Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 31, 2012

Hiker but not a gearhead

I know I’m a hiker, but I’m not a gearhead. I think some of those gadgets, accessories and cool clothes are interesting, but throw myself into REI or Mountain Equipment Co-op for too long, and I’m overwhelmed.

I’m not one to have pants than can convert to shorts or a backpack that would draw the envy of anyone else on the trail. But I do love hiking, and have figured out my own gear for me – even if its not adventure traveller approved.

On the island of Grenada, my group met up early to go for a hike around the Grand Etang Forest, and specifically down to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls.

We first spoke with our guide, a soft-spoken man in his early 80s about the area, how it was formed and did a short walk to see the range of flowers and plants in this rainforest. Then we headed for the hike – which takes about 40 minutes down to the waterfalls.

It was muddy and lush, with the plants surrounding us and shading us from the strong sun. As we descended we got muddy and took it slow at some spots because of the slippery rock surfaces.

We had on hiking shoes and used sticks, to help us as climbed down the path to the waterfalls. Our guide easily walked the path, familiar with it for his whole life as a local, and then I noticed his shoes.

Not expensive hiking boots or shoes, he wore plastic sandals, no socks and was as agile as a mountain goat. Gearhead was something he would never be – but a hiker, he definitely is.

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