Morne Balvine

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1 travelers at this place

  • Day124

    Portsmouth, Dominica

    January 22, 2016 in Dominica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    We left the Saintes to go a little further South to Dominica. This will be furthest South we go on our trip.
    Dominica, the land untouched and unspoiled (….by McDonalds). But really it’s lush and rich with vibrant plants and flowers. It’s the youngest of the Caribbean islands so it’s mountainous and the only island to have multiple volcanoes. Christopher Columbus spotted the island on a Sunday of 1493…. and named it after that day of the week. I suppose he had ran out of saints to name.

    What was really great about this landfall was the fact that we were beginning to see familiar boats and knew two of the boats rather well at this point, one being Melissa on Acedia. Again, it’s pretty cool to come into a new country and see a few friends just chilling in the anchorage.

    Our first day we checked into customs and forged onward to a university area where we found Lulu or rather Lulu found us. Lulu is an amazing cook. After strolling halfway through 10 stalls selling all forms of delicious juices, lunches, and cookies; Lulu called to us. She was the 10th and last stand in the group. Cornered in the shade with a picnic table we followed her and devoured Lulu’s homemade rice, beans, chicken, and fried plantains. With a full and happy tummy we wished Lulu thanks and bid her farewell…. but not for long. We’d be back…
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  • Day125

    Indian River Tour

    January 23, 2016 in Dominica ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    When you first anchor in Portsmouth, there is a system/company of boats and one comes out to greet you and make their touring services available to you. Being new to the harbor I was weary of this boat guy coming out to welcome us. But now I know….

    About 10 or so years ago this harbor was unsafe until a group of men made it safe. They patrol the waters at night and keep a general look out during the day. If any issues or questions arise you look for one of these guys. They’re referred to as P.A.Y.S. And they are phenomenally great. That said, Mike and I enjoy off the beaten track adventures, the kind that involves meandering and less so guides and fannypacks. Which is why it took about 3 days to finally agree to one of the PAYS guys to take us on a river tour. Our boat guy was Alexis.
    We started the day with a tour down the Indian River. Our main man, Alexis, spoke Creole, English, French, German, and Spanish. Crazy impressive! We were with a French family so poor Alexis had to explain everything twice French and English, for all to understand.
    Our first stop was Calypso’s digs in the tropical rainforest. If it looks familiar, then I know you’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean II. That’s right, 10 years ago the amazing cast including Johnny Depp Orlando Bloom Bill Nighy stayed in Dominica for some time going out to the local bars. (title of this post is a Jack Sparrow quote from P. of the C. II). The water was far clearer than I thought it would be. I was anticipating swamp and algae. The brackish water supports fish, mainly mullet fish, which we saw plenty of.
    We left our boats and went on a stroll where Alexis told us about the local vegetation. Coming from a farming background he was able to give us insight on how simple yet difficult life can be living off the land. He pointed out cinnamon trees to us and then THWAK! With his machete he took a piece of the tree and showed us how it smelled…. like a perfect Martha Stewart Christmas… but better. It was incredible, we strolled around this farmland with Alexis and his machete. He was slicing off passion fruit, star fruit, coconut, coffee beans, bananas…. for us to try. We ended our stroll at a brightly colored house where we had fresh passion fruit juice. And Mike and I standing at the bar, noticed bottles that looked like rum. We were correct and tasted the homemade rum. We bought a bottle that had coconut and cinnamon mixed in it. YUM! And sure enough, our friends from Aggressive and Alpha Crucis wandered in and we all enjoyed our rum drinks after a fresh snack of fruits. In the end, Mike & I enjoyed our tour immensely!
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Morne Balvine

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