Posts Tagged ‘Cashew’

Inside Dominica

Monday, May 10th, 2010
The Whole Cashew

The Whole Cashew

We took two tours. One a tour of  the flora, fauna, and geology of the northern end of Dominica, the other a river tour. Of the two, we enjoyed the full day tour the most.

We met at the Purple Turtle @ 8:30 am. We cruised in with Barbara and Tom on Angel of London and met Martin there. He introduced us to Dillon who was to be our guide today. At first we were a little apprehensive as we made a slow start around the shore that we were anchored in.

My notes on this trip cover about 40 pages of loose leaf paper so I’ll do my best to condense them a bit. 🙂  Had I been taking a class here they most certainly would have covered 40 pages but fortunately I wasn’t taking any classes and so didn’t really have any notes.

Once we began ascending the Volcano (there are 8 on the island) we marveled at the views. Dillon would be driving along (fortunately he was driving) the narrow sometimes curvy all the times roads and without much warning come to a halt in the middle, throw the gearbox into reverse and back up the 10-50 yards. There he

A Teachable Moment

A Teachable Moment

would jump out and grab something, a crab, a mango, cinnomon, bay leaves, whatever he saw. Then he’d often have us smell it, sometimes taste it, and most all the time tell us of a recipe his grandmother would use it in. Barbara kept insisting that he needs to make a book of island recipes and sell them on his tours.

Cold Boil

Cold Boil

Inside the culdera of the volcano we stopped for a short 20 minute hike down to the center where cool water boils. The bubbles are sulfuric gasses escaping the volcano and create a slightly obnoxious smell; one I wouldn’t want to live near. Tom and the two girls listened as Dillon smeared the volcanic mud on his face saying that 10 years would be removed from their skins life if they did the same. As my face was thankfully still baby like with my protection of hair I didn’t partake in this ritual. However the 3 of them relished smearing it on.  Then the task came to

Hope this works!

Hope this works!

removing it and there we wandered over to another pool of crystal clear cool water to remove the mud pack and see the results. I’ll let you

26 Right?

26 Right?

be the judge. W/’s always looked to be about 26 to me. 🙂

As we wound around the curves and crossed the narrow bridges with Dillon slowing and honking  at each approach we heard tales of life in Dominica. We learned that the pile of leaves often found at the ends of drives and trails are actually goods that are enroute to  town. There the farmers put their goods to protect them from the sun and rodents and later in the day then pick them up and haul them to market or home. We learned about the time when Pirates of the Caribbean was being filmed here and what the producers ended up doing with the various parts of the island. Roads built down the to sea and then left.  I guess no

Pirates - Road to Nowhere

Pirates - Road to Nowhere

real harm done. Mother Nature will surely take care of them on her own time.

Barbara Tom and Wendy

Barbara Tom and Wendy

We ate lunch on the Atlantic side (we’re anchored on the Caribbean side) and then drove to a Red Rock area that is an old ferrous volcanic flow out to the sea. We enjoyed walking the rocks, looking across the ocean to sea Africa, and talking about Columbus’ landing on this island.

Traveling through the country we discovered that Bananas grown for the European and American markets are bagged in blue. The blue helps to protect them from bruising and predators so they go to market just so perfect.  Funny that we never really see “perfect” bananas on the island that grows them. They simply may be eaten too fast anyway.

Finishing up the day we took a short swim in fresh water about 100 m from the ocean. Sweet! Then as fast as we

Refreshing

Refreshing

seemingly could we  cut back across the country / island and stopped at Ross University (where for some odd reason they don’t have any classes on natural herbal remedies because the rainforest of the island seems to provide plenty) for some money (it was the only bank machine working in Portsmouth today) and then to the grocery store for ice.

Back at the dock by 5:30 pm, tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Two days later we were up @ 6 am ready for the River Tour. Our  goal was to see the Parrot that adorns the Dominican flag. This time we ended up with Martin and what an animated guide. But I must say (this ain’t Disney Land) and we never did get to see the parrot. However; we saw 100’s of edible crabs (this is a park and they’re all protected), we saw a Bloodwood Tree that has a root system looking like it grew from Hades and as a consolation prize Martin made parrots out of palm fronds for the gals.  We walked in the woods and found a flower that seemed to be made of wax, we smelled plants and flowers and everything Martin came in contact with became a lesson. All too soon the trip was over (it is only a 2 hour trip), and we were returned to our boats in a mist of rain.

Dominica is probably best described as the land of the Rainbow. Most every day we saw multiple rainbows; often double rainbows. The boat was well washed and we were getting anxious to leave. But touring takes it out of us. So first a day or two of rest then onward, South.