Through the guided hike offered by Strawberry Fields Together, there was an option to walk from the property to the waterfall, or to take a boat then walk from a black sand beach to the waterfall. Option #1 was chosen for a few reasons: to indulge in all the picturesque views, to make up for neglected exercise, and it was cheaper.
At 1:10pm, three of us (guide included) started the trek to Kwaamen aka Kwame Falls, passing a few cook shops, bars, and houses before the asphalt made way for a dirt road. After maybe 15 minutes of walking, the dirt road ended and revealed paths seemingly only fit for footmobiles. The foliage got thicker, and though there was a lot of shade, it was anything but cool. Me, being someone who nuh know how fi act in humidity, had to expose my abdomen as my way of tolerating the condition better.
The shady area eventually introduced a short-length but full-width bed of mud which loosely hugged my sneakers. Following the sticky mud and a few more minutes of walking came the first hill ascension which insisted on testing my (un)fitness. This soon brought the first glimpse of a view, as water could now be seen through the small trees beside us. Released from the foliage umbrella, we looked beyond and below at the reveal of the hillside and the Caribbean Sea horizon. The view had me briefly forget we had to continue walking into the greenery’s shadow, with a considerable distance left to go. The next time we stepped into sunshine was at the top of the hill, complemented with an even grander panoramic view. From here, the furthest point of land seen behind us wasn’t as far as the distance we had traveled, our guide said. The next hill we climbed hosted a wide area of unspoilt, green land facing the sunshine; it’s one of those pieces of land you look at and hope future development never destroys its beauty.
On reaching a rocky black sand beach, a resident seemed to be building a fire by the sea. After jumping over a stream, I thought at this point, “Surely we are almost there”… NERP! Maybe another half hour before we’d reach our destination. Continuing through some narrow paths, transitioning between bright sunshine and completely shaded regions, and negotiating big river stones became more frequent features of the trail. Our guide, Sochi, eventually turned to us and said, “Your shoes will get wet”, before approaching an ankle-deep river. We walked through and crossed different points of the river six times to connect the path to the waterfall.
After the final cross, I could vaguely hear the falls in the distance and soon saw the magnificent beauty beyond the trees and shrubbery. Relief covered my naturally-lazy body as the path ended, but I quickly realized the waterfall in the distance… was still in the distance; we now had to walk along the side of the path to actually get to the waterfall. The trees were my best friends at this point, as I held onto them to pull myself up and add security while traversing the muddy surface.
At 2:50pm, finally, we’ve reached Kwaamen Falls! I was so intrigued by the formation of the rock following years of the water’s force, spent some time just gazing at it as random thoughts flooded my mind. It seemed like it had rained in the area recently so the water wasn’t as clear as preferred. Sochi told us the water could get very deep, and not being able to see far below the surface, I submerged up to my chest and enjoyed the view and the sound of the rushing water. Meanwhile, Sochi set up a fire and prepared roast fish and plantain for lunch…I sh!t you not, best roast fish I’ve ever had!
The river and lunch were enjoyed for maybe an hour and a half before heading back; definitely didn’t want to be undergoing this hike in anything other than daylight. We got back to Strawberry Fields Together shortly before 6pm, just in time to shower, enjoy dinner, and get ready for an early turn in; another adventure conquered.