Dominica feels like home

     

Our trip heading home started very appropriate with Dominica, which already feels like home. Such a big difference with Guadeloupe! We were welcomed as old friends. The garbageman who paddles by every morning on his surfboard asked where we had been and JW answered: “Guadeloupe, but it is not as nice as Dominica, too many white people probably on holiday”. His reply: “Yeah, but if you look in their eyes they are still working”. A razor-sharp observation.

We were lucky as we arrived at the opening of Carnival, starting in two weeks. A parade through the village lead by various sponsor wagons with the local beerbrand Kubuli in front. The principal act were the Africulture Walkers, stiltwalkers in fact. Their performance was incredible with their flexible movements, dancing and jumping and as it is so naturally unnatural that it was also a bit scary. On the end of the line there was a truck with deafening music. The band was indefatigable and constanly stirred up and stimulated the crowd. Everyone was dancing, well, except JW as he had to hold P’s bag. Enjoy the party in the movie.
Film opening Carnival Dominica (9.57 Mb)

We have fallen completely in love with Dominica so we rented a small jeep again. We were treated like regular customers so we got discount AND profile on the tyres this time. First we drove the coastal road to the north point, surprisingly rough with sharp and steep bends where hooting the horn is almost obligatory. Tanetane bay is breathtakingly prettyi and a good reason for a stop to look at the busy fishermen and chat with the locals.

In Europe, there are many things people don't talk about. But in Dominica the people are not ashamed of themselves or shy and you can just ask someone like Jerryl, who sits in a wheelchair with two amputated legs, what is the matter with him. In fact they might consider it worse if you don't ask, as human interest is much appreciated. Dominicans are extremely communicative. Wherever you go, they want to make conversation; ask where you come from and what you think of their country and they talk with pride about all the good things of Dominica. The unspoilt nature, the fertile soil, the climate; this country generates healthy people, thus proved by the many “centenarians”. The oldest Dominican ever died recently at the age of 132 and the oldest now alive is 127 years old. The government pays everything for them, even their “supermarket” bill, so getting this old is not really a problem. Tanetane has two centenarians, and neighbouring Cocoyer with its population of only 25 even has one in their midst. They never get out of their homes but neighbours take care of them, as we were told by the proprietress of the only shop in Tanetane.

Next we drove through the crater of Cold Soufrière, which doesn't produce heat but sulphur bubbles as you can see but not smell.
Film sulphur springs Cold Soufrière (3.56 Mb)
This vulcano is monitored permanently as it might become active again.

On the northeast coast we visited a Pirates of the Caribbean location where the stormscenes were filmed. It is funny to notice that in one bay the seas are confused and break on the rocks, and in the next bay the sea peacefully ripples on the sand.

We returned through the Carib territory, zigzag through the rainforest passing many scenic little homes and huts. and
We concluded the day on Mero beach again where the liming with the locals is great. They even recognized us, for instance the rastaman with his impressive hairdo of which the cultivation took him fifteen years. And the domino players; playing a heated game and throwing the stones on the table with loud bangs; pokerfaces, the men are having fun. And so do we.

We were careful to be home before sunset, as the inevitable thing happened the day before: Rita fell overboard. We were having dinner inside (!) as it was quite fresh (26°C) and suddenly she sneaked in timidly and soaking wet. The cats had been running and jumping like crazy and apparently she made an unexpected skid on deck. Of course we trained the cats to swim and climb on board, but in our presence and in daytime this is rather different from the same thing without any support in pitch darkness. Hammering little heart, she was shocked indeed and also Roberta was stressed by the event. Perhaps they realized that it could have ended much worse? We hope that from now on they will play less thoughtless, but the chances are poor hearing Wodan and Donar play above our heads on the bimini, which they use as a trampoline.

High time to leave this vulcanic area, because our silver cutlery starts to get tarnished. And Surinam is calling!

 

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