Prestine falls of Cocorite
After an intense period of home cleaning, the forest is once more welcoming travelers to trek along its trails and ford its crystal clear waters. Wild life that sought shelter from the rains are now venturing out to enjoy the sun. Fruiting trees are just laden with sustenance. Hog Plum, Figuier and Serrette strewn about the forest floor attract large counts of animals, while in the canopy, the birds sing praises for such abundance.
Our hike south to north over the Northern Range to the Cocorite Valley turned out to be the most enjoyable we had had for a long time. We were really able to make pace up the southern side of the Range as the terrain was firm and dry. In fact it seemed that all the moisture of the past few months had completely dried out as leaves crunched crisply underfoot.
Along the crest of the Range, the usual mists lingered, creating occasional white-outs that dropped visibility to a couple feet around. This was the character of Lower Montane Forest. Mosses carpeted the roots and trunks of trees and draped like curtains from branches. There was the usual fine drizzle that you find at these heights and our footsteps were now muffled by the moist leaf
litter on the ground.
Taking time out to view the panorama spread before us along the northern side of the Range, we could pinpoint those areas that had much water by the amount of mists rising between those valleys. Those valleys were clothed in luxuriant greenery, pristine at that.
We headed down the ridge that would take us to Cocorite, a deep-cut valley with many tumultuous waterfalls along the river's wild course. Many of the ridges that descend from the crest of the Range on this northern side are truncated. This means that you end up facing a steep drop of a hundred feet or more where the terrain cuts off abruptly.
Our ridge leading down to Cocorite took us well into the valley where we could hear the familiar sounds of one of our favourite waterfalls. This one was located some way up a mini valley where wild life just thrived in those parts. Here in the hinterlands where the forest has so far remained pristine, birds including the Pawi and animals such as deer and wild dog still live in undisturbed ambience. The streams that water this valley are so lively and refreshing that cupping your hands and drinking your fill is a joy rarely to be had in most other areas.
Our first waterfall tumbled in heavy volume. This was a welcome scene for us because we had been noting the decreasing levels in most falls on the southern side of the range despite a lengthy rainy season.
Over the ridge and down another tributary valley, our second waterfall thundered its way down into a deep pool. The heavy sounds echoed all round the valley, drowning all else. To visit these waterfalls was worth all the effort we had put out in climbing down those steep hills, most of which offered no relief but a continuous almost vertical descent.
We could see that this side of the Range benefited from the full bounty of the watershed.