12 Sep From Boulders to Mountains: Hiking Mt. Christoffel
I can be super clumsy a lot of the time. I don’t pay enough attention to where I am going and often run into walls and parking meters…and I have been known to stumble when I am standing still. Yes, it really happens. No one is really sure how I pull that one off–I think it’s because I fidget my feet too much but apparently can’t convince others of that fact, so who knows. Despite my major lack of grace (even though I was in gymnastics and dance for much of my childhood), I LOVE adventurous and physically challenging activities. Fortunately, I have yet to have any big disasters other than straddling a huge boulder and pulling a muscle down my entire leg/foot. That sucker still hurts once in a while, even though it’s been 5 years. I blame that on Micah though, it was dark and he ran ahead with the flashlight. Needless to say, he got quite a laugh when he turned around after my scream and shined the light on me sprawled flat-out over a huge boulder, one leg on each side.
Anyways, back to the focus of this post. When I found out about Mt. Christoffel in Curaçao, I knew we had to climb it. I was a little nervous because of my not so fancy feet, but there were no accidents, even though there were a few sketchy points along the way!
The hike started off easy enough, on trails looking like this:
As the path got steeper and required a bit more maneuvering, we were thankful for the lookout spots. There are quite a few stopping points to check out the beautiful views along the way, a.k.a. spots where we could catch our breath and let our beat red faces tame down a bit. The hike was a lot more challenging than we expected, I suppose we didn’t have to push ourselves to hike as fast as we did, not that we were moving at breakneck speeds or anything, but even though it is challenging, it definitely is doable for those not in tip-top shape, and the hike is a lot of fun.
At one point, we had the option to squeeze through a tiny opening in the path on either side of a boulder. One way would allow you to get up close and personal with the side of the mountain, the other, was basically right on the edge of the mountain and had a nice view of how far you would fall if you lost your footing. Based on my past experience with boulders, I decided to take the inside path–I really wasn’t in the mood to fall off a mountain edge.
The warnings I read online about the scramble at the top were definitely true–it was pretty much straight climbing toward the end, up rocks and tree roots. Reaching the top felt amazing! It wasn’t an extreme hike as the mountain is only 1,227 ft high and it only took us about 2 hours, but it was more challenging than we expected and the highest point on the island, so it felt great that we made it to the top.
From the top, on a clear day, you can see Venezuela, which is 37 miles away. We didn’t have a completely clear day, but the views were still so pretty. The top of Mt. Christoffel really doesn’t have much room to hang out, so we sat and soaked up the views for a bit and then moved on back down. Going down was almost harder than hiking up–not nearly as strenuous, but making sure not to fall was more of a challenge.
Entering Christoffel Park costs, Nafl.21 or US$12, and there are many places to explore for nature lovers. There are numerous trails throughout the park, but we were running short on time so we only made it to Mt. Christoffel. I would love to try some of the other hikes next time we have the privilege of visiting.