We decided to do a couple of more tours in Dominica.  We took a tour of Syndicate Falls, which was a 30 minute drive up into the mountains on twisty steep roads.  In the United States, most roads are a 12% grade or less.  Here in Dominica, 12% would not even be considered a hill.  The roads are twisty and steep.  The taxi driver honks before each hairpin turn to let the folks coming the other way know, because generally some of the roads are not really quite big enough for two cars.  We made it to the top all right and took a short hike to the falls.  The falls at one time was closed because a downstream town used the water for drinking, but now they pipe it from above the falls, so we all took a quick dip in the water, but the falls were toooo strong to swim into, so we just got wet and cold - yes cold, with a wind coming off the falls it was quite chilly.  We also saw some beautiful flora on the way to the falls, and also got to see nutmeg, which we had never seen before.

After the falls, we walked through the rain forest in a nature preserve.  The trees are really large, not so tall, but big around, especially the base, which you could easily hide in the folds of the base and roots.  The base/roots fold and bend around with nice shapes.

That evening, we attended a beach BBQ with all the other boats in the anchorage, hosted by the "boat boys".  They cooked up rice and salad and chicken and mahi mahi, and of course rum punch.  All you can eat for $20 per person.  The food was delicious, and most folks had a few too many rum punches.  Derek always enjoys adults making fools of themselves.   There was music as well, and most enjoyed a dance or two. (no - Dean and Derek did not dance, but Kris did).  A couple of more boats with kids were in the anchorage, so Derek had a good time with kids again. 

We decided to take another tour with another boat from the anchorage named Saralane.  Skip and Madeline had taken a bus to a pool the other day, but it was raining so hard, they were hesitant to cross the fast running river without knowing how long the rain would last - which was smart because the rivers here become raging torrents in a good rain.  We decided to head up with them again and see if we could make it to the pool.   We took a bus, which dropped us off at the small town of Bense, and after asking a couple of locals about how much rain they had up there, we decided to go ahead and hike to the pool.  About one mile into the two mile hike a fellow named Jackson caught up with us.  The locals were concerned about us, and asked Jackson a local guide to check on us.   A good thing they did, and crossing a couple of the rivers was a bit tricky.  We got to the pool, and Jackson and Skip took the plunge.  Well, Kris and Madeline were thinking no way -  but Derek wanted to.  Kris promised that if Derek went she would go - and to her dismay, Derek jumped from the 20' cliff into the pool.  Jackson was really great, and gave everyone a brief safety lecture before they jumped.  Although Kris and Madeline did not want to, they both gathered their courage and made the jump, which was fun, but both agreed once was enough.   Derek made 4 or 5 more jumps before he was done.

We enjoyed another beach potluck and BBQ the next night, and got directions to a small hot springs pool from Saralane.  A short trek lead us to the pool, which was fun to see, but a bit warm to stay in too long.

We have really enjoyed Dominica, and have not gone to all the sights by far, but weather beckons once again, so we will say goodbye for now, and head off to Martinique.

 

 

 

06/06/13; The rest of Dominica visit

Hiking into the falls

Nutmeg

Syndicate falls

Cold swim

Roots of large trees

Big roots - big trees

A lesson in how not to die while jumping

OMG - Did I really do that

Derek enjoys his 4th jump

Our guide Jackson
 

Derek relaxes on a big root

A nice warm pool, almost too warm