Fitness

You’re never to old to play upside down!

On my first return to Barbados back in 2012 my friend Ryan introduced me to Shane De Freitas and the local adult gymnastics class. For the full flash back of those days see the post called Calories… love to consume them, love to burn them! Year after year I’d return to the family of gymnasts (who probably laughed at the fact that I just referred to us as “gymnasts”) for more fun and fitness. Last year we caught several action shots seen in A flippin good time. Thank you Mark Harris for the photo session! 

And now it’s 2017 and we play again! Photo credit to Matt Stone @ http://www.StoneSharpImagesPhotography.com

At any point in time during the session, there’s a large chance you’ll find our irreplaceable Andy perched on top of the mushroom (aka- meditating, relaxing, shrooming, cheating, sleeping, sitting or chilling).

Clearly we have no fun at all.

To wrap up another amazing day full of flips, twist, jumps, splits and laughs, we nailed a group photo on the first take (after a 20 minute discussion on where and how we’d do it).

Coach Shane, I hope you fully grasp the gratitude we all share for your willingness to coach our almost uncoachable personalites and laugh along with it. Beyond the smarty comments and occasional groaning (no names mentioned) we actually enjoy the quality conditioning that we claim to be torture. I’m confident to speak for the class that your absence leaves our Tuesday and Thursday evenings feeling a bit incomplete and rather… well, normal. We’re looking forward to your return while sending you all the luck and love you deserve! 

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Handstanding to donate!

It’s that time of year again! I did a handstand with the intention of having you to take a shot for how long I held it. The person with the closest guess will then choose where herhappytrails donates this years $50 cash! 

Last year was 33 seconds and a split win! A special thanks to my buddy Cruz Gaskins who donated right back to herhappytrails (sneaky gift that was) and to Jessica Rendon for choosing the Rainforest Affiliation! 

Click here to watch the handstand from 2015

The year prior was 41 seconds and the charity that Mark Philipps decided on was Make a Wish Foundation!

Click here to watch the handstand from 2014

After 5 years and hundreds of handstands I still love to be upspide down, preferably in a place that I don’t speak the language and where several locals question my mental stability. Until that next brilliant opportunity, here’s a few examples of the toe points seen in the Handstanding around the world page.

Not that it will help your guess in any way, shape or form…. but below is a cute little collage of the first two years with the current handstand on the right. Good luck!

Now you ask, “But Erika, how do we ever join in this glorious fun?!” 

Easy as 1,2,3:

1. Make a guess.

2. Apply it in the comments below, email it to herhappytrails@yahoo.com or on Facebook.

3. Wait for the reveal! (On Dec 31st)

Much gratitude for taking the energy to read, contribute and continue spreading the joy of giving!
Many cheers and one love,
Erika Mae Young
RESULTS 18 seconds!  This year I had a little fun with the shot and went with a shorter time and more entertainment! Thanks for all the votes and major vote and the winner is sweet Erin Sanders! Her charity of choice will be announced soon. ​

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Ready for the hike! Where’s my blindfold?

Matt and I decided to hit the road and camp for two nights. No, not glamping as seen in the most recent post but good ol’ tent and dirty toes camping! 

Day one brought us to Pine Log State Forest in Northwest Florida. The drive alone was enchanting!

Step one, set up camp. Step two, sage the site. Step three, go for a hike! 

This trek started like none other as Matt suggested we approach it blindfolded! He read about a method in which you trust your instincts while embracing the other sensations around you. The sounds, the ground beneath your feet, the wind against your skin, the tree branch piercing your hip… I’m in!

Once the bandannas were removed we kept walking and I did find myself more appreciative of the glorious sights around us. Not only the ability to actually see where I was going, but the visual stimulation that came from such beautiful scenery.

We were “almost there” Matt confirmed a half dozen times (when clearly we weren’t) as we reached a sign that informed us that we were just barely a little over half way. Honestly it was so refreshing out there, neither one of us minded the extra walk as we laughed it off and kept going. The final stretch was well worth the long way back!

Dinner was veggies and chicken. Those who know me well, have the right to assume that I stuck with the veggies and let Matt battle the bird. With our powers combined (for all you Captain Planet fans) we had a delicious dinner! 

The sun peaking up was warm enough to draw you out of the tent while the chill factor had you reaching for a beanie. Camping weather at its finest!

So turns out we forgot all utensils, but remembered the French press. Go figure. Best backyard barista ever!

Breakfast? Matt thoroughly enjoyed his blueberry muffins as I awkwardly stared deeply into my yogurt. 

