Hamlet siblings hit the hiking trail

Kiana Hamlet and her brother Khalani on a hike at the Bamboo Cathedral in Chagauramas. - SUREASH CHOLAI
Kiana Hamlet and her brother Khalani on a hike at the Bamboo Cathedral in Chagauramas. - SUREASH CHOLAI


The covid19 pandemic has given people a new-found appreciation for nature and the many wonders it possesses, but not as much as for nine-year-old Kiana Hamlet and her four-year-old brother Khalani.

The Hamlet siblings, of Barataria, have decided to start their own hiking group with the help of their father, Kerwin. They always include their two-year-old sister Kalina on their trips and are working on building numbers for their group.

Because they have so much fun on these trips, they always try to encourage their peers, cousins and even grandmother to join in on the adventures. So far, they successfully got their grandmother to go on a hike with them to Avocat waterfall, Blanchisseuse and despite some challenges, she never gave up.

Their father said the idea to form the family hiking group came from his children after being cooped up during the lockdowns, missing out on the joys of nature. With some experience he's gathered being a part of another hiking group, it was an obvious

Their technique is a bit different though, as the family group also gives the brain a much needed workout. Hikers are tasked with memorising the map of their destination and then must depend on the trail to finish the hike. They started this a month ago and try not to skip any weekends.

When asked what they like about hiking, Kiana told Newsday Kids, "It's fun and I like to be outdoors," as Khalani's answer was just, "rocks."

Khalani explained he liked seeing the different kinds of rocks along the hiking trails and has even mastered the skill of skipping rocks in the river.

Their favourite hiking trail is to the Maracas Waterfall because at their first visit, their father recalled them gasping and saying, "Wow," repeatedly and now it's a highly requested destination by the family.

Khalani said he also likes the "big beautiful water."

Kiana Hamlet says her skills as a gymnast helps her with balance on hikes. - SUREASH CHOLAI

The siblings said it's a lot of walking that leaves them tired, but they never lose their interest and are always extra excited for the weekend, not only for the exercise but for the animals they may encounter.

They remembered seeing a fish swimming along the river and it was one of the highlights of that hiking trip. But, one of their favourite memories of hiking are climbing over a fallen tree that blocked the path and crawling on the ground in the mud. Khalani's favourite is when Kiana fell in the water after losing her balance.

Losing her balance was a one-time affair since her other hobbies include dancing to hip-hop music and gymnastics.

"I like to do the splits and any dance where I can do splits," she said.

At age five, Kiana started her gymnastic journey at Tots and Toddlers Gymnastics Club, Port of Spain, with encouragement from her mother. With that, she went on to win second and third place in competitions within her age group among other gymnastic academies.

Khalani Hamlet says finding rocks is one of the things he likes most about hiking. - SUREASH CHOLAI

As for Khalani, his focus outside of hiking and the outdoor world is on pre-school given he now attends physical classes.

Kiana encouraged more people to go on hikes because of the view while her father said it's a great alternative to just watching movies together as this way, families can learn more about the country and get some exercise in.

The family group plans to go to Tobago soon and Kiana and Khalani were buzzing with excitement seeing as though it is their favourite vacation destination that is yet to be truly discovered.


"Hamlet siblings hit the hiking trail"

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