Roseau, Dominica

January 9, 2012

After two days at sea we docked at Roseau, Dominica, at the container dock, which is the secondary dock for the port.  Since we did not arrive until noon, the Noordam was at the passenger dock.  We tried the tai chi class in the morning, which was a bit disappointing.

The excursion we had scheduled was called ‘Dominica’s Favorites’.  We boarded our bus at the dock, and started driving through Roseau, which is the capital city.  Our first stop was at Morne Bruce, an overlook where we could get our photo taken with our ship - except the ship that was visible was the Noordam.   

Our next stop was at the Botanical Garden.  The garden is small, but pleasant.  The most memorable thing in the garden is a baobob tree that fell on a (fortunately empty) school bus, crushing it during Hurricane David, August 29, 1979.  The garden has a Parrot and Conservation Research Center, where they participate in a breeding program for the two endangered species of parrots that live on the island.  The garden includes interesting specimens such as the huge banyan tree in this photo (compare with the people pictured with it!), the national flower known as Carib Wood, and the Cannonball tree, named for its fruit.

From the Botanical Garden we drove to Trafalagar Falls, where we had a beautiful walk through the rain forest on a path with many shallow steps, up to the point where we could view the two falls.  The falls are located near the western edge of Morne Trois Pitons National Park.  The upper falls stem from a lake, while the lower falls flow from the Trois Pitons River.  There is a covered viewing platform at the end of the trail. 

From Trafalgar Falls we drove to a place where we could have refreshments, watch some native dancers, and do a little souvenir shopping - or bird watching.  This bullfinch made himself right at home in the snack bar.

The final stop on our tour was another part of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, where we again walked through the rainforest to see the Emerald Pool.  The size of some of the plants was amazing.

Driving on the roads of Dominica, especially in something as large as a tour bus, was quite an experience.  They are mountain roads which are sort of two lane, but there are lots of large potholes and some areas of road construction.  They drive on the left, but they are used to that so that aspect of driving did not add to the chaotic driving experience.  Fortunately we had an experienced driver, so there were no mishaps.

Dominica is a beautiful island of volcanic origin, and therefore very mountainous.  They get 360 inches of rain per year, and have 365 rivers.  Geologically, it is the newest island of the group it is in.  It is well worth a visit, especially if you like to do outdoor things such as hiking.  There is far more to the island than we were able to see on this visit.  You can check out additional photos in this album.

                                                                      Roseau, Dominica

© Susan L. Stone 2015