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While Antigua’s claim to fame is that they have 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, Dominica parallels their claim by bragging that they have 365 rivers flowing over and around their tropical island. Possible creative mathematics aside, the point is that both of these islands have a wealth of natural beauty just begging to be explored by visitors and locals alike.

Rebecca and I have been getting in a decent amount of hiking while our boat has been based in Portsmouth. As I mentioned in my last post, the two of us set out on a bit of an adventure yesterday, planning to hike section 13 of the Waitukubuli Trail.

Read the article that our friend Devi Sharp wrote about this hike
in the August 2010 edition of Caribbean Compass (.pdf)

It was an excellent trek through the tropical forests, up and down the mountainside. The colorful flowers that bordered the trail almost all the way were a welcome accent against the deep green foliage. But just as they say “it’s the journey and not the destination,” half the fun we had was getting to the trailhead so that we could begin the hike, and then back to Portsmouth again after we had finished. We walked, we hitched a ride, we walked some more, we hitched another ride, we caught a bus, we walked some more… you get the point. We enjoyed it all and continue to be impressed by how friendly the people of Dominica are. I know that not all of you are able to get here to enjoy the island yourself, so for those in that category, hopefully the following photo tour will give you a tiny glimpse of some of the beauty that’s awaiting your visit.

This sign is actually at the Penville end of the trail. We started walking at the other end in Capuchin.

Only 364 to go!

Baby coconut trees, growing out of the nuts that have fallen to the ground.

Do you see what we see?

Inspired by the tree in the previous pic.

I chased this guy for quite a while before I could photograph him.

Playing hide and seek amongst the Elephant Ears.

One of several “rest” benches along the trail. This one was welcomed after a LONG uphill stretch.

The only tricky part of the trail. Notice the 13/17 written on the tree. Although there is a very clear trail which goes straight down the hill beside it, do not go that way. Turn to the right where Rebecca is pointing. The other way stops at a dead end.

Rebecca is getting good at spotting snakes. We’ve heard there are 4 different types on Dominica, fortunately none of which are poisonous.

The trail was bordered by colorful flowers the entire way.

Snack break! The camera was tied to a nearby tree, set on self-timer.

Just follow the blue and yellow marks and you won’t get lost.

We met a couple friends along the way.

He looked sad to see us leave.

Color, color everywhere.

The trees that we are looking down on are VERY large. Stepping off the trail to the left would make for a long and fast slide down the hill.

The green foliage is THICK!

Another of our new friends.

Another use for bamboo!

It would be tough to make your way off the trail without a machete and a lot of time.

Yes, this tree is HUGE!

I kept watching to make sure some creature didn’t climb
out of one of the holes in this tree and surprise me.

Just stay on the trail.

It’s hard to tell from this pic because the foliage is so thick but if Rebecca was to step sideways off this tree, she would have a LONG fall down the hill.

We’re at the north end of the island.

We saw this waterfall along the road, after the hike.

Just do it!

Not sure what these guys were growing but the fields sure looked cool.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck is a great way to see the countryside!

16 Comments

  1. THANK-YOU for taking the time and effort to post those lovely pictures! It must have taken ages.

    I have spent some years in tropical areas, but never seen anything quite like that. It has usually all been chopped down 🙁

    Cheers!

    Mike

  2. I am really enjoying your blog. Most cruising blogs are pretty dull or just written for friends and family. Yours is entertaining and I am learning a lot

    We cruised to Dominica about 6 years ago. We stayed a couple of nights in Portsmouth Harbor. I did a couple of dives and still regard as it as some of the best diving.

    I had mixed feelings about the place. There was something menacing about the boat boys and the main town. After reading your blog I would definitely give it another go.

    Keep up the great work

    Adam

  3. Penville to Capucine is a very nice one. We have done it 4 times. If you are planning to stop in Martinique we know about some good hikes there. If you are intrested we could e-mail some info.
    A hike in Dominica that we really recommend is the one to “Boiling Lake”, spectacular!
    We are enjoying the beaches in Antigua at the moment.

    • Hey guys. We’d love to have that info. Please email it to us: zero to cruising ATT gmail DOTT com

      We heard you on the radio the other day and tried to hail you but received no reply. Were you just sailing by, heading north?

  4. Beautiful pictures! I can’t wait to see it myself!

  5. Magnificent. I feel like I’m there with you. I’ll say it again like I said it before, so glad I can follow along as you guys live the dream. Can’t wait until we are out there again, thanks for the motivation!

  6. Beautiful pics, as usual, I had a question about the donkey and goat, it looks as though they had a collar/chain on their necks, were they tethered or roaming free?

    • They were tethered which is a very common sight all over the islands. We see goats tied along the road everywhere and even found a horse tied up in a field near here the other day.

  7. Wow I like your blog I have been watching it for about a week I live about 40 miles East of Vancouver Canada, I have been to Belize, Mexico and Costa Rica. I am looking forward of seeing more from you Guys. take Care and happy Sailing.. Ray and Peggy Post.

  8. Thanks for the great write up. I love your trip reports. Please keep them coming! You guys always look like you’re having so much fun.

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