Dominica – the nature island

Well, we’re ‘full as a goog’ and slowly recovering from the annual over-indulgence known as Christmas! We hope you enjoyed your celebrations as much as we did, although it was a mixed bag for us this year. We were fortunate to have my sister with us but it was difficult being so far from loved ones at this time of year. We are grateful we could catch up with family via that godsend, Skype, over the preceding few days and Christmas morning but with a 15-hr time difference to the east coast of Oz, it’s not always possible. Needless to say we enjoyed ourselves and some of you may have seen a little excerpt of the Warner Sisters performing The Choir Boys’ Run to Paradise on Facebook. If it hasn’t already, I’m sure it will go viral on Youtube! LOL.

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Christmas Day 2014 in Deshaies, Guadeloupe.

But, back to the post. We had a great sail from Martinique to Dominica and anchored in Roseau on the south-west coast. This volcanic and stunning island of approximately 70,000 people, is one of the most naturally beautiful and untouched in the Caribbean. Whilst in Grenada, friends Dalynn and Glen from S/V Amoray, had introduced us to a Dominican, Seacat, who conducts guided tours so we picked up one of his moorings and contacted him upon arrival hoping to book him for a trip. Unfortunately, he was unavailable to take us on a hike over the two days we’d planned to stay in Roseau but organised a wonderful guide, Stowe, to take us on our last day.

So, with a spare day up our sleeve, Anne and I spent the next morning touring the town along with hundreds of others as two cruise ships had just arrived. We stopped by the beautiful Fort Hotel where there is a Warner Bar, believe it or not, and Annie fell in love with an haute couture Christmas tree! Following some helpful directions, we then wound our way left at the pink building and right at the cemetery to find ourselves at The Botanic Gardens. There were some interesting plants and trees and the Gardens are also home to a bus that had been crushed in 1979 by  Hurricane David. Fortunately it was empty at the time! Check out the pic below!

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Aida cruise ship
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Stunning Christmas tree at Fort Hotel
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Interior fountain at Fort Hotel
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I’m mad about Fig trees
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Talipot Palm
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Bus squished by Hurricane David in 1979

The next day saw us up early and off on our day’s adventure with Stowe. He was a fountain of knowledge about his beloved island and told us with pride that the tourism industry is well regulated and the government is very strict about who is qualified to conduct island tours.

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Annie & Mal with our guide, Stowe.

Our first form of exercise for the day was a 2-hr round trip hike to Middleham Falls. The paths were interesting, often created by local root systems, but we were glad to be in the cooler rainforest as it was a little more strenuous than we had thought. Stowe then drove us to Freshwater Lake where we passed a water pipe system made from oak. During our travels that day we saw the pipe snaking its way up and down the mountains.

Upwards we go
Upwards we go
Root systems formed intricate stairway
Root systems formed intricate stairway
Oak pipe carrying water
Oak pipe carrying water

We then arrived at Titou Gorge where, in the 2nd film of Pirates of the Caribbean, Orlando Bloom jumps into the gorge to escape native indians. It was a stunning gorge; the water initially was very cold but once we were swimming it felt fantastic! It has a depth of 15′ so no where to take a rest and you have to swim against the current. So, by the time we reached the 1st  waterfall, my arms were pretty tired and I was out of breath. I think I prefer the buoyancy of saltwater! Mal scaled the small waterfall to view the upper one whilst I waited below. He then dived from the top of the waterfall into the lower pool. He muttered something about doing the stunt work for Orlando Bloom! Annie sat this little part of the day out.

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Stowe, in the blue bathers, and me discussing with others the coldness of the water!
Swimming in Titou Gorge
I’m pretty tired but exhilirated!
Stunt man for Orlando Bloom
Stunt man for Orlando Bloom

And, to put the perfect finishing touch to the day, Stowe took us to Trafalgar Falls where we eased our aching bones, feet, backs, etc in some hotwater springs. What can I say but, wow, it was fabulous!

The end of the day - aaah
The end of the day – aaah

We loved Dominica and will be back again. The Boiling Lake hike is on our bucket list and we will call into Portsmouth next time too. There’s lots to do here!

So, that was our whirlwind trip to Dominica. Next it’s back to the French islands when we visit Les Saintes, part of Guadeloupe.

So, until next time keep well, love Mal and Sue. xx

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