"I cannot believe that in terms of grandeur and majesty there can be found anything in the world to rival Dominica's succession of forest-covered mountains.... It is green, all green." Alec Waugh, "Typical Dominica", 1948. Almost untouched, much of the dense rain forests remain unexplored. "The Nature Island" it's called, with 365 rivers (one for every day), waterfalls, hot springs and boiling lakes, 5000' mountains and black sand beaches. Columbus landed here and it is said that were he to return today he would still recognize it. English is the official language, but a French patois is widely spoken. The Caribs, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, still live here in the mountainous Northeast. We took an island tour from a local taxi driver named Babyface. He was very good despite being only 22, and it was a good value at $30 per person--3 hour tour. This was our first trip to this island and one of the reasons that we took this cruise. NOTE: Camera time is one hour behind the actual time.
After we left we started climbing into the mountains.
Very impressive gardens. Looks like they can and do grow everything.
Small but very impressive home.
Mountains well over 4,000 feet up in the clouds
Our first stop. Emerald Pool, which is part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This wonderful grotto is a short walk into the rainforest in the centre of the island (on the road to Castle Bruce). Very popular on cruise ship days; take your swimming gear but be warned - it's a little cold in the pool. Probably the wettest walk in the rain forest that I have even done. The trail was steep and very sippery. The older couple from our cruise ship on our taxi was very cautious. Elevation change was proably 200-300 feet down then back up.
We stopped along the road at a small market. These taxi drivers must have a system as we always get taken to one of these types of places. It was fun to sample some of the local fruits.
Pineapples growing along the road. Probably wild. Blue-headed hummingbirds in abundance.
Small yellow birds with strange beaks eating the fruit. Most of the time they did not seem to care about us.
Back down to the Caribbean Sea. One of the many Black Sand Beaches.
Looking south towards Roseau. You can see a cruise ship docked in town.
Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) growing everywhere and we saw it on every island. Although it grows very rapidly with little care or insect pests and produces a mass of lush tropical foliage, its use in cultivation should be discouraged because of the extremely poisonous seeds or "beans." This is particularly true where small children might be attracted to the large, beautifully-mottled seeds which are produced in prodigious numbers. One of the main toxic proteins is "ricin". Perhaps just one milligram of ricin can kill an adult. The symptoms of human poisoning begin within a few hours of ingestion. If death has not occurred in 3-5 days, the victim usually recovers. If the seed is swallowed without chewing, and there is no damage to the seed coat, it will most likely pass harmlessly through the digestive tract. However, if it is chewed or broken and then swallowed, the ricin toxin will be absorbed by the intestines. It is said that just one seed can kill a child.
We then made a quick (too quick) stop at the Roseau Botanical Gardens. Considering it was in a developed area, it looked like a nice place. Roseau is lucky to have this to brighten up a run-down city.
Looked at the Sisserou Parrot, Dominica's National Bird, and Red-necked Amazon Parrots
Back to the port. Interesting interlocking concrete structures to dissipate the wave energy.
Could this be the Dominica's entire coast guard ??
View of the port facility and upper end of Roseau.
Our taxi driver was proud to point out that the road was just finished and built by the Chineese
It's 95+ degrees in the sun. Don't have to deal with anyone here...
Heading south past Roseau
Southern end of Dominica, Scott's head
Tonight's towel critter... Not sure what it is....