Me: “I think there’s raw chicken water in my yogurt.” 

Matt: “What? You still going to eat it!?”

Me: “Yep.”

I had opened it the night before and carelessly put it back in the cooler as if the ice wasn’t going to melt and allow most items to be completely submerged. Don’t worry mom, I scraped off the top layer first (to be said with love in a sarcastic backpacker tone). After consuming the twice blessed breakfast with fingers crossed, we packed up and hit the road to the next adventure! Miles up the highway brought us to Ecofina Creek and the popular Springs.

Just get in!  Sounds easy right? This is until your big toe scrapes the surface of this ice box! For most, this would be a lengthily process of creeping your way inch by brutal freezing inch. For me, it was all or nothing. Head first with no room for hesitation. And for Matt, I’m convinced he’s part marine life.

Deeper into the springs provided more quality shots and the occasional curious substance between your toes. Feel a little nibble? It’s just the fish providing a complimentary pedicure.

Last stop before finding our new sleeping location is called Devils hole. A hidden gem in the shape of a circle with depths only divers can tell you about. Last time Matt was here, he said it was dark and with fairly foggy waters. Today, it’s clear blue! 

The second site was set up quickly as we decided to ditch the tent and go rugged in the open sky. Hammock… check. Sage… Check. Hanging light… check. Good night!

How could I leave this place without a handstand photo?! We returned in the morning to the ice box Springs for a well worth shot, great capture Matt!

Several of the marvelous photos above were from Matt and his quality (aka- fancy or big boy) camera. For more of his work please visit the Stone Sharp Images webite. Care to see his version of our trip? Click here for his blog post!

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7 reasons to ride a bike

1. For the health of it! Cardiovascular stimulation is a peice of the pie of fitness (did someone say pie? Mmmmm). Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who don’t exercise at all.

2. Breath of fresh air, ahhhh. So we don’t leave plastic bottles in the sun due to the cancer-causing toxins released, but what about the interior of your vehicle that bakes all day in the heat? We climb right into the chemical box and drive for hours.  Not to mention our poor environment and the fumes we inhale by simply starting the engine.  I vote to hit the trail and breathe the green.

3.Care to shed a few pounds?
Riding your bike for an hour burns anywhere from 400-700 calories an hour while sitting in your car or on the couch burns a whopping plate of boredom with a side of time to snack. I wonder how many calories you demolish by carrying your bike?

4. Sexy time! The Harvard University found that men over 50 years of age who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise. Keep it up! No pun intended.

5. Money hunny. According to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as the lazy-o-man.

6. Light bulb! Illinois University found that a five percent increase in cardio fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new cells in the hippocampus (that funny named region of the brain responsible for memory). Say what?!

7. All the cool kids are doing it! Some of my most fond memories traveling abroad involve me, 2 wheels and happy people! 

Hayden, thanks for the unconditional support in my crazy lifestyle. You’re the type of person everyone wishes they had in their life. Champagne forts, bike rides, sushi love, stupid humor, the list goes on. You’re the best! Plus you always let me win shooting pool (side kiss wink face). So grateful you’re my boy… 

Next stop, Florida! 

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A flippin good time

On my first return to Barbados back in 2012 my friend Ryan introduced me to Shane De Freitas and the local adult gymnastics class. For the full flash back of those days see the post called Calories… Love to consume them, love to burn em!

Google Shanes name and what will most likely pop up is his participation in the 1996 Olympics back in Atlanta Georgia as the only gymnasts representing Barbados. Along side that, you’ll read of his success with Bimflip Gymnastics and his link with Power Monkey Fitness amongst other accomplishments. 

World, meet Shane De Freitas.

 
Putting all that boring stuff aside (said with sarcasm) this post is about his phenomenal students and our current Tues/Thurs class that more than likely keeps him grounded… or slightly insane.  Either way, the photos taken by the incredible Mark Harris will hopefully give you a broad idea of our quirky class! 

First task as always, warm up!  Some of you may or may not understand the concept of stretching and its necessity to the body, especially with age. Your hamstrings will thank you tomorrow.

   

Ryan clearly enjoys this stretch. Maybe it’s a hurt so good kind of thing?For the majority of the hour and a half we do random drills according to the events that are desired by the students. Considering we have a huge range of level, it’s always fun to see the variety of skill ability. Since this post isn’t geared towards the sport itself rather just to show how we like to spend our evening, I’ll let the photos do the most the talking. 

