|Traveling up the Indian River|
|Land crabs among the tree roots on the river bank|
|Cannons overlooking the Prince Rupert Bay anchorage|
|Chris and Lynn irresistibly drawn to the rum distillery|
Okay, here’s another recommendation for those looking for a special place to vacation in the Caribbean, and a promise that we’ll be back here again. Dominica is a terrific island. Volcanic in origin, it has steep green mountains blanketed in lush rainforest, waterfalls, and hundreds of rivers. We took a couple of tours, courtesy of the gentlemen of the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS). One was up the Indian River in Portsmouth. No motors are allowed, so Monty, our guide, rowed us upriver, not an easy task with eight people (not including himself) in a heavy wooden boat. But he happily identified the various trees and shrubs that grew along the banks, and pointed out critters that we would have otherwise missed, such as fuzzy baby herons balancing on the branches overhead, or land crabs scuttling amongst the mangrove roots. Far upriver we stopped at the Jungle Bar, and Monty took us hiking through a plantation, where we got to taste coconut milk, papaya, and mango, and suck the slime off of cocoa seeds (sounds disgusting, but is actually quite tasty). The second tour was an all-day affair led by Winston, who drove us around half the island. At our request, he took us to the Macoucherie River rum distillery. Established in the 1800s, this business uses only sugarcane harvested from their twenty acres. They have a water-powered cane grinder and a wood-burning steam engine, and the rum is distilled in a glass jar in a box. Definitely low tech, but so much more interesting than the glitzed and whitewashed Bacardi tour we took in Puerto Rico. We also saw a bay leaf distillery, swam in the Layou River and in Emerald Pool (a World Heritage site), tasted the fruit from which cashews grow, ate at a terrific restaurant with a world-class view, hiked out a rocky shore to see a cave allegedly dug by a drug smuggler as a hideout, and attended the opening festivities for a new fishing facility in Portsmouth, where we picked up some fresh tuna for about $3.50 a pound. This it to say nothing of the incredible views all day. On our own we hiked around the ruins of Fort Shirley and the Cabrit hills, and snorkeled on some great reefs in the marine park. And all this was just a sample of what there is to do on this island. Yes, we will be back.
|The incredible rainforest vegetation - look at the size of those leaves!|
|The view from our table at lunch|
|Anne and Lynn enjoying the waterfall at Emerald Pool|