Trailrunning in the Tropics

My much better half Caroline, our talkative 3-year-old, Sam, and I have  just returned from truly inspiring week spent on a truly magical island in the Caribbean and part of me wants to keep the location of this special place to myself. But, as the world continues to descend into the commercial sameness of Cheesecake Factories and Starbucks in every corner of the globe (and violence and banality too), Guana Island‘s unique combination of love, beauty, luxury, wildness, warmth, and maybe most importantly…one-of-a-kind-ness…is more valuable (and I might even say important) than ever.

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Guana is not your average Caribbean “destination.” And following the colored nylon trailmarkers is part of the challenge. Can you see the trailmarkers in this photo? Now imagine running and being blown away by each new vista while also looking for the next marker.

Those of you who’ve read my reports before know that there’s usually some sailing, and some sun, and some adventure, and some excitement here in Swizzle-land. But my first report from this special place is all about…trailrunning…because Guana is an 850 acre private island in the BVI that has miles of unspoiled trails that are wonderful for hiking and absolutely amazing for running.

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This view (and utter solitude) is the reward at the end of the Long Man’s Trail out to the northwestern tip of the island.

So come with me as I run off the calories (I’ll talk about Guana’s amazing food and service in a future post) on one of the last islands in the Caribbean that has way more rare iguanas, flamingos, tortoises, snakes, hermit crabs, and pristine forests than tourists.

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Dodging hermit crabs that pull into their shells and start rolling down the trail as you approach is part of the fun. And so was dodging snakes and iguanas that I encountered on the trails. It was all very friendly but, I did have to literally jump out of the way to avoid a jumping snake that I’d startled. That definitely added a few beats per minute to my heart rate on that run.

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The only “bites” I suffered from were from a couple of wayward cacti.

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And this was the reward after a getting the blood pumping out on Guana’s unspoiled trails. There’s much more to come.

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