  

 

   

  More often than not, you’ll find us upside down… my happy place.  

  

       

Yes, we even brave the bars as most adults would be like, “You want me up where? Doing what?!”  Shy away from the beam?  Nah. Or in Dani’s case, beams. She jumps all three in a row! Out. Of. Her. Mind!Bars, beams and rings… Oh my! Remove the floor, bars, beam, ropes, mats and you’re left with… Air!  Our class loves to take flight.  I seem to have a mental block that suggests I have weights tied to my feet. Notice I handstand around the world… There’s no elevating involved.         Take notice this is a double rotation to a foot landing! I can barely sort out where I am when I roll out of bed.   I wonder what caught her so funny mid flight.  Gotta love a happy gymnast! I’ll end it with a few photos of us having a miserable experience in this self induced torture of a time.   

      
 
If you have any excuses for not doing gymnastics, please see the following who have proven otherwise:

“I’m too tall” –  Andrew, Martin and Max… All over 6ft 🙂

“You know I just surf, right?” – says Jessica while in her full splits!

“I have a bad knee.” – determination and dedication shown by Abby in a brace.

“I was just a child last time I did it.” – welcome back Ysabelle, Heather, Andy and Melissa!

“I can barely even touch my toes” – …but I can flip, jump, swing and twist like a champ, proves Ryan.

“I’ve never done it before” – most improved with a smile goes to Dani.

“I just had a baby” – watch a press to handstand by new mom Michelle!

“…but I’m a ballerina.” – clearly it helps sweet Lara!

“I only taught the sport, doesn’t mean I can actually do the skills” – till I (me) actually tried!

“Sure I’m the only Bajan Olympic Gymnast, 4 time world championship competitor, 2 time ranking All American and I have a skill named after me… But that was like, 15/20 years ago” – says Shane as he pulls a double front out of nowhere! 

         Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right. 

                                                                                                                                                Henry Ford

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Ms. Barbados, Queen of the sea

When you hear the word “sailboat” what comes to mind? A bunch of swanky people sipping martinis along the smooth coastal waters? Maybe a gang of pirates with patch covered eyes and worn out parrots for pets. Anyone out there get the visual of Bill Murray in “What about Bob?”. Just checking. 

Let me share with you the image that I will forever hold in regards to this exciting sport.

Barbados is home to a popular race that dates back to the 19th century, a competition that started in 1936 challenging a captain and crew to circle the island in record time. There are several classes ranging from the size of the craft to the number of team members aboard. Imagine if a bird flew in a full circle around the island, the race would be about 60 miles but due to wind and rough waters, the machines end up doing  over 70 miles!

Starting on the southwest coast at Carilisle Bay, they gathered for an even line up before kicking into gear. This is where we were lucky enough to be in the water for the starting line.  

 

In electric blue is Ms.Barbados team Concise, led by Captain Ned Wakefield, a young British man with driven energy and smiling eyes. Along side him, a group of hand selected team members including my dear local friend Robert Povey, a lion with a heart of gold. The fierce competitor Phaedo^3 (in the bright green) is carried by an American captain Lloyd Thornburg. 
There was absolutely no question of when these power-houses turned up the knots and began the chase up the 20 mile stretch in the “calmest” waters of the race.  

The photos hardly express the power behind these massive machines. We were almost full throttle (holding on tight!) pushing over 35 mph and they were leaving us in the mist of their ocean spray.   

  I wanted to try and show the speed of these sexy trimarans so I took a video from our boat. Forgive the quality but I left it raw to show the intensity from a distance. You’ll get the idea by clicking here!

We wern’t the only ones out there to get up close and personal. Here’s a view if you took your eyes of the main attraction. 

As the group reached the top of the island (refer to the maps above), you’ll realize that when they’re fighting the massive Atlantic waves, there’s nothing between them and Africa!

This would be the last time we’d see them before they would complete the entire circle. As I watched the sails shrink into small specks, I was able to tune into my heart rate and breathing, which at that moment felt as if I was the one racing!   

Considering the previous record was over 4 hours long, we knew we had some time to kill. Once they left our sight, we turned around to head back south towards the finish line and to snag a quick bite. 

What… What’s this?! They’re already done! Destroying the record time, these MOD70’s completed the journey around the island in only 2 hours and 37 minutes! I’m proud to say that Ms.Barbados powered through the finish 12 seconds faster and we were lucky enough to catch them celebrating on the water!

I’ll admit I was pleased when speaking with a member from Phaedo^3 after the race. He expressed in a genuine tone that although they came here to win, the race and its results were that of two exceptional teams and a lot of hard work. Couldn’t of been any closer. 

