Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hiking on Dominica

Dominica is one of our favorite islands.  In addition to very friendly people, it offers breathtaking natural beauty.

We took three guided hikes this visit.  Two were on segments of the national trail system, the Waitukubuli Trail.  First we hiked in the rainforest, at Morne Diablotin.  Lots of water (and mud), the trails were covered with wet leaves that made walking tricky.  The highlight of this segment was the chance to see numerous parrots.  These birds are unique to Dominica, endangered, and a source of immense pride for the Dominicans.  They are very shy, so we mostly saw them flying away from us.  We also saw numerous land crabs.

The second segment goes through the forest between the villages of Capuchin and Penville.  This trail was much dryer, and it reminded us of hikes in Switzerland, since there was a lot of up-and-down terrain.  The views were spectacular, wooded valleys in one direction, the islands of Guadeloupe in the other.

Our third hike this trip was to visit Victoria Falls.  This was a very challenging journey, since it requires clambering over boulders that range in size from a basketball to a car.  Many of the boulders are slippery, and we had to ford the river three times.  But it was worth it:

A truly spectacular falls.  Its hard to tell from the video, but this is well over a hundred feet high,

At the end of the hike, we had another treat:  a meal at the "Rastaraunt" run by Moses at the trail head.  Moses has a farm here, with all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  He made us a soup with greens, yams, plantains, beans and who knows what else.  The broth contained lots of coconut milk.  Very delicious and filling.