Scheduled Date: Monday 2nd May, 2016
Chacachacare Island on Thursday 26th May 2016
Chacachacare Island located eight miles from the Venezuelan coastline is a place full of rich history. It is an Island to escape from the hustle of city life and enjoy a peaceful day at the beach. The Island first discovered by Christopher Columbus on 12th August 1498 and called El Caracol (the Snail) because of its angular shape. It is the largest and most westerly of the five Boca Islands, which are Centipede, Gaspar Grande, Monos, Huevos, and Chacachacare. In earlier times, cultivated on the island was cotton and along the Lighthouse Road, some surviving plants still blossom.
In 1813, Simon Bolivar and Santiago Marino used the Island as a battle station in the liberation of Venezuela from Spanish Rule. At one time, whales populated the Gulf of Paria and Caribbean Sea. In 1820, a Whaling Station established there. The highest point on the island is Morne Cabresse (825feet), wherein 1870 the Boca Light House built and remains in operation today.
In 1924, a Leprosarium constructed to accommodate 500 patients. The hospital wards placed at Cocos and Saunders Bay. The Dominican Nuns, who took care of the patients, constructed a convent and church at La Chappelle’s Bay. Many of the nuns while taking care of the patients contracted the disease and died. In the cemetery grounds of the Nunnery, their tombstone still exists and serves as a reminder of their dedication. It was like a death sentence, for a patient to be sent to the island and taken away from their families some never to return to the outside world. At Rust Bay, there was the Doctor’s House and at Blummer’s Bay the Nurse’s Quarters. During this period, the island was busy with activity, electricity provided and the patients had a cinema for recreation. In 1984 with a cure for Hansen disease the place abandoned, and all left today are the ruins.
The boat ride to the Island will take 40 minutes, and the walk from the jetty to the Light House is approximately 35 minutes. Visible at the summit there are panoramic views of the Venezuelan mainland. On the return from the lighthouse, there is the option to visit the Nunnery to see the nun’s gravesite. Located at Bandu Su Bay on the eastern end of the Island there is a Salt Pond. For those who just want to relax one can spend the time at La Tinta and Perruquier Bay.
For more details contact Marcia 490-2421 or Mario 749-2956 or Jamal 7611889 or visit www.islandhikers.com
On Thursday 26th, May Island Hikers visit Chacachachare Island (family hike)
Rating: 2 easy.
Assembly: 7.ooam KFC Carpark Westmall. Depart to board boat by 7.45am
Cost $140.00 includes hike and boat fee
Kids 11 and under $110.00
Phone: (868) 749-2956,
email :islandhikers @gmail.com
Marcia 490-2421,Michael 719-3368,
Jamal 761-1889,Robin 681-1389,
Camille 620-314, Michelle 726-5195,
,Petronilla 342-1072, Pooran 764-2041
Dennis 678-2768, Adrian 349-9316,
Bob 685-5355, Pedro 346-3460
Ian 682-6177, Danny 372-7798