A Photo Essay on Dominica: Part 1
This is ALL about the green.
Imagine a world where the color green meant more than a dingy dollar bill, the color of grass or the verb “go”. Green is the world, it is your prosperity, your wealth, your health, your life.
Nestled in the Lesser Antilles, Dominica is an island known for its fertile grounds and abundance of life. Home to the second largest hot spring source in the world, countless acres of rainforest, and 365 (yes, you read that correctly) fresh water rivers. Owning land in Dominica is the ticket to a long and healthy life. For if you have your land, you have your food and you have your work.
In June of 2012 I set out to meet up with some awesome backpacking partners to check out the newly forged Waitukubuli trail. Our haphazardly planned hiking trip turned quickly into a fluid tour of the country and its people.
I have nothing but the utmost love and adoration for the country of Dominica. The people were incredibly welcoming, eager to show off their homes and livelihood, generosity oozing from every pore. In the melodic poetry that is Patois, each new friend would guide us to their favorite spot, every one better than the last.
We hiked, showered in waterfalls, camped on the rainforest floor, slathered on sulphur mud, made canine allies and ate our weight in mangoes. Here’s what we encountered in our first days:
Jack and Scotty, our canine hike guides and protectors, brought us through Section 6 of Waitukubuli trail. I was unsure of their ability to actually lead us through the trail, but they proved to be the best guides, barking when we’ve turned the wrong way and running back and forth to show us the best turns to take.
The newly forged national trail spans from the tip of the country down to the southernmost point. Its name Waitukubuli means “tall is her body” and was once the name of the country pre-colonization. Although the trail is completed work is still being done to bring attention to the trail, markers and camp sites along the way are all being added and worked on continously. These markers were some of the only ones we saw once on the trail. Good thing we had Jack and Scotty.
Dominica’s prime minister years ago appointed an area of the country for the “native people of the land” to uphold traditional life. This is the Carib territory, houses made of mud and palms, boats carved from large tree. Life is simple and remains true to their nation.
The sea from the Carib Territory.
A hike with some new friends brought us through a farmer’s pineapple crop. He generously offered us some of his very ripe pineapples and we made off with four of the best tasting pineapple I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was so delicious you could consume even the core.
A short hike in the Rosalie Forest brought us to the Emerald Pool, a coveted picnic and hang out spot for locals and a small tourism industry. Natural pools created by one of the hundreds of river make for a wonderful swim after a hefty hike. This shot is from underneath the waterfall.
Stay tuned for more. Fifteen days of trekking, two camera deaths, and a good deal of Dominican hospitality brings us to the largest sulphur source in the world…