Scheduled Date: Saturday 23rd April, 2016
The Valleys of the Northern Range on Sat 22nd April’2017
“The Valleys of the Northern Range” is a one-way expedition, which begins at the Guanapo Quarry and ends at the Spring Bridge in Blanchisseuse. The trekking distance is approximately 21.5 miles (34.6km) and depending on one’s pace will take the enthusiastic hiker between six to eight hours to complete. The journey divided into four sections and linked by bench-trails with different valleys to overcome. During the eighteenth and nineteenth Century when the cocoa crop was the chief produce built were the bench trails to connect the various communities and plantations. Along the route the highest elevation of (2225 feet or 678 metres) located on top the hill at the passageway between Brasso Seco/Paria to the north and Lalaja to the south. This area is a crossroad where foot trails lead to some of the highest peaks. To the east is El Cerro Del Aripo (940m) and to the west is Mt Bleu (852m).
Wildlife is usually camouflage and not easily seen, but while walking through the valleys at an altitude of (200-600m), one can hear the call of the Bearded Bellbird “tonk –tonk tonk” repeated every few seconds. Another bird perched on the forest floor with a rasping cheeow call is the White–bearded Manakin. The adult males make a snapping call by flicking their secondaries to impress a female. Overlooking Lalaja and Brasso Seco, the Channel-billed Toucan is sometimes seen high up in the treetops attracted to the date palms. They make a loud Ki-aarh sound and pluck stone fruits with a hard shell. At Paria Beach one maybe lucky to see the first turtle hatchlings emerging from the sand. Unfortunately, the Vultures are always present to massacre the hatchlings and even attack snakes as seen on the picture.
Note this expedition is a test of one’s fitness and recommended for advanced hikers or trained athletic persons experienced in walking long distances.
Valley 1: Guanapo Valley to La Laja (1 ½ – 2 hours)
The direction from the Guanapo Quarry is north alongside the river. After forty minutes the trail descends to the river, and surprisingly in the middle of the forest, there is a fallen road sign that says Sambasson Trace. This area is within close approximation about 200metres from the mouth of the Guanapo Gorge. The route continues through the forest then ascends to a citrus orchard where an estate road leads to the top of La Laja South Trace. The elevation at this point is 572m and in the distance panoramic views of the Guanapo Valley. Sadly the beauty of the Guanapo Mountain Range is slowly disappearing by extensive quarrying.
Valley 2: La Laja to Brasso Seco (1 ½ hours)
La Laja is a small agriculture settlement situated in the hills, seven miles northeast from Arima. The walk continues for 2 km east along the Lalaja Main Road and turns left into La Laja Paria Trace to the top of the ridge and down to the Brasso Seco /Paria Village on the Madamas Road.
Valley 3: Brasso Seco to Paria Bay (2 1/2-3 hours)
Leg 3 of the expedition starts from the Brasso Seco RC Church and continues for 13km(8miles) through the heart of the forest to Paria Bay. The footpath mostly flat and distinct with some gentle inclines.
Valley 4: Paria Bay To Blanchisseuse Spring Bridge (2 hours).
At Paria, there is the option to visit the falls for a quick refresher. Yearly during the month of March to July, it is the nesting season of the leatherback turtle, and one may be lucky to see the hatchlings emerging from the sand. The final leg of 8km to the Spring Bridge is along the ever-popular coastal trail located at the western end of the beach. Along the way, it is inviting to stop at Cathedral and Turtle Rock to enjoy the magnificent coastal scenery.
On Saturday 22nd April 2017 Fitness Walkers explore “The Valleys of the Northern Range.”
Assembly: 6.00am at Eric Williams Medical Complex Mt.Hope.
Rating: 8 challenging and recommended for experienced hikers and training athletic persons.
Estimated Hiking time 6-8 hours
Text your name to pre- register, so adequate transportation provided: Cost $140.00 includes 1.Maxi Transport to Guanapo Quarry
And 2. With return transport from Blanchisseuse
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