Dominica

  Another day, another tour.  This time we were doing the north coast.  Martin stopped along the way to educate us on all the fruits, vegetables and herbs growing wild in the countryside.  It boggles the mind to see the almonds, cashews, mangoes, avocados, bananas, pineapples, lemongrass just to name a few.  As Martin says, you can be poor on Dominica, but you can’t go hungry.

One of our stops was the Chauiere Pool where we could jump from a 18 foot ledge and plunge into a freshwater pool.  The kids loved that!

 

Next we ate lunch in the town of Calibishie, right on the water.From there we went to the Red Rocks, almost another moonscape, with the land formed by volcanic runoff.  The island is not that big, but the change is landscape is stunning. After the red rocks it was up to cold water volcano.  You walk down into the bowl of the volcano (a little erie) and then you come upon these small sulphur pools formed by the volcano.  Because the volcano is deep underground, the water is cool.  Where there is no water, the land makes a hissing sound.  Another notable thing about it was there were very few birds here.  The silence was a bit spooky.

 

 

 

 

Dominican Countryside

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin on who is singlehanding Exodus

 

 

Portsmouth Dominica

 We are finally here.  We all have been looking forward to Dominca for a long time and it’s really great to be here.  The boat boys came out to greet us.  Makai and Salida chose Lawrence of Arabia and we chose Martin.  No sooner had we gotten settled then we had a tour scheduled for early the next morning on the Indian River.  Martin picked up us, Kevin on Exodus, and another couple and took us to shore.  From there we met another small group and got into his rowboat.  No motors are allowed on the Indian River, so all tour guides operate the old fashioned way, oars.  The river winds and bends, passing trees with ornate roots, huge land crabs a lush green canopy overhead and many hummingbirds.  If you have seen Pirates of the Caribbean 2, the scene where they go to see the witch was filmed here.  Martin is very knowledgable and was able to tell us what the plants were and their medicinal purposes.  The hummingbirds were everywhere and we actually saw a hummingbird nest.  The tour was informative and relaxing, and not expensive at $15 US per person. 

   

After the tour we caught up with Wanderlust, the family of 5 from Chicago.  We first saw them in Saba, and later in Statia.  They told us they were going to a festival in Toucarie that evening and we went along.

Toucarie is a small fishing village, and that night they were having food vendors and live music.  We went early, even though we know island things don’t start until late.  We did get some good food though, fried chicken, fish and gravy, rice.  We were the only white people there, but the people were so friendly.  All of us walked up and down the short street, and as we passed people would come up and shake our hand.  They were very happy to have us at there celebration.  When we weren’t looking for something to eat, or listening to the music, we were busy talking.  Tristan, Tessa and Benjamin were having a long conversation, and Dan and I spent time talking with Judy, Bill and their teenagers Alice and Noah.  The kids became fast friends which made us happy as it had been a long time since they had some kids to play with.

Iles Des Saintes

  The Saintes are absolutely irresistible.  The islands are a part of Guadeloupe, and has a strong link to the north of France.  The island was primarily a fishing village and since little agriculture was done here, slaves were never a part of the island.  The island is clean, slow paced and full of color.  You can spend your mornings in one of the bakeries, picking up fresh bread for the day, or munching on pastries as you watch the town unfold.  In the afternoon it’s ‘Ti punch (rum and sugar water) and Accras (an appetizer of breaded fish  excellent!). 

I never want to leave the French Islands.  I love the idea of having fresh bread everyday.  I love the friendliness of the island.  I can imagine myself in a little colorful cabin, spending the rest of my days writing.  Well writing and eating amazing French food, like what we had at the Triangle restaurant, where a salad is a work of art.  I love the fact that they take pride in themselves and where they live.  I love the fact that enjoying life is so important.  I love seeing people stop in the street to talk.  Iles de Saintes are a little slice of heaven.

 

For a place I loved so much, I took remarkably few pictures.  For the first time, I was more interested in really absorbing the feel of the island for myself, rather than trying to capture it on film for the website.  I think I selfishly wanted to keep a part of the magic for myself.

     

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