Blogs from Toucarie, Dominica, Central America Caribbean

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Sunday July 15 - Today is Sam's last day, and everyone is heading out of camp to hang out. He's one of the marine team that is based in camp here. We left around 10am, but it was delayed due to a tire change of a flat tire on one of the three vehicles. Always expect the unexpected. But Andrew and Clive changed the tire quickly and then we were on our way. I drove with the bat girls and pretty much hated the music choice the whole way. The others all drove together in the van. Our first stop was the bat cave. It is along the ocean cliffs, and you have to swim around to it, which lent some excitement. We made our way there, and everyone could pretty much stand on the inside ... read more
Swimming out to cave
Cave entrance
Fishing bat


Over the last 2 months we have celebrated both of our birthdays and our 20th wedding anniversary, we have completed 3 pretty big projects, been on a trip around the island and had guests to stay. Great times... For our anniversary we travelled to the opposite corner of the island and stayed at Jungle Bay. A lovely experience and an opportunity to explore an area we haven't been to. Our hike to Sari Sari falls was a real hi-light and quite an adventure. Between trips and other jobs we finally finished the kitchen with just one day to spare. We ripped out everything and built what we have wanted for the last 3 years. There are no fitted kitchens here, we designed and built it from timber, ply, tiles and paint. When Sue and Patricia came ... read more
sunset at de champ cocktail bar in Portsmouth
anniversary trip jungle bay bed
anniversary trip jungle bay pool


It's been 2 months since the last post and we have no excuses. Just having a good time! Although we have a house here, Dominica is usually an adventure, often a surprise and always beautiful. So that's why we continue the travel blog, because this is a different world... We have been getting on with a great deal of gardening (mostly Kate) and quite a bit of project work (mostly Andy). But it's the walks in the rainforest, the trip to Chaudiere pool, the evenings at Taco Tuesdays, the boat trips, the beach trips and the fun with friends that are the most memorable. Thanks to you all for making Dominica even more wonderful. The pictures below tell the story (well part of the story anyway)...... read more
chaudiere pool - Kate with John and Rob
Called a "Costal Wine Cruise" this was a great day out on Helen's boat
chaudiere pool - Andy with the pool to himself


Somehow this blog from May was never published. So take yourself back to spring and here are our final thoughts before returning from Dominica... There has been lots of rain so our snorkelling trips were delayed due to murky water but we still got out there as much as we could. The Reef Fish book comes out after each trip to check on new fish we have seen. Life at the house is still wonderful, and as trees come into bloom we watch the small colourful birds – including lots of humming birds - darting around. The local Zandoli tree-lizards continue to be a favourite to watch and Andy spends his evenings gazing at the ceiling and our unpaid cleaning staff – the house geckos hunting insects. Son continues to help us with our ever expanding ... read more
Toucarie reef - blue water
Toucarie - Son with 2 new cutlasses (Gardeners of the Caribbean)
Toucarie - a Zandoli bites off more than it can chew


Sorry we haven't posted any photos for a while - we've been having too much fun!!. Here are a few and we'll sort out a proper update soon... The garden is still coming along nicely. Everything grows so quickly we had to cut back a lot of stuff. It's hard to be drastic but necessary - looks a bit like a bad hair day in parts though!!. Mangos have just finished Arrgghh! but we're still eating our own bananas. We had a day sail with Susie on her sleek modern classic yacht, Spirited Lady. Smiled so much my face ached! We still go snorkelling in the bay. I love searching out the reef fish and getting more images with the little compact camera. Toucarie is just the perfect place to be. We've had a couple of ... read more
Sailing the north west coast aboard Spirited Lady for the day
Toucarie reef - blue tang
Freshly roasted coffee


Well we are here in Mango Lodge and tonight all seems right with the world. We arrived on Monday and it’s now Sunday - we’ve had a few things to sort out but hey ho that’s life. It’s funny but you feel lucky if your luggage arrives with you at the airport. The added bonus was that our car was ready to pick up from our friendly mechanic, it started first time and he’d even cleaned it!! Bonus!! We drove to the house and there it was Mango Lodge all in one piece, and not blown away by a hurricane - anything else is manageable. The things we had to sort out seem long ago now, but basically they were: No cooking gas for 4 days - one empty gas cylinder and our spare cylinder has ... read more
The new Waitukubuli Trail picnic area in Toucarie
Ripening bananas on the plant Kate planted 2 years ago
Our great new picnic area, right at the bottom of our road


This is a video of the underwater sights in Toucarie Bay. It was all taken snorkelling and free diving just a short swim from the beach using a very unsuitable camera (a 170° wide-angle GoPro Hero). Every day we swam we saw the volcanic bubbles and an abundance of grunts and surgeon fish, plus several angel fish, butterfly fish, rock beauties, parrot fish, trunk fish, damsel fish etc. But then there was always a surprise too - the reef squid, an eel, the big lump of a white spotted file fish, the elegant spotted drum, a blue tang straight from Finding Nemo, a sea horse, that bright orange frog fish or the wonderful sight of a turtle. We enjoyed them all and couldn't wait to swim out the next day. Who needs to go diving when ... read more


Here we are without guests for a few weeks. Here's an update of what we are up to and a selection of recent photos - to see larger images click on the first one then view each in turn. And, by the way, your comments in the box at the bottom are always welcome. In a couple of days, Steve, Jo, Tom and Ollie will arrive - the excitement is palpable! Andy's Nuts With the dry weather and some strong winds, the coconuts have been crashing from the trees in the garden. I (Andy) have taken on the task of opening them with my cutlass but it's a lot harder then Son makes it look. Kate's Bananas Kate planted a few banana trees this time last year. One has produced a huge bunch of bananas so ... read more
Kate and her bananas
Beautiful Toucari bay
Sunset as viewed from the guest bedroom window


For a couple of weeks, Richard and Jill joined us in the Lesser Antilles. They jumped ship for a few days in Guadeloupe but spent most of their time relaxing or adventuring with us. Here is what they said... Highlights of the holiday (in no particular order) were: Early morning tea with that fab view across coconut palms to the bay Early evening pina coladas on the amazingly comfortable works of art that are the sofas, with a fab view across coconut palms, now gently swaying in the breeze, to the bay. Beers at Angela's after a refreshing swim. Home-made everything for breakfast - especially the yoghurt! Jazz in the jungle - good food, wine, sounds of the river, live music and our very own Kate Preston on vocals. Playing cards in pyjamas. Having a shower ... read more
Indiana Thorley at Spanny Falls
Just one of the Toucari sunsets
Brunch at River Rush

Central America Caribbean » Dominica » Toucarie February 8th 2010

We have all had great fun with Tom and Wendy staying. They settled quickly into island life but this could be because of their relaxed French lifestyle at home. We recently received an email from them entitled “we are in love with Dominica” which says it all. So what did we do? Well Tom (Kate’s big brother) and Wendy didn’t want to do lots of tourist things and dash about to see the whole island, they were happy to hang-out and absorb the island life. So - we went for swims in the bay - hiked across Cabrits national park - went to the cold water sulphur springs in the “drive through volcano” - walked to Spanny falls - worked in the garden - did the Syndicate trail - beach-combed on the other side of the ... read more
All in the Rum Shop for a beer after our swim in the bay
Team photo - look what we made!
The cold sulphur springs at Morne aux Diables




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