We met up with our tour right outside the the port and rolled our eyes at some very obnoxious very southern people speaking very loudly and yelling at each other. Chris said, "thank goodness they're not on our tour," and of course two seconds later they climbed aboard our van and were on our tour. Swell. So despite their clearly right-wing belief system ("oh, you went to school in Virginia? My son applied to Liberty!") they were very nice people once we got to know them. Also, we ended up spending the rest of the trip making fun of they way they talked by saying things like, "oh my word!" at every opportunity, but it was all in good fun.
Chris, me, and Patrick at a photo spot above the capital city of Dominica, Roseau. That's our ship, the Carnival Victory, in the background.
The rainforest on the island was very cool. It was very primordial and spawned lots of Jurassic Park quotes from me and Patrick since it had that kind of feel to it. Huge trees, ferns, and other deep green plants everywhere. We first spied the waterfall from above and then hiked down to the actual pool. Chris and Patrick went into the water, but I didn't want to sit around in my wet bathing suit while we drove to the beach, so I declined. But I did clamber over the rocks and climb around the back of the waterfall to get some neat pics.
After we hiked back out of the rainforest (in a rain shower, no less) we loaded back into the van and headed to the beach. Driving through the island was interesting. It's beautiful and colorful, but there is a lot of poverty. It's actually not as bad as I was expecting, no shanty towns or the like, but it is definitely striking. And the juxtaposition of being on this fabulous vacation against the poverty was not lost on me. But I assuage my guilt by knowing that I am there putting money into the economy and maybe helping that way? Anyway, these are the kind of things that you can't help but think about.
We got to the volcanic beach and trust me, it was very cool. There was a little snack bar where you could get drinks (such as rum punch!) and we got beach chairs and umbrellas. There was also this guitar playing/singing guy who serenaded us with reggae versions of classic songs while we relaxed. The only downsides of the volcanic beach were 1) the sand got REALLY hot, and 2) there was a strip of rocks that you had to get past to get the nice sandy ocean-bottom. But nothing's ever easy right and once you got to the nice warm water, it was all worth it.
After several hours, it was back on the van for the trip back. Patrick and I started singing (as is our way) and we caught the ears of the Southerners in the van. Eventually we got everyone singing along to some Motown favorites, and the Southerners promised to stop by the karaoke lounge to catch our act (more on that later). It was just kind of cool how we started out not really knowing or wanting to know the people on the tour, but by the end we are all buddies.
Coming up next time: Barbados!