Published: October 27th 2010October 22nd 2010
It was our 6th day of 7 on Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas when we reached Dominica. This lush, green island reminded me alot of Belize in appearance and poverty.
I had been looking forward to our excursion here the most. There had been a ton to choose from and I would gladly return in the future: sulfer springs, many different waterfalls, Layou Gorge (Pirates of the Caribbean filmed here!), etc. We decided on a tubing and emerald pool excursion.
23 of us boarded the van that took us around the island. The driver was older, but our guide was a girl who seemed to be in her late teens. We learned there were no speed limits on the island and that accidents were rare. Surprising of you saw some of the narrow roads we passed other cars on!
We passed many poor areas, as well as the occasional single cow or wandering chicken. I asked how long Dominca had been a port of call, thinking they were stil developing after a few years. I found out it has been closer to 25. I'm curious to do more research on the country (which is NOT the more commonly known Dominican
Republic) and understand it's pollitical system. I saw alot of political graffiti for the Labour party, and all construction signs were in Chinese. This is strange considering the country is creole. English is spoken and French or Spanish is an alternate language in School. Many speak Patua which is a pigeon language at home.
Dominica is so rich in resources. Everywhere you see banana trees (each plant needs 9 months for full fruit, which they wrap the fruit in a big blue bag as it grows to protect it. Once harvested, the plant is cut down and a new one planted in it's place. We also saw mangos, nutmeg, cacao, grapefruit, and Im sure others I don't remember. Lemon grass also grows wild along the side of the streets. Our driver plucked a small bunch, rubbed in his hands, and passed around for us to smell. It can be put into teas to settle the stomach.
We arrived to our tubing launch point and were given helmets, life jackets, and a paddle with our tubes. It was a ton of fun and we went through mini rapids. I can say the life jackets were needed - I wiped out! I
lost my favorite pair of sunglasses, but I was filming when I fell out, so I at least have a silly video. Everyone used their paddles alot to push off rocks, but the depth was fine. I recommend it! It wasn't the tour called 'wacky rollers' but it left from the same park area anyways.
Leaving the tubing area, they took us for our free drink. I didn't finish the rum punch I chose. Something about it tasted sour, i found out later they put Nutmeg in theirs! Our stop was in a simple building with Christian music playing an bible verses posted on the walls. The majority of the island is Christian as is heavily apparent in the amount of praiseful scriptures posted on billboards. What our American eyes see as poverty, there is still praise for what they have. Their land is plentiful, so it makes you really examine what happiness is.
Next we went to the Emerald Pool. It's a waterfall in a small natural pool about 5 feet deep with a shallow overhang 'cave' right by it. It was hard to take pictures in the water near it because of the mist and shadows from the
trees above. (funny story: we startled a couple that was there alone as we reached the overlook before working our way down to the falls. She quickly took refuge behind a boulder to hide from the tour group coming their way!)
Back at the cruise terminal area, Jason continued his shot glass collection and I found some paper flowers. The ladies were selling them for their children's school.
There are more photos below