Dominica - Wednesday 25th February

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Fri 27 Feb 2015 12:45

I'm writing this sat on the foredeck drinking a rum punch. The boat is anchored in Portsmouth Prince Rupert Bay. It's a beautiful evening we've had no rain today there is a slight breeze and the temperature is lovely. Sun starting to go down. We've had another different fun day though we were not sure to start off with as we took a bus to Calabashie on the north coast about 9 miles away. It was one of the recommendations in Doyles Guide. When we finally got there after another scary bus ride (Dan ended up talking to a Belgium woman who had spent every winter here for the last 30 years ) the whole place seemed dead although it was recommended as a great beach and pretty village - the tide was right in and there seemed very little open. However we found the tourist office and a lovely lady told us where to have lunch and how we could walk to the red rocks and there was chocolate place too. Lunch took a while to come but Rainbow Cafe did well, the staff again very friendly and David and I tried Lion Fish which in the sea is a spectacular fish to see but has poisonous spines. Apparently they are becoming big problem in the sea but certainly worth eating. After lunch Alex and Dan and children and I walked to the red rocks - again some helpful locals who had created a beautiful garden in the middle of nowhere showed us a round for 5 EC per person. Again a different experience and after that we walked back along the road and went to a place where they made chocolate. It turned out to be a beautiful small holding and a Frenchman who's grandparents had owned the place. He'd moved over from Europe taken it over and started making chocolate. We had tastings and certainly a lot lot nicer than chocolate we have been buying in the supermarkets. The children's eyes were just wide open and you would think they had never had chocolate. He showed us the beans (we've seen the pods on the trees) and then how it is ground into paste. We left having bought 5 bars 75EC £15. After that we finally managed to get a bus back driven at break neck speed with Reggae music. We survived Dan did say I was safer on the boat even in bad weather!!

Yesterday we started the day early 7.00am with trip up the Indian River with Providence - again recommended by a friend and also in Doyles guide - seemingly the bible for The Caribbean. He came to collect us in his wooden boat and then once we were on the river rowed. Very peaceful at that time in the morning and we were the first boat. We saw several different herons, heard plenty of bird song but still no parrots. We were shown where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean was shot.

After an early morning start we then all decide to walk to The Cabrits a national park where there is Fort Stanley relatively recently restored from the jungle and where the British held the island. David and I did a detour through forest before finding the correct path the others managed to go straight there. An interesting experience overall for everyone including meeting a local who had spent time as a fisherman in Hopeman in Scotland and had played cricket against Gordonstoun.

We shall be sailing across to Guadeloupe tomorrow and all feel that we shall somehow be leaving the real Caribbean. Dominica has friendly people, amazing scenery even if it does rain, lots to see and we have done a fraction of what there is to do and we all feel a little sad to be going but the forecast is for strengthening winds and our visitors arrive in Guadeloupe at the weekend and we have quite a bit of sorting out to do of the boat.