The next morning I awoke early and went for a walk around the center, snapping loads of pictures inspired by the amazing views. I went to visit with the horses and took down some banana peels for them, as Stina told me they love bananas as treats, and don't even know what carrots and apples are! However, I met the schools donkey on the way, tethered near the road. I fed her the peels and gave her a few pats but headed down to visit with the horses anyway. After saying hello to Jack, Elena, Moonlight (who always manages to escape from the field but stays close to the herd) Darling, Spirit "the still untamed one"and the sixth one which i can't remember.
I chatted with Stina and several other students, including Carole as we ate, and was offered the use of a small backpack from Deanna, a student from Romania, which I really appreciated. Though I have lots of camping/ backpacking equiptment at home, I didn't realize I would have a use for them in the Carribean. Before I left Mustique, I made a backpack out of nylon feed sacks from the stables. As I don’t really sew, I stitched on straps of the same material and used a bungee tie to keep the top closed. It worked well enough, but was fairly uncomfortable, and the sewing job looked like something stitched by a kindergartner.
I headed back up the hill to the Academy in time for breakfast.
The hike was along the road for quite a ways, and then the road ended at a trail marked with a sign. At that point you are at the farthest point on the Leeward side you can drive to. The rest of teh exploring has to be on foot. As my camera battery only had less than half a charge left, I saved most of the frames until I got near the waterfall. On the way we passed several more tethered cows, bulls and goats. The vegetation was lush and green and their were numerous flowers along the way, many of which I have seen at the supermarket at home in the flower section. The hike was so enjoyable and when we got to the waterfalls everyone sat near the pool of water for a break and a snack.
I met Franklyn and the group of Germans from the yacht for the hike to Trinity Falls outside the center. Most of the five people off the yacht spoke some Emglish, two people spoke very well and we exchanged information about our different countries.
Frankyn got in the water pool and swam around the edge of the pool and under the waterfall.
He warned us that the current was pretty strong, but that we could get in if we wanted to. Three of the German men got in the water pool after Franklin got out. As I didn't wear a bathing suit, I debated on whether to get in or not. Ultimately I jumped in with my shorts and t-shirt, knowing that I would be wet for the trip back, but I was glad that I did. The water was cold and refreshing, even though the current was very strong. The water pulled you around in a circle, and it took some strength to swim back to the side once you were out in the middle. After I got out I was dripping wet, but I wasn't bothered for the hike home.
We headed back to the Academy and when we got back I said goodbye to my hiking mates and headed to my room to get out of my wet clothes.
I hiked down to the horse's field where I found Stina doing some training with a couple of the horses. She has been working on having them walk over to and put their nose on a ball placed in various places in the "training" section of their field, a roped off section in one of the corners. When they accomplish the goal, they get a handful of grain. The training is very similiar to round pen training methods without the round pen. As it wsa getting dark, Stina put the horses back in their field, and we headed up the road to the Center for dinner. I made arrangements with Franklin to meet in the morning to hike La Soufriere Volcano, and then talked to Stina at length about the volunteer program they run at the Richmond Vale. Then, it was off to my room to get some sleep before the big hike tomorrow!