Happy New Year! We wish you all a successful, joyful new year — and we’d love to hear about your New Year’s resolutions. Ours is to really embrace the “no worries” mentality of the islands. For Christmas and New Years, it was a little sad to be so far away from family and friends and we were grateful for all the e-mails, cards and phone calls from you. We ended up spending our holidays hiking and swimming. On Christmas day, we even learned the habits of the locals on our hike.

There’s Only One Road

As we were walking The Road (yes, there is one road called The Road) back home, many cars stopped to chat with us. It seems that the whole family gets in the car in the afternoon and goes for a drive. Along their route, they stop and chat with people by pulling over to the side of the road. They tend to head to the airport, where they can watch the planes arrive and depart — or just look at the ocean up close. We could tell that this was a special tradition and it was beautiful to see a new way of spending quality family time.

Donkeys & Bulls & Goats, Oh My!

Well-marked trailsOur New Year’s hike was off The Road and on our favorite Troy Hill trail. We are still perplexed that you can hike in the rainforest and the only animals you see are farm animals! After ascending the first steep set of rock stairs, we come to a trail that meanders toward Troy Hill. Along the flat part of the trail are two donkeys — one is social and gallaps along hoping for attention — and one is antisocial, favoring hiding away. We then pass a huge bull, often seated and muching grass. After that, there is a goat pen with about 50 goats and scattered chickens. The goats are always up for some green grass handed through the gate by a passerby.

Cletus' BullJoel Feeding GoatsBaby Goat Showing Mama Some Love

It’s a surreal experience to be hiking in the rainforest and seeing only farm animals! At our US home in the White Mountails, we have bears and turkeys — while here, we might come across some beautiful roosters bobbling along the hiking trail. It’s nice because you know the hikes are safe — and yet, it’s also very quirky. Just another thing to love about this very different island.