Nevis: Take a Sunrise Hike up Mount Nevis on a Mission to Get to The Source
I consider myself a morning person, but getting up at 6 a.m. is no way to start a vacation day. Still, a hike to a place called The Source sounds intriguing. So my husband and I scarf down some mini-muffins and coffee on our way out of the hotel and hop into a taxi for the 15-minute drive to Mount Nevis.
A winding road brings us to a tin-roofed shack called the Cherry Tree Bar & Eco-Spot, where we meet Lynnell Liburd. The energetic 40-year-old owner of Sunrise Tours has been escorting visitors through the rainforests and ruins of his homeland for the past 16 years. He greets us with a warm smile and a pair of hand-carved walking sticks, then it's into the woods and up a moderately challenging rise.
It rained last night and the path is muddy and slick in places, but that doesn't faze our sandal-clad guide, who keeps steady pace while providing a running history lesson. Pointing out a pipe that snakes along out route Liburd explains that it was installed by the British in 1900 to supply fresh water to the local village. Nevisians helped build the waterline, he says, including his great-grandfather, who was paid just a shilling a week.
Liburd spend his boyhood shepherding goats along this very same path, often starting before dawn so he could finish his chores and get to school, and he knows it intimately. Several times he stops to show us certain plants, explaining their healing benefits and letting us in on remedies his grandmother handed down to him years ago (try soursop for migraine headaches and stinging nettle for cramps, he says). He also identifies the calls of red-billed tropicbirds and vervet monkeys that we hear in the distance, and all the while, he entertains us with tales of life on Nevis, where even today cussing can put you behind bars.
After hiking nearly an hour, we approach The Source. So much for intrigue it turns out to be simply the font where the water pipe unceremoniously enters a hole in the ground. The ascent climaxes shortly thereafter, as a lookout atop the mountain where, as the rising sun lights up a stunningly panoramic island view, we realize that finding The Source has only been an excuse to get out and discover the natural beauty of this scenic little island.
As we follow Liburd back down the mountain, we agree that the early wake-up call was well worth it and that tomorrow we're sleeping in.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication