Dominica

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On July 8th, we arrived in the small island nation of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). After beating into the easterly trade winds and waves since leaving the Bahamas, so it was nice to head south for a change.

It’s difficult to anchor in Dominica, due to the island’s steep banks, so we rented a mooring ball from a friendly Dominican named Marcus. We couldn’t go to shore for three days because the customs office was closed, but Marcus stopped by frequently to check on us and bring us fresh mangoes. 

While it’s difficult to describe the beauty of this island with words or capture it with a camera, we hope this video will give you a glimpse into the time we spent in this tropical paradise.

Trafalgar Falls

For us, Trafalgar Falls was the most spectacular stop in Dominica. It’s located just a few miles outside Roseau in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trafalgar Falls is about 8 miles of winding, single-lane, mountain roads away from the town of Roseau. Ashley was a nervous wreck during the drive. Especially since there were no guard rails and an area where part of the road had collapsed and fallen down a cliff. I wouldn’t even consider taking a rental car down these roads. Hire an experienced taxi driver.

There are two huge waterfalls, a volcanic hot spring, and several swimming holes. Hiking to the base of the tallest waterfall is a must but be sure to wear real shoes and not flip-flops like we did! 

 

Free Up Farm

We had a great time at Free Up Farm in Syndicate, Dominica. Aubrey and Lulu gave a delicious and educational tour of their 7-acre, organic farm. They were great with the boys, who haven’t been able to stop talking about what they consider their favorite field trip yet.

We tried at least 20 new fruits and herbs and left with several bags of delicious, organic produce. 

We discovered several new favorites while in Dominica, including mamey sapote and cranberry hibiscus. But our absolute favorite is kineep (also called skinup, quenepa, Spanish lime, limoncillo, or mamoncillo). We must have consumed about 5 gallons of these fruits in less than two weeks. They taste similar to a Jolly Rancher and are sold on many street corners throughout Dominica.

Titou Gorge

Titou gorge is believed to have been formed by lava which cooled and then split open, forming its steep rocky walls with a stream running through it. It was used as the set for part of Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest. 

After swimming through the gorge’s cold water, you’ll find a gushing waterfall, shaded by the forest canopy above. Swim back out of the gorge, and just as your lips begin turning blue, you’ll find another one of Dominica’s hot springs to warm up in.

 

Freshwater Lake and More

While in Dominica, we also hiked around Freshwater Lake, spent time on the black sand beaches, and tried many of Dominica’s unique dishes including accra, saltfish, stewed cow skin, fried ballyhoo (yuck!), and bushmeat (we still don’t know what type of meat it was). 

Unfortunately, just before leaving for Martinique, the stern anchor on our dinghy came untied and our dinghy ended up beneath a concrete dock. The inflatable tubes were punctured, the engine cowling broke into pieces, and the transom was bent. We spent our last day attempting to piece everything back together. 

Nonetheless, it was still an amazing two weeks. If you don’t live on a boat, step outside of your comfort zone and consider Dominica for your next vacation. It’s one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places we’ve visited yet.

 

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