Let me just confirm for you that not only are these athletes hard working and extremely focused on their passion, they also hold true to the definition of gentlemen. Yes, they can drink rum like water and probably curse a few gentle words on the water, but when ladies are present, these fine men present themselves in an honorable fashion. What an pleasure to not only have seen them race first hand but to personally know the manpower behind it all.

Watch the video here (curtesy Caribbean News Media) to see the stretch across the stunning Caribbean water finish line.

No victory (or any celebration for that matter) in Barbados would end here. The after party was simply the beginning of an evening of great people on a natural high still thriving off the adrenaline supplied from the day. 

It seems impossible to ignore the sunsets of Barbados as they caress the calm Caribbean waters. On this evening it almost seemed like the waters smiled back in contentment of the days event.     

   

            Many thanks to Stewart, Alex, Jason, Stacey and Carina for making the day what it was!

  


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Guess, win, give… Birthday round 2 winners!

Last year, I found much joy in donating my birthday funds to a charity of a friends choice.  How’d this happen? I held a handstand and gave everyone the chance to guess the length of time in which I allowed the blood to rush to my figer tips. If you havn’t seen that 41 seconds of random upside down entertainment, feel free to see the post and video at Guess, win, give… I love birthdays! 

The closest guess made by a local buddy Mark got to donate to any chariy in care of Her Happy Trails. See his choice in the post Make a wish donation.  Oh the beauty of paying it forward!

Well there’s nothing new or fancy this year, just the intention of giving a little with some upside-down fun being the foundation! Take a wild guess on how long this years birthday handstand was held. The closest estimation will choose the charity in which herhappytrails.com will donate $100. Guess it to the very second and you’ll recieve $50 US dollars to your bank account. (Perfect timing for the holidays if I don’t say so myself!)

 If you havn’t seen the page called Handstanding around the world, I highly suggest it. Nothing to read or ponder, just some images that I’m honored to of been a part of.  For all who have asked, “Did you have someone take those… a stranger, a friend?” or “Is that a self timer?”.  Yes, yes and yes!  Most of them I’ve done alone consuming many afternoons of the giggles while attempting to time it just right.  Nobody walking through the picture, with me in proper form and most importantly, without the camera tipping over mid shot. Sometimes I’ll recieve help from a random stranger (enter new friend here) who has watched my struggle of camera, timer, sprint, handstand and hold. Other times, I’ll have a fellow travel partner aside me that is always willing and extremely patient to partake in the chaos of that hadstanding backpacker.  Thanks friends! 

Below is just a glimpse of what now has reached to over 200 handstands around the world! 

  

 

UPDATE: Naturally my goal was to beat last years time, however after a few attempts it was clear that the time would be the very age I turned this year… 33 seconds (in a slight breeze) takes the birthday cake! Congratulations to Cruz Gaskins and Jessica Rendon for guessing it exactly!  

Click here to watch the handstand video!

Sweet little Cruz made the decision to recylce his winnings and donate back to herhappytrails.com (enter heart felt sigh here). I send much gratitude and all my love to him and his family as their generosity was felt immediently. Check out his adorable contribution to the list of estimations. He should win an award just for that smile!   
Jessica chose to send her portion to the Rainforest Alliance . This foundation was established in 1987 and is described as an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. My favorite vision they share is to create a world where people and planet prosper together.  

 

 

 

 

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Fútbol… Not soccer.

Over the years, I’ve been able to attend a variety of professional sports games in different countries.  Like Rugby in New ZealandAmerican football, cricket in Barbados, hockey, baseball, basketball, just to name a few! On this glorious day, my favorite Germans are treating us to an experience that (little did I know) would be the best live sports event I have ever been to!

To get to the game we boarded a train with the other fans and made our way to the stadium Westfalenstadion! Look at this happy bunch, from left to right:

Hayden: Self procalimed “spaz” with a huge heart and deep love for quality beer.

Allie: A peaceful yogi that lights up any room with her smile and dominates speaking US slang.

Florian: An artistic musician with the humor of a German raised in “Cali”.

Carina: The smallest and most fierce cop with the spirit of an angel.

Emily: Pleasantly honest. Her contagious laugh enhances every situation.

Me: Luckiest girl to be with all of the people above.

 Now, there’s something to be said about watching your team play and the energy behind it. I suposse that’s why this experience was so outstanding to me.  I’ll admit I’m not a soccer fan, nor did I have a team so origianlly I wanted to attend this game just for a new adventure. It took only minutes for me to not only become a fan… but a fan of BVB! 

