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Being a multi-sport club, we decided to switch things up and use a coveted long weekend holiday to embark upon XO's first hike. The destination? Paria Waterfalls. We set out at an hour when even God must have been sleeping, but we were welcomed to Maracas beach by an impossibly gorgeous sunrise (too bad Uncle Sam's wasn't open yet for an early breakfast!) The convoy of eight XO members and about 8 friends of XO soon reached to Blanchisseusse to begin the 17K (ish) hike. XO went like we were hiking for the weekend! What yuh need? We had first aid kit, walking poles (WITH lights!), compass, whistle, portugal, endless Gatorade, and sandwich galore....if nothing else we were WELL equipped!!!

Slow and steady we made our way through the narrow paths, over unsteady rocks, stopping every so often to gape at the beautiful scenery below when we trekked close to the shoreline. You would swear we were gymnasts when we had to crawl under a lil hole under the fallen tree, or climb over another massive tree to continue on our journey (all eyes were on Seldette as she hung on to a branch and swung over the tree like she practise dat!) Down the steep slopes we went; some of us (including yours truly!) are hoping that XO will sponsor a lil bleach to get the dirt off my jersey from treating the slope as a playground slide!

Finally we made it to the first beach and of course the first thing we did before even sipping Gatorade was take endless selfies! But picture taking was JOKE compared to when we made a little detour to Turtle Head rock!!! Mmmaaannnnn that alone was worth the whole hike!!! The pictures could never describe it, even if you were watching from afar. That could have been the whole hike there but the waterfall awaited, so we continued. When we made it to the waterfall there was a collective sigh of relief and AWE. Who can get enough of waterfalls? A small hike across the rocks and we were there to bathe in the frigid water. A few brave souls tried to conquer the water currents to get under the waterfall, but even our best swimmers only came close. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our short time spent there, lessening our load by devouring the sandwiches and drinking up some more water and Gatorade.

We decided the way back was all business, picture takin done! Well of course not, but we tried :) All the easy downhills before became the Mt Kilimanjaro (as we called it) on the way back. But as we do in XO, we all-stars finish no matter what! Walking poles switched hands and we rallied along the never-ending last 5K (which was on the flat road, mind you) to make it out the bush and back to the cars in just over 5 hours. Tired wasn't even the word (maybe dirty was?!!!) but we were all in agreement that we had a fantastic time and the company certainly made the hike an exhilarating experience. Thanks to all for the jokes and entertainment, and thanks to Derek for guiding us through the long short cuts and the short short cuts :) The only question now is, when's the next one?!!!

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