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Balandra is a small bay situated on the Northeastern Coast between the communities of Salybia and Rampanalgas. Its sheltered waters make it a favourite destination for sea-bathers. The rich landscape is filled with natural resources and the area capitalizes on agriculture, fishing and a beach resort. The name Balandra is a Spanish word when translated means Yacht, and in early times, anchored in the tranquil water’s were Spanish Sailboats.
Despite the popularity of the beach much of the area remains uninhabited from housing development. Situated opposite to the beach at Alcindor’s Trace, is the Balandra Forest where there is a network of trails that lead all the way to Rio Seco and surrounding villages. The vegetation there consists mainly of Mora (Mora Excelsa), which are large, heavily buttressed rainforest trees that grow between 130feet to 200feet (40m-61m) high. It is one of the few rainforest trees that grow in a long straight stand and the trunk used for timber production. It's lumber used for heavy construction, industrial flooring, boatbuilding and the manufacture of guitars because of its strong resistance to wear, strength and durability. The landscape is always under threat from loggers who exploit the precious woodland.
Another natural resource that meanders inconspicuous through the valley is the Balandra River. It provides water to nearby farmers for short-term agriculture. Further upstream in a concealed location along the river there are several spectacular pools known as the Balandra Basins.
The trek to the Basins will take 20 minutes and starts at Upper Alcindor Trace. The walk begins with a short descent to the river and continues upstream to the pools. Along the channel, there are two pools to discover. The first is broad and shallow and ideal for non-swimmers while the other located further downstream has a deep hollow basin. Giant boulders placed on the riverbed add elegance to the serene scenery and provide a comfortable place to relax and revel in the beautiful surroundings. The basin’s crystal clear water appears emerald green in the tree-filtered sunlight. Playing hide and seek between the rocks are the large lobster like crayfish. In recent times, with the Alcindor Road resurfaced small development is taking place, and there is a camping lodge.
After the hike, there is the option to spend the rest of the day at the nearby beach.
On Sunday3rd February 2019,Island Hikers visit Balandra Basins
Assembly: 7.00am Corner of O'Meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway Arima.
Depart by 7.45am
Rating: 2 easy
Hiking time estimate: 30 mins Lifejackets provided.
The hike is suitable for children five years and older.
Registration is on the morning of the hike
Bring along an extra change of clothing and shoe.
For more information, please contact www.Islandhikers.com or Mario: 749-2956, Jamal 761-1889