Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Waterfalls

Reach Falls in Portland Parish, Jamaica 
Reach Falls in Portland Jamaica was a fantastic place to spend the day in late spring. We were lucky to have a lot of water flowing but not so much to keep us from entering the two caves behind the cascades. You can explore the sapphire pools above the falls in complete solitude, unlike the tourist crush of Dunns Falls. Portland parish was a magical vacation. We stayed just outside of Port Antonio. This isn't the land of hustlers and all-inclusive resorts. It is the home of jerk, surfing in Boston Bay, Blue Mountain coffee, Frenchman's Cove, the Blue Lagoon, and Errol Flynning down the Rio Grande on bamboo rafts. There is no better country to be a vegetarian traveler in. Who else has a great traditional vegan culinary tradition like ital?  We felt safe enough to hitch rides into town. The people were fun and generous.






Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur California

About 30 minutes south of Carmel, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park provides one of the most beautiful waterfall views in America. I'm sure there is a way to actually get down there, but it would certainly be "unofficial" and it was unknown to us. This picture was taken from the Overlook Trail which hugs the hill on the north side of the small bay. Unfortunately, there weren't places to sit and spend a long time, just a narrow walkway. Luckily, we didn't mind because we were on our way to Pfeiffer Beach, just north of here.  If you are ever driving Highway One between Cambria and Carmel, don't be a fool and pass by this state park.


Pfeiffer Beach (not to be confused with Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park)




Unnamed falls on the La Mina river in El Yunque, PR


Who doesn't love their own personal tropical waterfall?  El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is chock full of verdent and enticing falls. We hiked the La Mina trail like so many other visitors. Surprise! It rains a lot in the rainforest. The downpours scared a lot of people back up the trail. La Mina falls itself is packed with swimmers and gawkers. If you hike upriver from La Mina falls, you will find a series of equally beautiful waterfalls that you can swim in by yourself. In particular, the next fall just above La Mina is fantastic. You have to climb down a hidden, steep, muddy path. Once down there, you might as well be in another world. As an added bonus, we saw the famous gem of a bird, the Puerto Rican tody. Its emerald and scarlet feathers shone in the wet foliage above the water.  This picture is of a small waterfall that had found a crack in a large boulder and, over the years, carved a permanent trough along its length.  El Yunque is a waterfall-lovers paradise.


Puerto Rican tody from http://www.elyunque.com/birds.html


Yosemite and Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite National Park

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