Dominica - 1999

Published: January 22nd 2019
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Sunset seen from Roseau, the capital of Dominica

A small country with stunning nature and one huge boiling lake

We travelled also before we joined TravelBlog. We have started to digitalise photos from those pre-TravelBlog trips and we are planning to write about maybe a handful of them. We will write when we have the time and time is usually scarce so these blog entries will be far in between. We have however written one now and it is about a small country in the Caribbean - Dominica.

We guess we here in the beginning also need to say that we are not proud of the quality of the photos. They are dull because we didn't have digital cameras. We used film in 1999 and the colours have deteriorated over time. Also, it doesn't help that we are pretty lousy photographers.

Let's begin by clearing out which country we are writing about. There are two countries in that region with similar names - Dominica and the Dominican Republic. We went to Dominica, the smaller and lesser known of the two countries.

Dominica is a former British colony. Since we have already mentioned that it is in the
Dominica is mountainousDominica is mountainousDominica is mountainous

When seen from a distance Dominica it is easy to see that the country is mountainous.
Caribbean we probably don't need to point out that the country is an island. Dominica is a very small country. It is only about 50 km from north to south and at most around 20 km from west to east so you can easily drive around it in one day. That is if you know how to drive on the left side of the road.

We didn't plan on travelling much outside of the capital Roseau mostly because we are not comfortable with driving on the left side. But it turned out that luck was on our side. We met two American businessmen who were in Dominica to look for possible investments. They had a car with a driver to their disposal and they invited us to take a small tour with them. So thanks to them we got to see some of the lesser travelled parts of Dominica.

Dominica may be a small country but it is still easy to find enough interesting things to do to make it worth spending a week there. It's been 20 years since we did this trip so we have forgotten much. But the photos we took
Thick rainforestThick rainforestThick rainforest

The interior is mountainous and covered with thick rainforest.
do help to jog our memories. The highlights of this trip were as follows:

• Roseau: the capital city. With a population of only 14,000 it is no more than a large village. We remember that it also felt more like a village than like a city.

• The interior is mountainous and covered with thick rainforest. The nature is nothing short of spectacular. Much of it is inaccessible but we went on a hike one day and we absolutely loved the scenery and the nature.

• Boiling Lake: As the name indicates it is a lake and it is boiling. The lake is heated by volcanic activity and in the centre it is constantly boiling. Supposedly it is the second largest boiling lake in the world. If the information we have is correct the largest known boiling lake is in New Zealand. We really have to check that one out if we ever go to the Land of the Kiwis.

• Champagne Beach: A bay where there in the shallow waters are several small volcanic vents ejecting gas, steam and water. The gas and the steam creates bubbles which makes it an interesting experience to

The nature is nothing short of spectacular. Supposedly there are 365 waterfalls in Dominica.
swim there. We unfortunately don't have any photos of this phenomenon. But if you want to know what it looks like we can recommend that you picture google it. However, if you do that it is good to know that there is a beach in Vanuatu with the same name. In photos you can easily tell the two beaches apart. Vanuatu's Champagne Beach has white sand and Dominica's has black. But as far as we know only Dominica's comes with bubbles.

Most visitors to this wonderful country arrive by cruise ship and stay only for a few hours. We spent several days and it was definitely worth it. The best and most memorable things you can see and do in Dominica is not the souvenir stalls by the water front.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 24


The hiking trailThe hiking trail
The hiking trail

Much of the interior is inaccessible but there are several hiking trails too. We went on a hike one day and we absolutely loved the scenery and the nature
Us on the hikeUs on the hike
Us on the hike

Emma looks like fresh and rested and Ake looks like he is on the brink of a collapse. It was the other way around. Emma was suffering and Ake felt like a million dollars
Smoke in the distanceSmoke in the distance
Smoke in the distance

The smoke comes from volcanic steam vents and a boiling lake
Hundreds of steam ventsHundreds of steam vents
Hundreds of steam vents

There are hundreds of steam vents in the valley where the boiling lake is
The gas is slightly poisonousThe gas is slightly poisonous
The gas is slightly poisonous

