Aussies + Screws

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Thu 5 Mar 2009 23:05

Aussies, Screws and Much More


By way of a change I have got Bear to write this blog and I have added the pictures and their comments. So Mabrika - welcome, to Bear's memoirs of Day One in the hire car.

Australians Roger and Sasha on Ednbal - Aboriginal for tree frog, were anchored next to us. They dingied over and asked if we would like to share a hire car to explore the south of the island for a day - a great idea. Later on that same day Jim & Pam of Delicado who we had met previously in Agadir and Cape Verde, it is indeed a small world popped by on their dinghy. So over a beer or two ashore that evening all of us agreed to tour together hiring a seven-seater 4X4, us two “Poms” with the 4 “Aussies”. Sasha had drawn up some interesting itineraries which made things very much simpler to decide. The next morning bright and early Roger and Sasha duly went to collect the car, but after an hour and a half it was quite clear that the vehicle arranged was not to be found anywhere on the island. We would have to travel in two cars. Jim & Pam had already seen a lot of the island from their northern island anchorage so elected to opt out and continued their journey south the next day, we hope to bump into them again, probably in Trinidad where we are all hiding out during the hurricane season, some time on the hard for routine maintenance.




We waited from nine thirty for Roger and Sasha, sitting watching the world go by. By quarter to eleven we knew something had gone horribly wrong. The car hire people arrived in two cars, with Roger and Sasha in one, we jumped into the other and went to the Botanical Gardens in Roseau, while the other went for the tickets (entry to all National sites, valid for a week) I got to mooch about taking photos of plants (on Dominica blog). Sasha had had time to count to ten and get a little calmer by now.

So the four of us were driven into the mountains to collect a smaller 4X4 jeep for the day, which here is nine am until four thirty pm the following day, because of the delay/hassles they extended this to nine am the day after so we had two days to look around - ideal. By the time we got into the jeep it was eleven fifteen.




The Jeep, Roger had to inspect for scratches, much discussion with the car hire chap on "the best roads", like St Lucia, enormous pot-holes and steep, steep twisty roads.

We started by going to the nearby sulphur pools and spent an hour luxuriating in the hot sulphur pools at “Screws”. These five outdoor pools varied from very hot orange sulphur to crystal clear cold mountain water. It was very soothing, yet quite invigorating and was followed by a fantastic platter of local fruits which we all tucked into, savouring the many new tastes.




The rules, Screw's and the five pools.




Roger and Sasha, the two had just sat under a "gentle" fall when they got a good drubbing after Bear and his silth like figure had got into the cold pool above them. They got their own back wanting this picture of us under another fall.




The beautiful scenery around the pools and gentle music aided relaxing. Sasha and I in the warm pool. The workers busily gather the mud used for wraps (added extra), all the while we were being watched by a local Zandoli Lizard.




Whilst the others finished off in the cold pool, I had the chance to admire the flora and "fauna", sadly Bear saw and dragged me away.

Following this energetic event Roger drove us to Trafalgar falls as this was again nearby, and only a short walk from the car park. We got there before the cruise ship tourists, had a paddle rather than another swim and marvelled at the spectacular falls. Some of their waterfalls and mountain lakes are a three hour hike each way, we left these choices to the younger and the serious hikers.




Trafalgar falls, the waterfall on the left is not always there, depending on rainfall. Us. Time for a paddle, reminding me of the rocks in the River Erme in Ivybridge.

After a late lunch of local chicken and pasta, Roger drove us to the south west of the island - not long in distance, but long in duration as the roads are so twisty and mountainous, to a bay famous for its snorkeling and the “champagne” effect of the volcanic gases coming out of the sea bed. We all found this rather disappointing, though we saw some colourful fish, small rays etc.





Arriving on Champagne Beach for a snorkel. The Champagne Bubbles so famous, a pipe fish.





Fern, fish and a baby ray.

Next it was further south to Scott’s Head where we saw a local landing a catch of Tuna, Mahi-mahi and Dorado caught on lines from his small open boat with the large outboard that seems to be their trademark. A lovely sunset, sitting in a local beach bar, with rum punches and beers before returning to the dinghy dock and our boats.




We watched the locals land and fillet the catch. The young fisherman cleaning his boat.




Roger's Bar and the menu. Sasha and my cocktail may look small but it was perfectly formed.




Sunset watching the Frigate Birds diving for the discarded bits of fish, really enjoying the ambience, company and chatting over the day.



ALL IN ALL a colourful day.