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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Rum, Rum and More Rum
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
04/21/2012, Side stop on inland tour, Dominica

Behind this bartender is every imaginable, conceivable type of rum. There was even one called Obama Rum. We didn't partake in any, but it might be worth returning for some!

Carib Boat
Ed (photo by Elizabeth)
04/21/2012, Carib Indian Reservation, Dominica

The Carib Indians make these boats using one carved log for the bottom half of the hull. They leave it out in the sun and rain to cure, with rocks in the middle of it so it sags under the weight of the rocks. As it bows, it gets its shape and widens so that when they insert the side boards it is wide in the middle and narrow in the ends.

Carib Mother and Child
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
04/21/2012, Carib Indian Reservation, Dominica

Winston pointed out that this woman, a Carib Indian was probably full-blooded but her child looked like a mix. As I mentioned before, the Carib people are very handsome, but then again, so is everyone else. Young, old, big, small, thin, not thin (we don't see a lot of obesity in the islands), people have a deep beauty that is quite noticeable. And as much as Winston flirted, what strikes me is how respectful the men seem to be with the women in general. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of flirting going on, but no cat calls or whistling at the women walking by, no groups of men yelling out at passing females. I have noticed the same thing in every Island we've visited thus far. There might be a comment or two, and lots of what one woman called "provoking" between the sexes, but it all feels safe, respectful and clean.

Messin' Around
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
04/21/2012, Emerald Falls, Dominica

Playing around with Heather (s/v Picaroon) under the falls.

Emerald Pool
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
04/21/2012, Rain Forest, Dominica

Walking a trail through the rainforest to these falls is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Cold Sufriere
04/21/2012, Dominica, Inland

Dominica has more "live" volcanos than any other island (9). The high mountains attract clouds and everything is moist with rain, but green from the sun poking through. Heavenly. There are also more rivers than anywhere else and most of them have water clean enough to drink. This photo is of a cold sulfur spring, bubbling up and smelling like rotten eggs. It's caused by all the volcanic activity and while it is cold, there are hot ones in the south.

Island Tour
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
04/21/2012, Rain Forest near Portsmouth, Dominica

To take an inland island tour with Winston, our taxi driver/guide, we left at 9AM and returned to Skylark around 7PM. Poor Luna waited on the boat all day and unfortunately, it rained quite hard as evidenced by the flood in our dinghy. Having a dinghy is like having a leaky basement; after every hard rainfall it takes a bucket to bail out. But lest you animal lovers think we can't be trusted as Luna's people any longer, she did have protection from the elements. She was happy, happy, happy to see us, however.

The rainforest was remarkable, as all rainforests are. Our driver stopped many times along the way to yell his greetings to the townspeople in every village we passed. "That was my sister-in-law", "That was my mother's house", "That was..." He was also a big a flirt with the women along the way. Good natured stuff, but constant. At a souvenir stop, the women selling their local crafts were carrying on with him and Ed suggested they sign the cast on his arm (he fell off a ladder). Next thing we know, Winston is quickly walking away with one of the women, pen in hand chasing after him and all the other women giggling. I yelled, "Hey, Winston, let her sign her name on your cast!". The woman chasing him said, "Oh, he won't let me do it because if his girlfriend sees my name, she'll break his other arm as well". And all the women laughed even harder.

We stopped along the way for mango, guava, cherries, coconut, yams, cashews, and something that is in a nut and tastes a bit like chocolate. It's very dry and most of us hated it, but Winston (who has been driving for 43 years) says they used to eat it like chocolate growing up. The banana trees were abundant everywhere. We saw pineapple being grown, as well as tobacco which the Rastas mix with their ganja, illegal but prolific. If we had room on Skylark, I would have bought a huge basket, woven by the Carib Indians to take back home. But we had to pass that by as it is totally impractical on a boat and there's nowhere to store it. It was beautiful.

04/21/2012 | Kathryn Sain
Love your stories. This is quite a different place from all the others. The feeling of the place and people are different than 'upper' Carribbean...
04/23/2012 | Elizabeth
Thanks for your comment, Kathryn! Dominica does feel different, more lush, abundant with natural commodities, wonderfully friendly people. But lots of poverty everywhere. That's always distressing because with low season upon us, they will lose all the tourist's money. Let's pray they don't get hit with any bad hurricanes this year which makes life that much more difficult.
Lizard Going Down the Tree
04/20/2012, Cabrit's National Park, Dominica

The local lizards love to be photographed, they pose, change positions, puff up---or is it that they are hugely tolerant of obnoxious tourists who must get pictures any time we see one close up? Or are they just petrified, waiting for us to move on down the trail? I suspect the latter is the real story.

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