Let me show you why…

 First off, just getting to the game was a blast!

   

  As we arrived you could feel the energy naturally being elevated with the sea of black and yellow. Excited fans aged from stroller bound infants to elderly… men, women, friends, families, this crowd was a balance of it all! I also personally loved the line of stunning horses verses segway patrol.

 You won’t find nachos or popcorn at this game, but there seemed to be an unlimited supply of Bratwürstchen (aka bratwurst) and condiments.  Check out the size of the ketchup and mustard dispenser! 
 
Game time! Lets head in and check out the biggest stadium in Germany!

  Wait! Pause for a fun pic… 
I truly hope that I’m not the only one that gets an overwhelming rush when peaking over the top step and having the stadium open up in full vision.  It’s such a powerful sight! Welcome to the home of Borussia Dortmund… Go BVB!

 
The game hadn’t even started yet and the crowd was already chanting and jumping in some sort of traditional ceremony style. Honestly, the crowd is what made this one of the best I have ever witnessed. That, and their mascot Emma the bee!

 When I thought the chanting was the extent of tradition, Carina snagged my scarf to show us the next step in becoming a BVB fan.  This was such a cool sight! 

   
 

 Think the game is good?  Wait till they score.. Gooooaaalll!!  

     
 
What a memorable day with amazing people!  
     
What do the happy faces from above look like with a tied game in the end? 

 
Not to worry, we finished the event with our traditional shot! Silly excuse for one more pic, but I’ll take it! The first collage is over a few years from random locations followed by the one from the game today. 

   
Good night Dortmund!  

  
Sports question of the day:

Would you rather have tickets to your favorite sports team for one season or locker room passes for one game?



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No Man’s Land and Bioluminescence

“No Man’s Land” sounds like a forbidden country side or lonely desert in the middle of an old historical site. To anyone who knows better here in Tobago, it’s one of the nicest beaches on the island. See for yourself! 

Where was the picture above taken?  From these seats.  I know… I know! Couldn’t you just climb up in one of those right now?  

The best portion of this crystal bath tub is the shallow shore that allows you to walk far into the depths.  By “depths”, I mean knee deep. If you look at the photo below, Ryan is actually taking a picture of my handstand.  You can barely see me, but that’s the point!  

I was thankful that I got to chill on No Mans Land during the daylight to fully appreciate our last evening in Tobago. It’s amost bitter-sweet writing about the final excursion as it was the absolute hi-lite of the trip, yet the least caught on camera.  Why? The moonlight wouldn’t expose our journey through the dark sea and for the grand finale you would have needed a professional camera and crew to capture the magnitude and brilliance.

Before we get into that, lets begin with the preparation for the event. I’ll start with the drive to get to the starting point. For all of you water sport fans, please contain your drool. 

    
The sun was beginning to set and all of the participants arrived for a run down on where we’re going and what to expect.   

 This unforgettable tour starts at Pigeon Point and takes you through the Bon Accord Lagoon until you reach No Mans Land (the stunning beach from above). From there, you paddle or kayak through unbelievable glowing water. Read that again… glowing water! I rarely use the word “unbelievable”, but this, this is only what you see on the discovery channel.  In fact, when you go to www.standuppaddletobago.com and click on the night tour, Duane has a link to a video explaining this natural occurrence called Bioluminescence (depending on your accent, it sounds like bio-loom-en-es-ence).

Bioluminescence is caused by blooming phytoplankton and can be seen if “all keys are right”. I’m pleased to say, that on this night we had a wonderful group and indeed, all keys were right! 

Here’s the first photo taken as we headed to the water each with a glow stick, a floating devise and 2 trustworthy paddlers as our guides.  Duane with the unofficial assistance of Ryan made the group (at least speaking for myself) feel safe, informed and encouraged. I’d do it all over again!

 
From the shore we made our way to No Mans Land, some on paddle boards and others in kayaks. Here are the only photos that turned out blog worthy(ish) from the first stretch.

   
Finally we made our way to the “glowing water” and I’ll have to admit, at this point I was wondering just how exciting it would be. Hmm… 

As we got closer, I could feel my heart rate increasing and my eyes opening wider to try and absorb what I was actually witnessing! The vibrancy was so wonderous I don’t even want to show you the attempted photos. (If you’re even the slightest interested please see the video here or on Duane’s website). 

