Adventure Talks: Silver
We spoke with Geddes Hislop, co-owner of Silver
Thatch Excursions about his many ecotours:
How do your tours differ from a traditional
Unlike most other tours, Silver Thatch offers a more intimate
and participative look at Cayman's natural and historic heritage. These
are not just sight-seeing trips, participants can expect some walking
and "close encounters" with native plants, wildlife, etc. and
come away with not only pictures, but an experience.
What would you say to encourage travelers
to get off the beach for a while and see more of the island's interior?
What surprises await them?
Let's face it: Cayman has beautiful beaches, but there
is more to a vacation (and life) than sitting on a beach. Besides, you
can't honestly say you've seen an island if you've only been "sitting
on the edge"! You've got to get out beyond the beach and see what
we're really about! Picturesque villages and gardens, beautiful roadside
scenery and historic treasures are hidden in side roads waiting to be
Can you tell us more about your Mastic
This is one of my personal favourites. This is one of Cayman's the oldest and best preserved traditional footpaths. It runs through the Mastic Reserve-- the second largest nature reserve encompassing reputedly the oldest stand of native woodland left on the island.
There is nowhere else in the Cayman Islands like it: Historic
sites, medicinal plants, Cayman parrots, woodpeckers, doves and other
colourful bird life abound; magnificent trees-- rare, large and some twisted
into unusual shapes; at the right time of year, the Trail is lush with
wildflowers including common and rare native orchids.
Participants can expect an interesting 2 1/2-hour leisurely
walk through this magnificent woodland where not even that many locals
Can you tell us more about your birdwatching
Again one of my favourites! I personally like birdwatching because my style is to chase the birds instead of picking "one good spot" and staying there for an hour to see what shows up. With my background in wildlife management and research, my approach is to think of the birds as a function of their habitat.
So depending on the time of year, weather, if the participants
are looking for anything in particular (Parrots are almost always on the
list!), we get in the vehicle early in the morning and we're gone for
about five hours! Imagine sipping coffee while sitting on the edge of
a meadow waiting for the parrots to rouse and fly across just as the sun
rises! Because I don't restrict myself, this can turn out to be a default
island tour as well.
What ecological and historical offerings of Grand Cayman
would you especially like travellers to explore?
Without hesitation I would recommend the Mastic Trail as our unique and ultimate eco-experience. For the historic-minded, I offer walking tours of the West Bay and capital George Town historic districts. This brings you face to face with the historic architectural treasures hidden within Cayman's modern façade.