Interpretive "Q" signs mark several places. Q1 is a vantage point to appreciate how the foliage overlooking the lakes has been sculpted and stunted by constant high winds to form the fairy-like elfin woodland. Q2 is a large bui tree (Micropholis chrysophyuoides) blown over in 1955 by Hurricane Janet; its huge roots make good shelter from the rain. Q3 identifies many mosses overhanging the trail. Forest workers use the moss, which is almost always damp, to wrap around newly grafted tree branches to speed healing.
Q4 points out razor grass, which you'll want to avoid. It's sharp enough to cut through light clothing. If you feel compelled to test its edge but want to avoid drawing blood, use a blade of it to shave some hair off the back of your arm. Q5 is a mountain almond (Bandizabocu), which has a distinctive mottled bark; it produces a large, inedible fruit in the fall.
Q6 is a bois gris or bagui tree, an excellent hardwood that becomes even stronger in water, making it a preferred material for docks and sea jetties. Q7 is a possible landslide area, so be careful near the edge. It offers a good view of Grand Anse beach and the southern end of the island. Many of the trees descending to the valley below (an important watershed region) are bois jab or tree ferns.
Proceeding, you'll see a clearing on the left: a fire break not worth following. Instead, keep bearing to the right, where purple orchids drape over the different bushes.
© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
Best Hotels in Caribbean
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Adults Only All Inclusive
Seven Stars Resort