Driving through La Plaine towards the Sari Sari Falls trail in Dominica, we passed by a beautiful Catholic church that we couldn't resist taking pictures of. The architecture with arched windows and the prominent front door really make this a beautiful building. Blooming red flamboyant trees contrasted against the yellow paint made the scene even better. It is always amazing to see things like this while sightseeing.
We love eating fresh local pineapple and they are abundant here in Dominica. Biting into a ripe sweet pineapple is oh so good!
This little guy is just a baby but was too cute not to take a picture.
Down the road a bit there is a red pineapple plant growing. I don't believe you actually eat the red pineapple. Even the plant leaves have some red on them. This is the only place I have seen a red one so of course we take a picture each year.
The river we are next to at Mermaid's Secret in Dominica is usually a nice calming flow of water. Sitting next to the river is relaxing and wonderful.
However, when huge rain arrives, the river calmness is another story. It turns into a raging forceful river that is at least twice as wide and at least 5 feet higher. We were beginning to wonder if it would continue getting bigger and become a bit too near the deck for our comfort. Luckily, the rain stopped and the river was back to normal within a day. Amazing the force of nature!
Ahhhh, glorious rainy days. They are so wonderful when you are in the mood to simply relax. We have been working on building a garden shed for the owners here at Mermaid Secret, and my feet and back were needing a day off. Interesting how just a few days of work can make me so miserably tired now. Waking up this morning to a drizzling rain had me grabbing my book. Then, after reading for a few hours, it was time to take a nap. Reading really takes a lot of effort :) Now the rain is still coming and going and I am thinking it would be a great evening for soup and maybe a movie. Maybe I will get lucky and the rain will continue through tomorrow...
There are banana and plantain plants growing all over Dominica. It is the perfect climate for these plants here and wow do they grow well! It is not uncommon to see large blue plastic bags wrapped around the bananas to keep the birds and bugs off of the ripening fruit. And there are usually multiple staked ropes tied to the trees to help support the weight of the fruit. I love seeing the cultivated fields with rows and rows of plants when driving around. Maybe it is the farmer in me that wants to have a field of my own...
One of our favorite aspects of Dominica is the unspoiled natural environment that encompasses the island. Hiking in Dominica is like entering another world. One in which you feel like humans have never set foot and the life that surrounds you has existed for years and years. It is quite the spiritual experience to be such a small part of the world and know that even though we are only here for a small segment of time, the natural world will exist forever. Dominica offers this environment. And we now see this island as a spiritual place where we can reconnect with ourselves, nature, and the important aspects of life.
The hike to Glasse Point near Rosalie does not fail to offer this experience to hikers. At the beginning of the hike, you pass through an open area with cows and dilapidated buildings. Then you are immediately submerged into a tropical wonderland with lush forest, singing birds, trickling water streams, and the peaceful quite of nature. Once you pass through the tropical valley, the descent to the water begins and the landscape again changes to one of rocky cliffs and a drier climate. The sound of a raging ocean can be heard and it is apparent that she is madly crashing into the cliffs ahead. At a lookout post, the ocean is rushing into a natural cave with such force that you can feel it beneath your feet. Such a wonderful rush to stand next to this!
A bit further down the path, you find yourself at the end of the hike and at Glasse Point where natural tide pools have been created and the water is turbulently mixing and crashing all around you. Feeling insignificant is only natural when standing here. We are such a small piece of the puzzle of life and this is a great place to ponder what the meaning of life truly is. We have taken this hike each year we come to Dominica and it never fails to amaze us. I was surprised and excited that I was able to go on this hike with my pregnancy and can't wait for the next experience.
Theresa and I have been entrusted to care for a hidden gem (Mermaid's Secret) in the Rosalie forest on the island of Dominica while the owners are away for summer vacation. While the small resort has many attractions for nature lovers, perhaps the most beautiful amenity is the natural river pool located on the property. A stone lined path leads you to a little hidden wonder in the jungle. When the midday sun hits the water, the river glows shades of aqua blues and emerald greens. This sight alone is a truly mesmerizing experience. The river water is crystal clear and extremely refreshing. There is a rope swing hanging from the trees and even a stone pillar garden for an extra little zen.. I have to admit, Theresa and are falling more in love with Dominica (and Mermaid's Secret) every day!
As we were driving around the Rosalie area of Dominica a few days ago, we pulled up behind a trash collection truck. This was quite the event to witness! The guys jump off the sides of the truck, quickly grab the trash bags, throw them in the back, and run to jump back onto the sides of the truck since it kept moving. Skill! The sides of the truck had added foot rests and handles for this purpose. We were a bit in awe at watching this.
While staying here at Mermaid's Secret, we met the neighbors Melissa and Andy just down the road who are truly amazing people. They have sailed around the world and have so many interesting stories or their travels. We had dinner with them on Aaron's birthday and they treated us like lifelong friends. They are currently in the process of building a beautiful eco-friendly villa that will have multiple rentals in the future. We really enjoyed seeing how they are building off the grid and the different modifications that they are making so that this is possible. Their property is also located on a river and is simply beautiful. In the evening, stargazing with the calming sound of the river.... There just isn't much like it.
After dinner, they gave us some bananas and a pineapple that grew on their land and invited us to come the next day and gather produce out of their garden. So, the next morning, we grabbed a bag and walked down the road to pick vegetables from their extensive garden. It started raining while we were picking (Dominica style) but the rain showers here are wonderful. We now have lettuce, bok choy, chives, celery, onion, eggplant and peppers. And they are all grown organically! What a great experience!
For the 3rd year in a row, I have celebrated my birthday on the island of Dominica. This year Theresa and I spent the day driving around, taking pictures of old houses and cows, and visiting with the local people around the village of LA Plaine. Dominica is a place where I take time (more than usual) to enjoy and observe nature, to reflect on life, and to count my blessings. This year was no exception. Although it may not seem like much of a birthday celebration, taking pictures of old houses here in Dominica gives me an opportunity to consider how fortunate I am to have a nice weatherproof roof over my head while also allowing me to understand that the size and condition of a home is no real reflection of self worth or moral values. I always meet amazing people in Dominica, one of the happiest, and poorest places on earth. This year, I feel mored blessed and honored than ever to be able to share part of my life experience with those people I meet here on the island Dominica.
Theresa and Aaron
This blog is dedicated to our life here in St. Croix and the experiences we have each day.