Friday, April 29, 2011

Dominica

Dominica (pronounced like the name Dominique with an "uh" at the end) is a small island, only 278 square miles and with a population of 73,000. Though Caribes had already lived on Dominica for at least 500 years, it wasn't until 1493 that it received it's official name~as Christopher Columbus sailed by it on a Sunday, he named it "Dominica" which means Sunday in Latin. This tiny island was pretty much ignored for the next 200 years until the French and the British fought for ownership rights, which the British finally gained in 1805. Dominica gained her independence in 1978, only to be devastated by Hurricane David the following year. (We actually saw quite a few relics left by Hurricane David, but I wasn't able to get any photos of them.) Today, Dominica is known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" and is famous for its tropical forests and beautiful waterfalls. It has an agricultural economy, primarily bananas. In fact, there is such an abundance of fruit and vegetables growing on this island--much of it on public land and accessible to anyone--that hunger isn't an issue for Dominica's people. Still, there is an abundance of produce that simply goes to waste as it rots on the ground. Dominica has yet to develop a sufficient exportation system.

Here is an overview of the port (Rosalie, I think).
Here are a few shots along the way to our first destination, The Emerald Pool.
At this site, there were some local vendors selling their trinkets. I picked up this necklace, made of coconut shells, for Emma.
The Emerald Pool, a waterfall that drops into a small pool, is in the Tres Pinot (Three Mountains) national park. To get there, we had to hike through a lush rainforest.
Here's a shot of the waterfall from quite a distance.
A few shots as we continued our hike down to the pool.
There at last!
There's my sweetheart swimming in the pool.
I like the light coming through the trees on this shot, taken as we hiked our way back up through the rainforest.
At the park entrance, there was a small collection of local artisans selling their crafts. I was really touched by this older woman, hand weaving baskets of all shapes and sizes. I just had to buy one from her to add to my collection of "boxes."
As I said, bananas are the major product on Dominica. They literally grow everywhere. As the bananas mature, the farmers wrap the bunches in blue bags to protect them from insects. Did you know that it takes nine months for a bunch of bananas to mature?
Pineapples also grow everywhere,
as do Cocoa Trees. This is a large cocoa bean.
Our second destination was a black sand (volcanic ash) beach. It was really soft and pretty~but it was the biggest pain to get off of our feet! It rained while we were at this beach, and we were actually a bit cold.
Up next: Granada.

Happy Friday!

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