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near Saint Augustine, Tunapuna/Piarco (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)
This partially extreme trek starts at the corner of St. John’s Trace and St. John’s Road in St. Augustine at 10.65559° N and -61.39457° W. Turn heading 44° along St. John’s Road. This is a rather steep ascent. At St. Michael’s Village Road located 10.66104° N and -61.39208° W turn heading 252° to continue along St. John’s Road. The climb is a bit steeper but the views along this stretch of the walk make the journey worthwhile. You’re afforded great views of the Central plains with Mt. Tamana on the Central Range and on clear days the San Fernando Hill is visible. Some days you’re able to see along the southern coastline along the way to Point Fortin. Along the way you’ll encounter the Regional Seminary of St. John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs. This is located at 10.66140° N and -61.39539° W. Continue along St. John’s Road heading 82° and then turn heading 30° at the junction located at 10.66246° N and -61.39520° W to get to Pax Guest House. The Guest House is run by the Monastery and it is located at 10.66270° N and -61.39544° W. From here you would turn heading 96° at the junction located at 10.66245° N and -61.39614° W to get to the Monastery. This is located at 10.66273° N and -61.39610° W. The Monastery is worth exploring or just spending a moment in quiet reflection. Upon leaving the monastery continue heading 287° at the junction located at 10.66251° N and -61.39697° W. This continues along St. John’s Road. The New Life Ministries Drug Rehabilitation Center is located along here at 10.66325° N and -61.39881° W. The “top of the mount” is located at St. Benet’s Hall at 10.66410° N and -61.39911° W. The actual trig marker is located at 10.66415° N and -61.40052° W. The Mt. Tabor Trailhead located at 10.66431° N and -61.40034° W. It’s initially quite steep but has areas where the gradient is negligible. There is a fire watch tower located at 10.66678° N and -61.40085° W. If you climb the tower you get a combined elevation of 338m. Continuing along the trail you’d get to a concrete bench at 10.66776° N and -61.40121° W. You get quite a lot of very good views from there when the surrounding grass is low. The grass there grows quite rapidly in the rainy season. The bench affords a moment to catch your breath or just connect with nature. The trail steepens a bit from here on. The top of the col is located at 10.66998° N and -61.40189° W with a flat rock out crop that’s great for sitting and enjoying the views of the Maracas St. Joseph Valley below. I would usually turn around at a rock outcropping at 10.67168° N and -61.40048° W but the trail to Mt. Tabor appeared blazed so I went on exploring. I was able to get as far as 10.67299° N and -61.39910° W and then it became completely impassable and I did not have a machete to blaze that portion of the trail. From here I turned about and began the trek back down.
Follow the trail back down and along St. John’s Road. From the junction at St. John’s Road and the Eastern Main Road at 10.64514° N and -61.39586° W turn left heading 109° along the Eastern Main Road through Tunapuna, Macoya, El Dorado, Tacarigua, and Five Rivers. Through El Dorado you’ll encounter Caura Royal Road at 10.64584° N and -61.37194° W. This road leads to the popular Caura River and the Caura Chest Hospital. Through Tacarigua you’ll go past the St. Mary’s Children’s Home at 10.64544° N and -61.63807° W and the St. Mary’s Anglican Church at 10.64489° N and -61.36778° W. Five Rivers Junction is the turning point of this trek and it is located at 10.63946° N and -61.34986° W. From here turn right heading 311° along the Priority Bus Route. This is primarily used by buses and mass transit vehicles running the East-West Corridor but it used to be an old train line. Turn left heading 195° onto Golden Grove Road at the junction located at 10.63475° N and -61.36774° W. It’s fairly straightforward to follow Golden Grove Road onto the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway. Keep right heading 165° at 10.64046° N and -61.36825° W and then left heading 208° at 10.64000° N and -61.36728° W. Turn right heading 288° at the junction located at 10.63588° N and -61.37108° W onto the highway. Follow this awful highway heading west and onto Watts Street at 10.63706° N and -61.39470° W toward the University of the West Indies campus at St. Augustine. I entered the campus at the South Gate at 10.63799° N and -61.39918° W and did the walking loop through the campus. I exited at the South Gate after the loop and turned right heading 278° along Watts Street. Then turn right heading 5° onto Evans Street at 10.63558° N and -61.40797° W. Continue heading 336° at the junction located at 10.64851° N and -61.40681° W to Curepe. Then turn right heading 25° along the Southern Main Road at 10.64990° N and -61.40963° W. Then turn right heading 111° onto the Eastern Main Road at 10.65002° N and -61.40960° W. Follow back to St. John’s Road and onto the starting point.
So there are very good sections of this trek, namely the leg up to the col along the forest trail. This leg of the trek through suburbia is “very bad” because of the dilapidated state of the sidewalks, irate drivers, and no shade from the intense sunshine. Along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway is just plain ugly. The small segment through UWI is a lot better but has zero gradient. It should be done early morning or late evening because of the long lengths of time being exposed to direct sunshine.
This is the starting point of of trek starts at the corner of St. John’s Trace and St. John’s Road in St. Augustine at 10.65559° N and -61.39457° W.
This way point sits out front of Mt. St. Benedict Monastery....
The way point marks the trail head to Mt Tabor...
This way point site at the fire watch tower along the trail.
This way point sits at a rock outcropping that I would usually turn around at because the rest of the trail through the dense forest onto Mt. Tabor is overgrown.
This way point marks the intersection between St. John's Road and the Eastern Main Road...
This way point sits in front of the St Mary's Anglican Church.
This way point sits at the Five Rivers Junction just opposite the Arouca Police Station.
This way point sits at the corner of the Eastbound lane of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and Golden Grove Road.
This way point sits at the South Gate entrance to the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.