Around the steam vents the ground is bare and barren. That's because the gas that comes from the vents is a bit poisonous. It is not dangerous to visit the sight but if you are a plant you prefer to live elsewhere.
Sulphur in the vapourSulphur in the vapour
Sulphur in the vapour

There is sulphur in the vapour. We are not chemists but we guess the sulphur reacts with other elements and form sulphuric acid. The acid makes the soil acidic to a limit where very little can grow.
This plant has adoptedThis plant has adopted
This plant has adopted

This plant has adopted to the harsh living conditions and can grow close to the steam vents
Sulphur on the rocksSulphur on the rocks
Sulphur on the rocks

The bright yellow stuff on the rocks in sulphur
Boiling LakeBoiling Lake
Boiling Lake

The lake is heated by volcanic activity and in the centre it is constantly boiling.
Natural spa poolNatural spa pool
Natural spa pool

The water is heated by volcanic activity and the pool is a natural spa
You can swim in the poolYou can swim in the pool
You can swim in the pool

We had a swim in the pool
Sulphur and silver - not a good combinationSulphur and silver - not a good combination
Sulphur and silver - not a good combination

There is sulphur in the water in the pool. Sulphur reacts with silver making Ake's silver necklace turn black.
A plantA plant
A plant

Wonder if this was the "Viagra plant". Every rain forest seem to have one and guides just love to point them out
Land slideLand slide
Land slide

It rained when we toured the island. The rain triggered this little landslide
Village gathering hallVillage gathering hall
Village gathering hall

A hall for meetings and other common activities in a village in Dominica
Tree with aerial rootsTree with aerial roots
Tree with aerial roots

This tree has many so called aerial roots. The aerial roots can absorb water directly from the air and sometimes also nutrients
Dominica's flagDominica's flag
Dominica's flag

In the centre the flag has a picture of the Sisserou parrot, a parrot endemic to Dominica
 Sisserou parrot Sisserou parrot
Sisserou parrot

A Sisserou parrot in captivity
A street in central Roseau A street in central Roseau
A street in central Roseau

Roseau is the capital of Dominica. With a population of only 14,000 it is no more than a large village.
"Left hand drive""Left hand drive"
"Left hand drive"

They drive on the left side of the road in Dominica but not all cars have the steering wheel on the right side. The cars with the steering wheel on the left side have a sticker saying "Left hand drive"
Hurricane shelterHurricane shelter
Hurricane shelter

A shelter where people can go in case of a hurricane
Hurricane + tree = a flat busHurricane + tree = a flat bus
Hurricane + tree = a flat bus

We have seen busses with flat tires but this is the first time we've seen a flat bus with tires. The tree was knocked down in a hurricane and hit the bus just like you see it. The bus was empty so nobody was injured - hence it is OK to smile at the picture.

23rd January 2019
Hurricane shelter

Is that glass?
I don't know much about Hurricane shelters, but I'm surprised to see so much glass on such a structure. Your 1999 photos from film have lasted much better than some of my travel photos - and I really should digitise them as you have done.
23rd January 2019
Hurricane shelter

I sure hope it is the hurricane shelter...
I sure hope that was the hurricane shelter. Though it was two decades ago so I guess we could be wrong there. Btw if it is glass it might be steel inforced or bullet proof or really thick super glass that can take on anything without a scratch. /Ake
23rd January 2019
Hurricane shelter

On digitising photos
Just for your information. Once you get started it doesn't take that much time to digitise the photos. It is a quite quick process where you go through picture after picture and each one takes only a few seconds. It least it was relatively fast with the equipment I used. /Ake
26th January 2019
You can swim in the pool

20 years
Nice to see a pic of the younger you swim as well as run. Your foray into digitising photos from film from earlier trips must be bringing back fabulous memories.
28th January 2019
You can swim in the pool

On bringing back memories
The memories that come back is one of the great rewards writing travelblogs in the first place. With the old ones especially so since they are so far back in our minds and we haven't thought about them for so long. I think I will digitise more of my photos and write about some of the other trips we made long time ago. Once I get started it actually doesn't take very much time. /Ake

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