While coasting on your board, the fish beneath you look like highlighters jetting through the water.  Every splash you make with your paddle creates a rippling effect of neon lines.  Think this alone would be enough? So did I, until he jumped in the water! Surrounding his entire body was a glowing shield of the blooming phytoplankton. I thought this had to be the spike of my thrill but then… then I jumped in! I felt like a child in a life size pool of glow in the dark finger paint. We splashed around commenting on the sorcerer effect and super-human appearance, again like kids would do.  

The most powerful moment for me, was when my school-aged giggles went away. I looked at the motion in the water and realized it resembled, to what I think, energy looks like flowing from ones body, an “ora” if you will. I’ll admit to you all, it almost brought tears to my eyes that I was fortunate to experience such a thing and also saddened my heart realizing there’s only a small percentage that would ever get to do the same.

After the life changing swim, we continued the journey around the lagoon until reaching back to the starting point. The final pictures expresse it all! All of us full of life, energy and completely rejuvenated by natures own brilliant playground. 

  
  When you make it Tobago, please put this on your “must do” list and give Duane an extra hi-five for me!

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For some… it is what drives us

Time to exchange the flippers in for a paddle as Duane loads us up with a surprise.  Have you ever watched a movie in which a group explores through the wilderness, then kayaks through the clear ocean to hike the deep jungle until they fall upon a glorious beach with huge waterfalls covered by rainbows and sprinkles of tropical raindrops… ok, well this wasn’t exactly like that however this experience was way beyond my typical day in the sun!

First was an energizing paddle out to sea. At this moment I felt so insignificant in the wide open water, especially as I allowed thoughts to consciously cross my mind. I have been so fortunate to see a large glimpse of this amazing planet, however I’ve only scraped the surface.  Imagine all of the panoramics that our eyes haven’t seen and the friends we don’t even know yet. What a sensational concept that ignites something within when you really think about it!

For some… it is what drives us.

    

    

 Once we reached Bloody bay, we took a moment to take in the wilderness and all it comes with. A gorgeous landscape and private beach confirms why this is one of Duane’s favorite spots and we haven’t even seen the best of it yet!

   

 
These magical little leaves are responsive to touch, aren’t we all? They lay flat open absorbing the wind, rain and sun until touched or dropped. If stimulated, they fold inward and droop defending themselves from harm and re-open a few minutes later. Pictures don’t do the action justice, but I felt like a kid out there playing with these creatures. 

     

  These ping pong looking balls are actually empty eggs of the fascinating sea turtle. Momma comes here and digs a hole for thousands of eggs in hopes that a few will survive. You can see on the right side of the collage how a few hatched and slid down the sand bank heading for the water. The following photo is Duane walking the path of what appears to be mothers trail.

  

 I’d like to pause here and remind you of the activities park in Malaysia.  I do this because our barefoot rock-crawling hike today reminded me that theres no other feeling that can duplicate the sensation of earth under your feet. Heres a collage from Penang in the post Monkey business in Malaysia.

  

…and today!  

   

I had no idea where this therapeutic jaunt was leading until I heard the faint sound of water splashing. “Duane, did you take us to a waterfall?”! 

 Large enough to play in, deep enough to swim in and hidden to the public means this little escape made for the perfect play day! Who wouldn’t turn into a big kid around here?! 

        

 So at this point, I’ve been shown the landscape of what could be the next beach film, paddled in the open sea, played in a waterfall and now… I’m humbled during our return to shore. With a direct memory of the village in Ecuador, we witnessed a group netting off the beach. Below is a collage from the good times volunteering in the post Does it taste better when you catch it?

 
 This process takes precious time, consistent strength and team work. How rewarding! 
Not that fish was on our menu though. We had fresh fruit and… no knife. Leave it to Macgyver to pierce the watermelon with a screwdriver then split it open and serve it bowl style. Utensils? We used the 10 digits we were born with, glorious! 

 

For our next adventure, we kept slightly inland for a peaceful paddle on a smooth river in Richmond.

    Nothing fancy was needed to absorb the simplicity of the arched trees that created a shaded path for our ride. Enjoy… we did! 

  

      

      
 
For all my soca fans out there, may I get a curtesy laugh for wanting to title the next collage Ducking? 

 I won’t hesitate to end this post with another sunset shot, as it seems Tobago just hands them out as gifts. This look out point is Flag Staff Hill. Duane said that years back they had an organized party up here with a shuttle service and a DJ providing the backdrop tunes for what I can only imagine to be an epic evening.

   
Handstand!    
 

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