Since we have been in the Caribbean we have been planning on biking but either the islands were too small, the drivers too crazy or the water and rum-punch too inviting.
Finally today – anchored off St. Vincent – we set the alarm for sunrise, jumped out of bed, breakfasted, packed everything in to the dinghy, rowed to the beach, put the bikes together, got dressed in cycling gear and set off up hill.
We followed the Windward Highway for the first few kilometers and then turned up a small steep side road. At nine o’clock we stopped next to the village school for a drink and then continued up in to the hills. We were far off the tourist trails and everyone looked at the crazy mountain-bikers. Thinking about it, we didn’t meet another bike of any type all day. Most people exchanged a happy “Morning! Morning!” with us and were pleased when we told them they had a “beautiful but steep country”. It was nice that they were happy as even some of the women carry machetes.
Eventually the road became a track and the track became a trail and we were riding along a ridge between two valleys surrounded by foliage and humming birds – real jungle feeling. The trail took a steep turn downhill which we slid down before realizing we should have taken a hidden turn at the top. We climbed back up a never ending bamboo staircase back to the top and sweat literally ran off us. Who needs a fitness studio?
Back at the top there was more great scenery before we took the correct turn down hill. On the way we passed a sign pointing to a spring so we stopped off there. Living on a boat, you really appreciate limitless, flowing cool water. We washed ourselves and let the sun dry us.
As the bikes were on land we used them to find a bank and a supermarket before returning to the beach for a beer and then rowing back “home”.
We climbed 650 meters during the 24 kilometer ride so we obviously still know how to ride a bike. We were also reminded how amazing it is to have bikes along and be able to get inland to places where people just live their lives without having to put on a tourist display. Our track is saved to gpsies.com