Hi there, hope that all of you had a great Easter. As we mentioned in our last post, we joined a BBQ that was hosted by the PAYS group in Portsmouth. It was a night full of fun! We got to meet fellow criusers, enjoy a french gyspy style band and entertainment and did we mention the unlimited rum punch??? With all of the rum dancing in our heads we had a great time and danced the night away in the sand under the full moon.
We met French couple at the BBQ thfat asked if we would be willing to join them on a island tour. Sounded good to us so we made plans to take a tour with them on the following Wednesday. The tour started at 8:00 AM and a boat boy Titus came by our boat to pick us up. We were surprised that he stopped at two other boats before going to our friends boat. Unknown to us we had a group of six other cruisers taking the tour with us. The more the merrier, we thought to ourselves.
Our driver and guide Winston was waiting onshore and excited to show us all of Dominica. We piled in the van and we were on our way. Winston was great! He has lived on this beautiful island his whole life and he had so much to share with us. He was able to speak both French and English so we all could understand what he was saying, that is when we were not all talking to each other. With so many cruisers in the van the conversations were all over the place and it was easy to miss out on some of what Winston was sharing.
He pointed out as many landmarks, flowers, trees, gardens and waterfalls that he could. I thought that his driving was excellent considering the conditions of the roads and the zig- zagging back and forth mountainous terrain. There were also lots of roads and bridges that were washed out from rivers that overflowed durring hurricane Maria that he had to navigate as well. All of this seemed like nothing to him as most of us were gripping the seats and biting our fingernails. Throughout the entire day he had a big smile and great attitude.
We stopped at local gardens growing on the side of the road where Winston pointed out and explained the crops that were growing.
We saw another Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest movie shooting spot, (beach scene with water wheel). He shared the church/school that he attended. Along the way it was so sad to see all of the hurricane damage to both the land and to people’s homes.
We drove through Kalinago Territory (original island inhabitants). We stopped at the top of a mountain for lunch where we were able to sit and see the Atlantic ocean far below us. I was even able to enjoy a vegetarian lunch that was outstanding! Rare occasion for me to also get to really enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant too.
Our next main attraction was waterfalls! We first stopped at the “Emerald Pool”. A short walk lead us to a beautiful waterfall cascading into a pool beneath that we could swim in. Such a beautiful place! It was pouring rain on us as we hiked down and for most of the time that we were there but it was still fabulous.
Next we drove to the “Momma and Pappa” falls, Trafalgar Falls. A short walk from the parking area lead us to these very tall falls, (125 ft and 75 ft). What a breathtaking sight! Unfortunately we were not able to swim here but we really enjoyed the the views.
Last stop for us was at a bubbling hot spring. I can’t remember what it was called. As we pulled in you could really smell the sulfur in the air and you could see smoke from the heat rising from the ground. The water bubbling up from the earth was a cloudy gray and the ground would just let out these large gassy bubbles. It was pretty cool to see.
Then it was time for us to head back to Portsmouth. We all climbed back into the van for what turned out to be a hair-raising ride back. Seems that driving over washed out bridges and temporary roads are even more scary in the dark! What we planned to be a 8 hour tour turned into almost a 11 hours. Thankfully with Wiston’s driving skills we all arrived back safe and sound to our starting point. What an amazing day!
We decided the next morning that it was time for us to sail on to new adventures. We dropped our mooring line and headed to the southern end of Dominica where we stayed for our last night in this beautiful country. When we woke up we headed to our next island destination, Martinique.
It was a rainy sail over but once again a comfortable ride. With the occasional storm moving over with downpours and gusty winds but nothing unmanageable. We are currently sitting in a nice harbor right outside of a really cool town full of history, ruins on every street and corner. The name of the town is St. Pierre. Up above us is Mt. Pele, a volcano. It last erupted in 1902 and destroyed this town and killed 30,000 residents leaving only two alive. More on this later though, so much to explore here. The best yet is that this is a French country, so…we will be eating lots of good cheese, bread, olives and embracing the French culture and yes, and learning more French!
Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon