Day 4 - Dominica
Tuesday, July 29, 2008: Mornings onboard started with a hearty breakfast of pancakes or French toast, potatoes, ham, milk, and ice water. We always ate on the second level of the dining room where it was always empty and there were no kids screaming anywhere.
|Dominica is pronounced "Dom-i-nee-ka" with the emphasis on the second-to-last syllable. This took some getting used to.
|The capital city of Roseau is conveniently located at the other end of the pier.
|All tours depart from the pavilion located right on the water. You can also catch a cab or negotiate to get your hair braided here.
|We hopped into our tour van and headed toward the interior of the island. Dominica is very lush, and much of the island reminded us of rural Hawaii.
|Roads are very narrow and winding, and the foliage everywhere is green and tropical. We were glad that we were watching the scenery instead of navigating the roads.
|We were only the second or third van to arrive at our first destination, Trafalgar Falls.
|As a result, we had the trail to the falls almost to ourselves.
|It took much less than 10 minutes to make the easy hike to the viewing pavilion at the falls.
|To our right was the "father" falls, the larger of the twin falls here.
|The "mother" falls was to the left.
|As cool as the falls were, we almost enjoyed the trail more. Crabs ranging from two to eight inches wide hid among the foliage along the way, and we had a great time looking for them.
|Tiny creeks and waterfalls were scattered along the trail as well. This little grotto was home to several crabs and ferns.
|Of course, there were flowers in bloom as well.
|Back at the visitor center, we had some ice-cold Coca-Cola Light as we waited for the rest of tour group to return and watched new tour buses pull up.
|Debbie spent a dollar to use the restroom, rated a six-pointer on the Bundlings Restroom Scale (6 or higher is excellent). We don't give extra points for fresh flowers, but we do appreciate them.
|A small market is set up outside the visitor center, and we picked up a large tote bag for our beach gear.
|When we departed, the parking lot was filled with tour vans and the place was swarming with people, so we were really fortunate to visit when we did.
|There are creeks and rivers everywhere on the island. Here's one.
|Like many Caribbean islands, Dominica is active volcanically. Here's a steaming vent by the side of the road.
|We love banana trees, and we're a little jealous that they're not native to our climate.
|Our next destination was Screw's Sulphur Spa in Wotten Waven.
|There's a brightly-colored outdoor bar ...
|... and beautifully landscaped grounds.
|The main attraction, of course, is the spa itself. Mr. Screw gave us a brief overview while our tour guide, Ezra, looked on.
|We climbed down a short, steep path to a little hut where we could leave our dry clothes.
|While we were changing, there was a brief downpour, but what's a little refreshing rain when you're going to get wet anyway?
|We sampled every one of the pools before returning to get our water shoes and camera. We definitely recommend wearing water shoes although we got by fine without them to begin with. Leave your camera behind and then come back later for pictures, like we did. Here's the first pool with a small water fall and a little grotto underneath the changing hut.
|Here's Tom in the second part of the first pool. A small footbridge passes over the two halves of the pool.
|Here's the second pool. Each one is a different temperature, so you have to try them all.
|Here's the third pool, ...
|... and the fourth, ...
|... and here's the very last pool. Each featured a stairway for easy access and none were deeper than a few feet.
|Each of them had some sort of water fall or water source, ...
|... and a freshwater stream paralleled the walking path alongside each of the pools.
|Here's Debbie rinsing off as we got ready to head back up to the bar area.
|Back at the bar area, we had complimentary drinks, and of course we had to sample Kubuli, a Dominican beer.
|There was an array of fresh fruit and coconut to enjoy as well. We love fresh mango and pineapple. We couldn't identify one of the offerings, but we think it might have been sugar cane or something similar, because we could chew it to extract a sweet juice, but couldn't really eat it. (Know what it is? Contact Us!)
|We drove through the amazing Dominican mountains back to town.
|We took a drive-through tour of the Botanical Gardens.
|The gardens contain many open grassy areas and large mature trees, despite destruction from hurricanes past.
|One famous sight is this school bus, crushed under the weight of a Baobab tree during Hurricane David in 1979.
|This banyan tree's aerial roots drop to the ground to become established.
|Even the exit is beautiful, lined with flowers and punctuated with a Norwalk pine (we're guessing).
|Just outside of the gardens, we passed this cemetery.
|Next, we climbed the hill to Morne Bruce, a hill overlooking central Roseau. That's our cruise ship towering over it all. Our guide told us that in the summer, Carnival is the only cruise line that visits Dominica, and that they're very grateful for the weekly Tuesday visits. In fact, we chose this itinerary because it was the only 7-day Southern Caribbean trip that featured a port every day with no days at sea.
|Here's a yellow Royal Poinciana tree, also known as the flamboyant tree.
|The blossoms are pretty up close too.
|This is the red version of the flamboyant tree.
|We returned to town in a light rain, passing this charming government building.
|There's our ship, right where we left it.
|The waterfront is scenic and the water is very clear.
|The view of the city from the top of the boat is nice.
|Cute little town, huh? It's a beautiful place to visit.
Later that night, we sailed past the island of Martinique. If we never make it there, at least we'll have our memories of a brightly lit shoreline that seemed to go on forever.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy