The majestic Three Pools is a place that every nature-loving adventurer should visit at least once.
It is a place where the soothing sound of water streaming down the Marianne River makes you forget the arduous work week you had, your tasks for the days ahead and even the Play Whe mark you lost yesterday.
But beauty can sometimes bring tragedy. And some will remember the tragedies in the Blanchisseuse leisure spot, where there were four casualties in five years.
In 2017, 20-year-old Devante Lalla drowned during a family outing after going underwater for a short time. Months later, his father, Dennis Lalla, installed a sign and lifebuoy at the trailhead, hopeful that hikers would use it in cases of emergencies. Despite a request to replace it after use, it appeared someone left with it.
He reinstalled another lifebuoy, but again, someone took it. In 2018, Isiah Mitchell, 23, of Cunupia, and Akil Stafford, 23, of San Fernando, died similarly in separate incidents in 2018. In 2021, Alexander Beepath, 24, of La Romaine, drowned after he got caught between logs and rocks. A search team recovered his body the following day.
Hikers make a Sunday morning trek along the Marianne River, Blanchisseuse to Three Pools.
When groups of hikers visited the spot last Sunday, the faded sign remained, but the lifebuoy was nowhere to be found.
For experienced tour guide Devindra Harnarine of Jus Trippin Tour and Shuttle Service, Three Pools is one of the most beautiful and satisfying destinations. With three large pools to bathe in, Harnarine said it was worth the effort.
Like many other hiking destinations around T&T, it comes with dangers. There are deep sections where bathers can experience difficulties if they cannot swim well. However, Harnarine said the narrow passageway between the second and third pools was the most dangerous. Harnarine explained that the force of water passing through the bottleneck passageway pushes anyone downward a steep underwater drop.
Three Pools are gorges along the Marianne River, Blanchisseuse.
“If you try to fight the current to swim up the bottleneck and get pulled down, you can experience problems. Many people will try to fight the current to swim to the surface, but the best action is to hold your breath, and the water will push you further down to the shallow part,” Harnarine said.
He said it is also dangerous during severe rainfall. Harnarine advises that if the water is brown, it is best to stay away. Most of all, he recommends visiting Three Pools with an experienced tour guide and life vest.
The three pools are located in the Marianne River with its clear water. The width between the river mouth and the Blanchisseuse Spring Bridge makes it a favoured spot for kayakers. And while there are deep spots for swimmers, gravel spots in the river allow easy crossing for non-swimmers.
The trail begins at the historic spring bridge, one of two colonial days bridges remaining on the island, and takes you upstream, walking on land most of the way. There you will pass a few small hills, bamboo and flowers. The journey to and from is roughly 1.2 kilometres and takes between 20-30 minutes at a moderate pace.
When you get to the first pool, you can swim through the water to get to the other pools. You can also climb over the rocks on the right side, but there is also some danger involved as there are narrow ledges and steep inclines to overcome.
But if you are an adventurer, Three Pools is a place you must visit. It gives a lot for a little effort.
Hikers enjoy the cool and clear waters at Three Pools, Blanchisseuse, last Sunday.