Weekend Number Two

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It was a very eventful day. Gail and I were up and off to the market at 7 a.m. The variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at the market made me want to live here. We missed the fish market which opens during the wee hours and is all cleaned up by 7. We had some coconut water and sugar cane juice and wandered around. Back to the hotel for breakfast and then off on and adventure organized by the Dominica Association of Teachers.

First stop, Trafalgar Falls. It was a steep climb up. On the way to the falls we passed a the Trafalgar Hydroelectric Plant. Once at the top, it started to pour rain. Hazards of being in the rain forest. We waited for about 20 minutes for the rain to subside. The path led us close to the falls, but to get to the pool at the bottom of the falls one had to climb over a variety of boulders. Since it had just rained they were pretty slick. We were advised to not continue and warned that if the rain were to continue there could be flash flooding in the area where the boulders had to be traversed. We had to settle for the hot sulfur river that was flowing right near the path. Wow! What an experience. Sitting in little pools in the river and at the bottom of small falls in the river. All surrounded by the tropical green forest, birds chirping and crabs and geckos roaming around. We even saw a humming bird. It was spectacular! It is nature's hot tub. This truly is nature island.
Tarzan Vines
The Path

Sulfur River
Trafalgar Falls 1
Trafalgar Falls 2

After a nice long soak we climbed in the van and headed to Freshwater Lake. On the way we passed the highest road point on the island at almost 3 000 feet. Sometimes it is hard to believe that the island is only 16 miles across with all of the twists and turns. When we arrived at the lake it was very cool and cloudy. No one was brave enough to go in the cool lake. So we relaxed and waited for our chicken , fish or vegetarian lunch, which was quite delicious. We also learned that the lake is a main source of potable water.
Water Pipe From Lake
Chef at Lake

Fresh Water Lake

Lunch at Lake
Info about Lake


Sign on Walk
Just a Few Wires

Once back in town four of us headed to laundromat. The other three dropped off their laundry and then we walked out of town down the main road which runs parallel to the water. We were on a mission to find a hotel to inquire about whale watching. There were many interesting stops on the way there and on the way back. Little stores and restaurants. The whale watching was crazy expensive so we decided to pass and go to Portsmouth on Sunday.

On the way back to town we stopped at a little Mexican restaurant where we had drinks and dessert. The dessert was an ice cream, toasted coconut, mango concoction that was absolutely delicious. And the view was amazing. The last stop before picking up the laundry was at a local art shop in a small house on the sea. Adelina bought a painting from the artist. Once again we sat there thanking CTF and our provincial unions for giving us this unbelievable opportunity.

Yummy Dessert
A Little Visitor

View from Restaurant
What is He Up To?

The plan for dinner was Fort Young, but it was closed, as were most other restaurants. So… of to Fusion we went. Dinner on Sunday will most likely be Fort Young because all other restaurants are closed. Sunday is an official holiday. We will see if we can get public transit to Portsmouth tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2015
There were no buses to Portsmouth today because it is Sunday.  It took us about 10 minutes and 5 taxi drivers to negotiate a good price. Luckily or driver was taking his family to Mero Beach, which was half way to our destination. We went up the hill and picked them up. Another single Dominican woman was going the same way so this helped with negotiations.  Our driver's name was Albert and he was an incredibly polite and helpful man.  When we told him what we were doing in Dominica he said that he had heard about us on the radio.  He knew what three of us were here to help with, but could not remember the other two. Pretty impressive!

When we arrived at Indian River for our river tour he took us to get a ticket, negotiated the price with the boat men and told them to treat us well because we were here helping Dominican teachers.  It actually brought a tear to my eye the way that he described to them what we were doing here.  I never really think about it as giving back, but just as something I love to do.  When we got out he gave us his card and offered to come back and get us if we could not get a ride back to the city.  Amazing!

The boat ride was down a mangrove area with plenty of different colour crabs.  My favorite was the blue crab.  The ride went as far as a bar where we stopped for about 15 minutes.  Bond, James Bond was our pilot and he was pretty funny.  He told us that he met a number of actors when they were filming Pirates of the Caribbean on the river.  On the way back we passed by the hut that was in one of the movies.  We didn't have time to get out and see if Johnny Depp was there because our pilot was late for his next group of tourists.

We walked through Portsmouth to the beach, had lunch and went swimming. There was an old garrison on two extinct volcanoes.  It was over a mile away and no transport today so we admired it from afar.   About 5:30 we started the walk back through town in hopes of finding a ride back.  It took a while to find someone willing to take us, but we made it back safe and sound.  The others have gone to Fort Young for dinner while I am here catching up on the blog.  Tomorrow will be another busy day meeting with the Chief Education Officer and then going on a radio program after a full day of working with teachers.

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