Back in mid February I rented a car in Trinidad for five days and have been telling you all about my adventures over the last two weeks. Well today is the first blog about the last day I had the car and I started the day off with an early morning hike in Chaguaramas, near where I have moored the boat.
Chaguaramas has some great trails and roads to hike because it was a US Naval Base for a couple decades and lots of the land on the peninsula has been left in a natural state, which is why Jesse James (a local tour guide you should make sure to meet if you are here) recommended I get there between 6 and 6:30am. He wanted me to see some red howler monkeys. Sure enough, as soon as I stepped out of the car I could hear two different troops howling back and forth. To be honest it sounded more like growling back and forth to me. Even though I could hear them all around, and saw many trees moving, all I saw were a couple capuchin monkeys, which are suppose to be much tough to see. Although I did not see the howler monkeys, it was so cool to be in the forest with them all around howling away.
Since I could not see any of the howler monkeys through the thick foliage, I figured I should walk up the road and check out the Bamboo Cathedral. The idea was maybe I would see another troop higher up the hill. Nope, never heard another one once I started up. What I did get to see was a couple hundred foot long natural tunnel of bamboo. It formed an arch like a church and with the fallen leaves all over the ground it had a very romantic feel to it. I suppose this is why it is so popular locally for wedding photos. 🙂
Now it was time to get to some serious hiking! Well actually I was still walking on a road that was blocked off from cars, but it was about two miles to the top of the hill. Once I got there I found the coolest abandoned place. It was one of the first satellite tracking station the US built as part of the Early Warning System to detect any Soviet ICBMs. It was built in 1958 and operated until 1971. Now it is a collection of buildings and the very cool looking dish. The buildings consist of a two story warehouse looking structure below and a long, hallway wide building behind the dish. This long building had several turns and then a really long hall before it headed down presumably to the structure below. It was creepy looking and I chose to not go down, because I would not find anything special (yep that is what I told myself, haha).