For some years I wanted to take on this challenge of doing the north coast trail, from Matelot to Blanchisseuse.
Some friends and I tried it a few years back but were unsuccessful, eventually had to take a boat to Paria.
I have been prepping myself for some time now an after much peer pressure I decided this was the year.
My day started at 12am, woke up had my breakfast showered, fed my dog and grab my bags I had packed the day before, and i was out the door.
I met up with the Island Hikers Club at Mt Hope, for 2am, where we would register and collect out numbers for the day.
They also had some breakfast item for us to enjoy on the way to our destination.
We then boarded one of eight maxis and was on our way to Matelot, a gruelling three-hour drive with multiple pee stops.
On arrival at Matelot, everyone then got prepped for the days challenge and secured their dry clothes in the maxi, then headed to the start at the river.
Start of Hike
After a brief speech the runners lined up in front and hikers behind and we were off.
Down the rocky beach maneuvering around some big rocks and onto the trail, which started with a hill.
Up then down this undulating path, possible forty minutes later we would cross a river, which I remember from years ago doing Madamas.
The trail changed a bit since I was last there, but mostly seemed familiar.
Two hours twenty minutes, seven point four miles later, we arrived at Madamas bay.
We then walk straight across the beach in the blazing sun to find the trail on the other end.
This trail then took us onto two hills which seemed to never end, an is here I lost my crew having to take a rest as it was my first time, doing this event.
Nevertheless it only took me fifty minutes to make it across passed Gran Tacarib to Petite Tacarib.
By all means these are some of the most gorgeous beaches to grace the north coast of Trinidad.
Eight more miles to go which I have accomplished in two hours multiple times before.
Mind set and ready, and legs said no, as I stepped of the beach to head to Lester’s my right leg locked up with cramp.
Cramping my style
My first ever cramp in my many years of hiking, the humidity was so off the charts a lot of people suffered the same.
Fortunate for me i had some fellow hikers behind, who shared Gatorade with me and sprayed up my leg.
Taking my pain and accompanied by Maggie, we made our way out, after taking a shower by Lester and getting a stick to assist.
But that won’t be the first, the other leg cramped up just before paria, but I still didn’t stop as i was determined to finish.
I was too far in front to wait on the boat, so we pushed on.
At paria I took a soak in the river, also bounces up some friends camping and got some salt from them.
And we were on our way again, the cramps only affect me climbing hills, so I took my time on the hills without stopping, and I pushed pace on the downhill and flat.
Seven hours twenty minutes, twenty one miles later we were at the spring bridge, taking pictures and enjoying a good laugh.
It was in all a fun experience, and for my first time and all my cramps I did pretty well.
There was food and refreshments, a lot of smiling faces to welcome us, and the maxi to take you back to Mt Hope.
All together the event was great, I also recognized as a hike leader that for a first time there were areas where you could have gone off course.
There were insufficient markers, and signage but the trail was easy to follow, as it is a regularly used trail.
I will definitely try it again and try to beat my time hopefully no cramps next year.
Google map showing trail and location.