Saturday, June 09, 2007


The diving in Dominica was great; actually saw a couple types of fish that I had never seen before. There are 350 rivers, many waterfalls, hot springs, freshwater lakes and views of the Atlantic and Caribbean from high in the rain forest. It was simply the lushest, least populated place that I have ever visited. There were giant ferns (the type that you see depicted in natural history museums towering over the dinosaurs.

We hiked to Victoria Falls, a two hour round trip hike crossing/wading a white water river 5 times. I've been trying to coin the term "white-water hiking" to describe our adventure but while it seems to inspire amusement, I have yet to hear anyone else use the term. The day we were there the rains had been heavy and the river was rushing and swollen. We had to use a rope to make the first crossing to avoid being swept downstream; the rest of the crossings were easier - we were able to get by with just a human chain. Everyone was bruised after the hike and quite a few were actually bleeding.

After we finished the Victoria Falls hike, a camouflage-wearing Rasta named Moses, who has a farm near the trail head, made us lunch. We ate a vegetarian stew from gourd shell bowls and used spoons made from coconut shells.

There is another 6 hour hike through the "Valley of Desolation" that I would have loved to have gone but it would have meant losing an extra day of diving so we wouldn't get the bends from being at a high altitude soon after diving.

The most brilliant thing about Dominica is the total absence of large all-inclusive resorts. There are only small hotels and guest houses. It was a blast. One of my all time favorite vacations, due in no little part to my vacation companions, the Semrads.

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