the two things I felt necessary to share, and although today was incredible in its entirety, my favorite part was when the Muddikaii tribe was born. I love hearing about everyones day because even when were all together, the small details in one person’s experience vary so much from anothers. As squeeze came to an end and the dishes were washed up, we were ready for our final activities of the evening, trivia, and drinks. We arrived just in the nick of time, and with three separate teams, the battle began. Soon we realized the trivia wasnt really too easy and definitely applied better to the older folks in the crowd, which made up ~90% of the total. Most of us turned quickly to pia coladas, French fries. A healthy mix strictly for upperclassmen, Ive been told. A couple of hours of laughter and games were slowly beginning to fade as the MC read the final question. With a quick break that included a little dancing and some gymnastics, the answers were read aloud. We definitely answered at least two questions correctly; despite some embarrassment and negativity (Steve), we were winners in my heart. Sadly, this is where the night came to a close. Wiggy picked us up, I brushed my teeth, complained about my trench foot, and crawled into bed. So far, every day on this trip has outdone the last, and I feel so privileged to be able to experience this for the next two and a half months. Thank you to my incredible crew and staff that make even the most mundane tasks like washing dishes a memorable experience. I think I love you already.
Bye for now,
P.S. Mom and Dad, I’ve decided to hide my phone from myself for the foreseeable future, so goodbye, I love you.