There have actually been two hikes back to the Tachonga Lattes this month. On April 4th, three of us, Mitch, Lina and myself set out to see the lattes and to search for another set of the stones. On the way we stopped to watch a crab on the beach who cooperatively posed for our cameras.
Then we plunged into the jungle where we soon spotted an animal looking rock. We decided it must be a gaurdian rock as it is near the beginning of the trail we take to the latte stone site.
Continuing onward, we came to the grinding stone. Lina tried her hand at grinding. Grinding stones were once used in this area to grind grain into to meal - I think.
Looking off to the right , we could already see our old friends the lattes. The growth around them was low and light and the sun was in a good postition for getting a picture of several of them at once. Given the spacing of the still upright pillar stones, if these were used as the base for a house or other building (as is assumed today) it must have been a very long one.
Lina wanted to sit on top of one of the pillars, but never quite made it to the top. Ater strolling around the lattes we went over to see the huge umumu tree near them. There the ever alert Mitch spotted a bird's nest with 3 eggs in it. We were careful not to touch the nest and only tipped the branch far enough to see into it.
Next we began our search going northward. There are other stones nearby that we knew about but we wanted to find another set of lattes that we knew should be in the area but that we'd never seen. After a short hike we came to a rather clear grassy area with clusters of limestones.
After clearing some of the tall grass we could see that we'd been successful and had found another set of lattes. These are considerably smaller and closer together than the others.
We continued onward but the boonie bee presence became too evident and after I was stung on the hand we decided to head for the beach. We came to a stand of banana plants suggesting that this was once an inhabited area but saw no more lattes. We were always in earshot of the ocean so it wasn't long before it came into view and we left the jungle behind.
Almost back at the beach we paused to admire a newly sprouted coconut and to marvel at its ability to thrive in the sandy floor of the light jungle area near the beach.
On April 26, 2008 the same three of us plus Erika and Kim went back. This time on the way down the beach we saw something in the water. At first we thought turtle but then decided it was not. Perhaps a large fish eating something. We didn't actually get a picture of it as it would only be partially visible on the surface for seconds at a time. Mitch took this picture of the rest of us trying to figure out what it was.
When we got to the grinding stone Kim took her turn at grinding.
Then Kim, Mitch and I posed on the 'teacup' stone of one of the lattes for the obligatory picture. Since only Kim had never been here before we took less pictures than usual this trip.
We showed Kim the umumu tree and the now empty bird's nest. It looked a bit worse for the wear. We could see right through it in spots. I suppose, like our own homes, they require maintenance and quickly deteriorate when vacated.
Then we set off toward the new (to us) set of lattes.
This time, they seemed much closer. Once again, Mitch is the photographer for this shot of Kim, Lina, Erika and me resting on one set of the the fallen lattes.
Having already run into boonie bees and knowing the likelihood of many more if we continured on we opted to go back and exit to the beach via our usual path. Even though that meant skirting the nest of bees where I'd already been stung on the other hand from last time. We made it back without mishap. At the beach we examined the shell only of another kind of crab.
That day I was in treatment for an abcessed molar which had me fighting off a migraine and with a new bee sting, as much as I love snorkelling, at that point I opted to go home. The others enjoyed a very uncrowded Tachonga beach.
Both verbal reports and pictures taken indicate that the snorkelling was great!
I want to thank Lina and Mitch for providing most of the pictures this time.