When we touched down in positively horrible weather that Sunday morning, it was clear we would move down to the Grenadines that same day, trying to escape the weather on St Vincent. Walking around the capital Kingstown, we soon realized that there was nothing special going on, and soon decided to try and see some of the interior of the island. We chartered a taxi after some good negotiating, and the not very bright driver fortunately found us a supermarket that was open - we did not see any eatery open in the town centre. The drive on the road along the coast was full of curves and nice views, and the weather changed rapidly before our eyes. At Pembroke, we turned right, and driving up the mountain gave us a new panorama.
The road had never been wide, but as we neared Vermont, it became quite narrow. There was almost no traffic anyway, and our driver decided quite soon that he did not want to continue on the road which had some quite serious holes in it - in some cases, all that remained was a narrow strip of asphalt right next to a river. When we got out, it started raining again, and we walked fast to the real beginning of the Vermont trail, knowing that once under the cover of the rainforest, we would be protected. Even so, we enjoyed the views of the mountains, partially invisible because of the clouds, before starting the trail proper. And indeed, as soon as the road finished and we commenced the trail, we walked right into the rainforest.
What followed, was a fantastic hike through the incredibly rich vegetation, made even more brilliant because of the layer of rain on the bright green leaves. The small rivers we crossed were well filled, and the trail took us uphill and downhill, through thick vegetation, with trees with enormous roots, beautiful flowers and leaves everywhere. Signs explained some of the main things we saw, and all the while, we were on the lookout for the elusive St Vincent parrot, after which the trail is sometimes referred to as the Parrot Lookout trail. While we heard them all the time, the trees towering high above us effectively shielded them from our sight. There were only very few places where we could actually look past the trees immediately surrounding us, and even there, we did see birds, but not the famed parrots. Instead, we concentrated on the ferns, crabs, and many other typical ingredients of the rainforest. We would have loved to stay longer, but we had a boat to catch, and indeed, we lucky enough to be out of the forest before a rain even heavier than the morning showers set in. In just a few seconds, going from our cab to the ferry building, we got totally soaked after all. But the memories of the rainforest hike we had just done were so good that we took that natural shower as a bonus.
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