Dominica, sandwiched between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique has its own unique character. Dubbed ‘The Nature Island’ it boasts 365 rivers, dense forest, miles of trails, countless waterfalls, hot springs, a boiling lake and undersea volcanic vents.
Sadly, rough weather conditions meant that we were unable to snorkel Champagne reef–the escaping gas from the undersea vents causes myriads of tiny bubbles–swimming in champagne will have to wait for a future visit.
Instead we explored the capital Roseau from our base at the sprawling Fort Young Hotel. Built upon the remnants of an old fort this is arguably the best hotel in town. It is situated just a short walk from the ferry dock along the waterfront, although reception is 5 floors up on the inland side.
The hotels variety of levels, decks and vantage points offer sweeping views of Dominica’s peaks and shoreline.
Champagne Beach is very typical of the beaches here, consisting mainly of smooth rocks and patches of black sand. Fringed of course with palm trees and the very distinct hues of the Caribbean.
A neighbor settling in for the night just off the black sand stretch of Mero beach.
If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, you may just recognize this place. In the second movie, Jack Sparrow goes to visit the witch here in her hovel on Indian River.
Another stunning sunset, from our balcony at Caribbean Sea View apartments high above Mero Beach.
If your beach has to be white or at least golden you better head to Calibishie on the northeast side of the island. We didn’t stop here for food from the rasta man, we stopped for a taste of the local rum. Our taxi driver had decided that he was going to educate us on the variety of herb/twig flavored rums that the locals favor.
The view was impressive, the rum not as much. Although its potency could not be denied, this is the only time we have arrived at any airport a little sozzled. Scary thing is that the taxi driver was drinking too! As we said Dominica has a character all of its own.