Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Reef Bay Hike
Tom and Amy of Sandpiper fame have a arrangement with the National Park Service to pick up hikers from the Reef Bay hike then transport them back to Cruz Bay on their trawler the Sadie Sea. They have been after me to do the hike so I did and am glad I did!
The hike starts at the NPS office where taxis take the group to the top of the island and drop off at the trailhead. It is a three mile mostly downhill hike through the tropical forest. The hike is accompanied by a Ranger who stops at points of interest and gives a little history of ther ruins and the flora.
The slaves on St John gained their freedom in 1733. As St John was an extremely difficult island to cultivate because of the lack of flat land and steep valleys, after the slaves were freed the population dropped from over three thousand to less than 200 hundred. A few of the sugar plantations remained but most faded away and were reclaimed by the jungle. Were also stopped for lunch and were shown some petroglyphs from the Taino people that predated Columbus' arrival in the area.