Waw! In Dominica I got the most islandy feelings out of all other islands. The nature island is a true hidden pearl and no one really knows about it.
3th January Sunday:
Arrival at 10am. The boat made me pretty sick although I did not puke but many people did. That is why there are not a lot of ferries connecting the islands, as my Trinidadian friend said-because the ocean is pretty rough. We had to manage to go up the mountain to Bellevue which is our Cs Mitch host place. Sunday island transport doesn’t work and we ended up carrying our bags about an hour to the intersection with the mountain road… Coincidence’!!! We saw at this road intersection our CS host. We went to buy some groceries cause there are no shops in the mountain, and we all hitched a ride up the mointains. The roads in Dominica are INSANE. They have many land slides, holes, falling rocks and randomly formed waterfalls from the rains in the middle of the roads. Not to mention you drive up up up in the mountains on 180 degree turns.
Our host: a 50 y.o. american who is retired and works for the Peace Corp now building a library. He is 3 meters high with white hair and beard, super funny guy. Mitch’s place is very nice and we had our own bedroom and he showed us on the map where the waterfalls,snorkeling,diving,volcanoes,boiling lake,trails,Indian river and other Pirates of the Caribbean shooting locations.
4th January Monday :
- I told Jon we should hire a car but men never listen even tough for a pilot he should have excellent hearing. We ended up taking buses or random rides in the heaviest rain i ever experienced. People here stop for hitch hikers stuck under a massive tropical rain up a mountain. Some drivers who stuck out were 2 German girls who dropped us off at the Titou Gorge. They recommended we go to the Calypso pre carnaval singing trials on Wednesday where locals dress weird and sing about political problems in their country. German girls also said we shall ask for James Bond when we visit the Indian river.
-Trafalgar waterfalls: beautiful!
-Titou gorge: kind of a cave where you swim and swim and reach a waterfall. Life vest recommended but Jon went in without and everyone was amazed and called him a hero. I was too chicken to go!
-Middleham waterfalls: we could not reach because we were a 1000 million % wet from walking under tropical rain.
- We went back to the city on the back of a pickup still under rain lol and went straight to buy rain coats and a towel. Our rain coats were with a little rabbit and a sheep, intended for kindergarten kids and we got many laughs.
- We did’t give up and went towards Scott’s head, the southest part of the island. There, we stumbled upon the hot springs (sulfate pools from the volcanoes that smell like fart, that look like mud and are good for the skin). We swam there and relaxed. All free- ladies and gentlemen.
- We then took the bus again to Scott’s head where Caribbean calm sea meets angry wild Atlantic ocean. It is an interesting and quite unique sight.
- On our walk back we noticed the grandeur of the sunset, we knew the moment for a silhouette photograph has come. Jon gave money to the guy who took it because he did such a great job.
5th January Tuesday :
We rented the car and picked up our stuff to change couchsurfers to stay at the other side of the island for 2 days which was a mistake.
- Before going to the new cs guy Thierry-we went to Middleham waterfalls. A 45 min walk-my A$$!!! The walk was SO challenging. It took us 1:30 hours just to get to the damn waterfall crawling through mud,rain,climbing like goats, hanging on branches and jumping through rivers. When we went back to the car, both our shoes were destroyed, we were stinky and wet.
- We went back to town for a well deserved greasy pizza.
- We made our way to the new cs host. The road to there was like a nuclear bombed road with huge holes…we feared for our rental car. The host Thierry is French and lives very Eco friendly. That is fine…… but he put us in a tent out the house and he had no warm water or….not much really. The view from his self built house was beautiful tough and he had a cute dog. He had a few workers from workaway.info and some other couchsurfer. French and Israeli.
- Jon spent 2 hours talking about types of monkeys with the people, so the sun was already about to set and it wasn’t wise to go anywhere else.
6th January Wednesday :
- It was cold at night in that tent! We messaged Mitch again and he accepted to have us back at his place. It is funny because not many people host in Dominica and a couchsurfer had stayed at Thierry but got kicked out after they argued about breakfast price. Thierry did not treat us badly but this tent place is not what was advertised on cs….
