Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Monday, June 5, 2017 guardian.co.tt
A trek to Saut d'Eau---Most exhilarating hike
I had heard rumours of a secluded
beach tucked under the hills of Par-
amin that boasted a 200-year-old
statue of an unknown Saint. The
intrigue was too much to bear and I
was immediately overwhelmed with a
desire for adventure. Saut d'Eau, was
only my second hike along the North
Coast, with the first being Paria Bay,
and it was one I will never forget.
The forest, like those I had visit-
ed and those I am yet to visit, took
on a life of its own. The further
we descended into its depths, the
more mystical and spellbinding it
became. The woodland's canopy was
efficiently spaced which maximised
sunlight-hoarding and resulted in the
uninterrupted green arbor above our
heads. We continued along the trail,
for what seemed like an eternity,
stopping ever so often to recapture
our breath from the pilfering terrain.
On the final descent I became so
agog with anticipation that I decid-
ed to take a shortcut through the
forest instead of following the trail.
This was a mistake. Predictively and
ignominiously, I lost my footing and
slid uncontrollably down the side of
the incline. I began to pick up speed,
trying desperately to grab ahold of
something, anything, that would have
arrested my descent.
I frantically grasped at the unforgiv-
ing earth but came up with nothing
but loose stones and sun-dried leaves.
Kicking and flailing, I was running out
of time as I quickly approached the
precipitous edge of Mount Vigie. For-
tuitously, I was able to grasp the root
or thin stem of a tree, mere inches
away from death's door.
I was beaten and bruised from the
fall and to make matters worse, I now
felt a tingling sensation in my palm.
Giving in to my curious condition, and
against my better judgment, I looked
down and saw a crimson red fluid
flowing in rivulets down the side of
my right hand. I winced for a moment
but didn't feel any pain, at least not
yet. With my resolve renewed and the
adrenaline coursing through my body,
returning to homeostatic levels, the
pangs of all the injuries I had just en-
dured vied for my attention; and, yet
none stung more so viciously than the
steely blows to my ego.
After a few more minutes of
steady descent, we could finally see
the beach. It was not especially long;
though, something along the berm
caught my attention. There, hidden
by the mountains but in plain sight of
the beach, laid a statue of Saint Peter.
I was not certain as to its age nor by
whom it was commissioned but one
thing was for sure, it was the only one
of its kind on the island; and if not for
that alone, it was special.
Peter was erect, facing the ocean,
dressed in his finest robes. In his left
hand, closest to his heart, he held
open a bible and in his right he made,
what appeared to be, a benevolent
gesture. He was ghostly white and
though he was semi smooth to the
touch, I couldn't quite figure out the
material that gave him his particular
texture. He was believed to protect
the fishermen as they made their dai-
ly journey into the unknowns of the
Caribbean Sea, which didn't come as
much as of a surprise because in the
days following the Cedula, Saut d'Eau
was used as a fishing dockyard.
On the eastern end of the beach,
separated by a few large slabs of
intimidating rock, we stumbled upon
a waterfall emptying into the bay.
It was the first time I had ever seen
such a sight and as legend has it, this
30-foot cascade was the reason the
early French inhabitants named this
isolated stretch of sand Saut d'Eau.
I had seen the beach and its ocean
debouching waterfall, I experienced its
magic, drank coconuts from its shores
and danced with Saint Peter. It was
time to go and I couldn't have asked
for a better day! I was still in awe
from the beach experience; however,
the real elephant in the room was the
challenge that lay ahead. Thinking of
the ascent zapped me of my short-
lived joy and made my stomach turn.
The return leg would be as long as
it was unforgiving and maintained a
constant incline of about 60 degrees.
However, putting the horrors of the
mountain climb aside the trek to Saut
d'Eau was one of the most exhilarat-
ing hikes I've ever had the pleasure of
Things to consider:
• Saut d’Eau is a secluded beach situ-
ated beneath the hills of Paramin;
• It means “waterfall ” or more literal -
ly “jumping water;”
• The aller-retour via Mt Vigie is ex-
tremely grueling and the lack of safe-
ty rails or signage may be of concern
• Though the beach is also known as
Saint Cion Bay, it boasts a statue of
Saint Peter, the patron Saint of Fish-
• Stay hydrated;
• Do not attempt alone.
Isolated, quiet, beautiful Saut d'eau.
St Peter looks out for the fishermen of Saut d'eau.
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