Our friends wanted to see a new beach. So we did! A first time for all of us! We carved out time, packed a picnic and off we went. We drove toward the dump on the French side. What we were expecting was a half hour hike. Where’s the path? There was quite a bit of activity that helped us find our way, thankfully. On the north side of the island, we found a tiny path hugging the mountain side. Higher and higher we climbed. The ocean far below crashed upon the jagged rocks. One false step could be the end. Afraid of heights? Stay the course, wedging feet in between shear rocks at times. Leveling off the trail seemed to get easier in this section. Young guys carrying surf boards passed us! Wow, I thought we were going at a good pace. Slowly the trail lead downward to the sea. Shells, spent corals, and rocks now under foot. Our ankles were taking a beating. Each step on the loose surface clanged like porcelain dishes being roughly treated. Now a rouge wave could have its way with us. Out in the waves surfers gathered looking for the perfect ride. The path was busy with travelers in both directions. Some places made passing scary with no room or safe place to go. Not a place for children! This trek was turning out to be more of a challenge than we thought!
We approached a rock out cropping. From here we could finally see the entire cove, the Petite Caye. Carefully picking our way through more coral and rocks we gladly stepped onto the sand. Others had already claimed spots with shade. We noticed behind the trees a tent and hammock. Hope they don’t need to run to the store for something. We settled in near a sea grape tree. It provided a nice canopy with shade. Once the blankets were laid out it was time to explore the beach and cool off in the ocean. There were double sets of breakers and the tide had a strong pull. Rocks pelted our feet and ankles making it hard to get in and out of the water.
Our friends made some delicious sandwiches and we shared a bottle of wine. Nice and relaxed we took in the beautiful views. We noticed the ground started moving…..hermit crabs! They were the biggest ones I’d ever seen, heading for our picnic! We shared some bread causing the crowd to maul one another. A smaller hermit completely engulfed by another the size of a baseball. Yikes! There were other stirrings as well. Iguana? Lizards? No! A mongoose! Scurrying within two feet of Bill’s head as he relaxed on the beach! It was just under the leaves of the tree! I went back in by the tree trunk and watched only to see two more mongooses! A whole little family! Looks like the hermit crabs have a predator! There was a small water supply nearby as well. What a perfect spot for them. They knew we were there and how to be close and out of reach at the same time. A squirrel’s head without ears and bushy long tail like a cat they slinked along the leaves on the ground, barely visible.
Our spot was getting too sunny after all and we packed to leave. Honestly, the thought of the trail going back was daunting for me. We stopped at the rock out cropping and enjoyed the tide pools. We lingered taking in the waves at a safe distance. They were so high compared to being seated in the pool! It was majestic! It was hard to believe so many surfers out in those waves!
The hike back went more quickly than expected. We looked forward to happy hour to refresh and cool off. There’s another path from Anse Marcel into the caye. Apparently we had taken the easy way! Well I guess we won’t venture on that one! Actually, I think that hike satisfied my curiosity and visit some other beach that’s easier to get to!