- We packed up, said goodbye and went to the Indian river where Johnny Depp went to see Calypso, the witch in her river house. At the gas station we asked about James Bond…and as we turned around, we heard: I AM JAMES BOND.
Woah! This was too funny, as was the guide himself. He paddle boated us up the Indian river and explained with much humor how they filmed the scene there. They put heavy black smoke on the river so that it seems like nighttime and the actual witch house was actually very small(you can see on pics). Johnny Depp gave this mister the name James Bond. The Indian river was beautiful and pretty shallow, we saw a few different types of crabs and tried local liquor- YES! There was a bar in the middle of the river.
- Even tough Dominica doesn’t advertise well all the Pirates of the Caribbean shooting spots, they were marked on the map, so we proceeded towards them. We found the cartwheel fighting scene on an amazing volcanic black sand beach where ocean meets river.
- We then drove around the coast of the whole island and stopped at another location, where Jack Sparrow runs from the tribe.
- We reached the native territory and it is crazy! People looked completely different here. They looked native and not as dark as the locals. Who would have known! This island is pure magic.
7th January Thursday:
- We have finally arrived at my favorite day of the Trip !!!!!!!!!
- We still had the car until 4 PM and we decided to go to Champagne beach and diving place. (Unesco protected again like most of Dominica). Jon does free deep diving and when he heard there are bubbles underwater unique trait in the world caused by boiling water when it touches the volcano lava underground, he Had to go dive. But that was too $$, so we rented snorkeling gear instead.
OH HOLLY MOLLY JESUS DOLLY!!!
Even tough I snorkeled with a life jacket because I am chicken, we saw sea turtle, amazing glowing fish, eel, brain corals, a thousand other ocean stuff that I cannot name and The bubbles (hence the name Champagne bay and beach). It was so gorgeous that i wished I was born a mermaid and not a dumb-ass human ;(
- We went back to town and had breakky. We had to return the car before 4 pm, so we hurried to our last destination
- Emerald pool is a natural pool under a waterfall. It is said the most touristic thing to do here and Mitch did not recommend it but it was untouched and empty when we got there. Tourists from the cruise ships don’t like rain and with our Superstar rain coats-we ruled the island. We took pictures and swam a little under the waterfall. It was really amazing.
- We dropped back the car and took the deposit back. We hanged around town a bit , did groceries and went back to Mitch. We played cards with Mitch and his friend and I won!
8th January Friday :
The ferry was at 10am, the departure tax was 40USD$ per person. Ugh. We sat at the back this time, so I did not get sick. We stopped at Martinique (but no way man-after Guadeloupe fiasco!), and continued to Saint Lucia.
NOTABLE Funny moments:
- walking around with Jon in town
Some guy said: I love your A$$.
I say: thanks, it’s from my mama
- another 5 guys: maaaaaan, daaaamn, welcome to Dominica. Hello!
I say: goodbye
- Another guy: hey boy, you can have my van for your girl.
I say: wowow! I am worth more than that!
Jon says: thanks, ahahah
( the hell?!)
- Dominica should advertise better the Pirates of Caribbean sites. We saw no signs and got lost. They could make a lot more money this way.
- Everyone was asking us if we are from the ship (there are many cruise ships at the port). We decided to say next time that we are from the space ship.
- We decided to pay back and when we had the rental, we gave many many people rides.
- Jon drove to perfection given the insanely hard conditions. I am a proud girlfr.
- The supermarkets do not have any vegetables or fruits. I was craving some healthy food!!!
- Dominicans should also change their island’s name cause everyone thinks of the Dominican Republic. A lot of reggae on radio. And radio hosts always discuss flirting methods when we turn on the radio. It was hilarious!
- We saw many rainbows and all around was green green jungle green.
- German girls were wrong about Calypso. It really didn’t look that entertaining!
- A lot of people (gringo tourists) refuse help because of their pride. We offered rides, offered to take photos of people. They were just plain rude because of pride. I will never understand such travelers. Keep the negativism at home and go abroad to broaden your horizons. Be open to all opportunities, couchsurf, be one with others.