A nice hiking trail that crosses the entire island Cayman Brac and passes through the Parrot Reserve.

First obvious question, why is this hiking tail called a road?



The Bight road hiking trail cuts clear across the entire island of Cayman Brac from the North shore all the way across to the bluff above the South coast.



Armed with this detailed map for navigating the complex route we head out on an epic coast to coast hike.



If you start the hike on the North Shore, it begins by climbing up the rocky bluff on these stairs.



At the top of the stairs the trail really begins. Much of the island is comprised of Karstic dolostone or more commonly known as iron shore.



The iron shore rock makes for slow going. You have to watch your step as the razor sharp rock will ruin your shoes and skin. In places (like here), the trail is not very obvious.



Fortunately, somebody has put up these handy signs to keep you on the “road”.



The ironshore rock is full of fissures and sinkholes. In some places, the Cayman national trust has installed these boardwalks for safe passage. Eventually, the trail passes into the Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve.



At 350 acres the parrot reserve is the largest portion of undisturbed land on the island. It is owned by the Cayman National Trust which was made possible by a large donation from U.S. fish and wildlife. Why would the U.S. be interested in donating to a parrot reserve in the Cayman Islands you might wonder?



It’s because over 93 different species of birds that migrate south from the US in the winter use the Cayman islands as a stop over to feed and rest before carrying on south. In fact, in the winter time 80% of the birds in the Caymans are migrants. And since the migrant birds could simply fly over a wall, the U.S. might as well just help them out instead.



Traditional Summit Selfie!



“Where are some parrot pictures then Shawn” you must be thinking. You can hear the parrots but spotting them is fairly difficult (we did see one). Taking a picture of a wild Cayman Parrot is next to impossible (at least for me, who is more accustomed to taking pictures of easier to spot subjects… like mountains).



There are estimated to be just under 400 Cayman parrots on the island of Cayman Brac and they prefer to make their home in Red Birch trees or as the locals call them, tourist trees (because they are red and peeling).



I guess,,,,, if you’re brave enough….



In places, the trail is fairly overgrown and you have to find your way though.



If you find yourself lost in a jungle of Dildo cactus you can rest easy by following these convenient signs.



Finally, the trail pops out on the bluff above the South shore giving you a view of the Cayman Brac coast line. I’m told it is possible to scramble down the bluff here but didn’t try.



Instead, we turn around and head all the way back across the entire island (which takes about 45 minutes). That big blue thing is a house, more on that some other time.



So why is a hiking trail called a road in Cayman Brac? It’s simply because before cars made an appearance on the island these trails were the only way to get across the island. The locals would refer to the trails as roads that they would use to walk to the other side for fishing etc… After cars and roads as we know them today were introduced, the name just stuck. So in Cayman Brac, you hike on a road, and drive your car on the road, makes perfect sense.


2 Comments

Christine · December 16, 2019 at 4:12 pm

As usual loved reading it all. I feel like I’m there exploring with u (don’t worry I’ll never join u). Loved pics, commentary and u absolutely dry sense of humour. Looking Fwd to next batch. Chris

    Shawn · December 20, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Thank you Christine! Next set comes out this weekend!

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