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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Remembrances of Gifft Hill - The Ghut - Part Two

We were in another world.

We were explorers going where no one had gone before. It was unlikely we'd actually get lost, but going down stream was the safest thing to do, it would lead us to the ocean. So that's what we did.

The hills rose steeply on either side of us, surrounding us, giving a sense of being very isolated and far anyway from everything. The ghut itself was wide. In some places it must have been at least 40 feet across, maybe more. It's hard for me to judge. I was so small when I was 8. I remember things being bigger than they really are. But even when I went down there as a teen and young adult, there were places where that ghut was very wide. A tremendous amount of water gets moved down it.

Most other ghuts we'd ever explored were at most 20 or so feet across, this one was way different. It was so wide there was open sky high above us, places where the overhanging trees and steep sides of the hills didn't block out the narrow band of blue.

We were amazed, awed, stunned by its hugeness and its incredible beauty. It was lush, the epitome of tropical. Huge elephant ear philodendrons (if you scroll down you can see a woman beside a large leaf) grew along the banks, clinging to rocks and trees. Their leaves were large enough that the two of us could stand under a single leaf. They made excellent umbrellas against both the sun and rain. There were anthuriums of various kinds and ferns. As we climbed our way around and over rocks, we were continually met with one spectacular thing after another. And every time we did all we could say was, "We gotta bring Mom here. She won't believe this 'til she sees it."

We had no idea where we really were. We had no idea how far we had to go to find those mysterious pools, or even if we were going in the right direction. But it didn't matter. We had found paradise.

Meanwhile, as we ogled and gasped, Happy explored ahead. He never let us out of his sight. I'm sure if he had stumbled upon a wild girl-eating animal, he would have defended us to the death. Lucky for us, there were no dangerous animals, not even poisonous snakes. The most we had to contend with was running into the web of the copper spider, a member of the orb family. Their web silk is strong and sticky and it's kind of freaky to get tangled up in it. But the spiders, fearsome as they look, are harmless. They can also be kind of big, easily spanning an adult palm.
There was also the real threat of disturbing a wasp nest.
The Monday wasps (also called Jack Spaniards) look like these guys only they're a bit bigger. This is a picture of Friday wasps. Mondays are easily angered and quick to sting first and ask questions later. Fridays are more laid back. If you disturb a nest, they'll fly around it check things out see if there's any danger and if there isn't settle back down. It's like they know the week-end is coming and they're cool. But those Mondays, they are pissed off all the time because it's the first day of the week. They like to build their nests under leaves so as we crashed and thrashed our way through the bush there was a chance we could have gotten zapped. But we didn't.

But we braved them both. Particularly me, who used to be near phobic about spiders.

Eventually we came to a place where the ghut was very wide and curved to the left. Always we'd been able to see the ghut ahead, been able to see it bending to the right or left. But when we came around that bend...we were met with open space and sunlight. We could see the sky and the hills beyond. But here was no more ghut. It had disappeared.

Stay tuned for The Ghut - Part Three.


  1. Love your opening line! You truly were in another world. I used to be near phobic about spiders, too. I don't know if I could have gotten past them (or the wasps). You were very brave.

  2. I've never seen anybody describe the wasps by the days of the week. I often feel like a Monday wasp on Friday, trying to get everything finished, and a Friday wasp on a Monday.

    Spiders I love, but wasps ... well, I tolerate them. I love their workmanship, their nests. I once disturbed a nest and got stung repeatedly. My arms and legs ballooned ...

  3. What a day of discovery that was. I knew you'd remember that first trip much as I do. Every step was truly awe inspiring!

  4. wow! how wonderful it must have been to have that kind of territory to explore as a kid. I loved exploring, but where I live, I'm afraid to let my kids go out of my cul-de-sac.

    How awesome!

  5. How wonderful to have a sister to explore such wonderful places with...

    And how scary...a spider the size of an adult palm...yikes!!

    Can't wait for part three!

  6. As always, you make me want to visit!

  7. Bish, I can't wait for part three. You have me so riveted. This is a book, you know? I loved learning about the Friday and Monday wasps. So interesting. I wanna visit. It's on my go to soon list. =)

  8. Yes, the opening line is terrific. This is definitely a book --

  9. Recognition Awards a consumer could make purchases through online shopping, shopping channels, mail order, etc. Sometimes peddlers and ice cream trucks pass through the neighborhoods offering services and goods


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