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Sunday, February 27, 2011

ONE ISLAND AND THREE HUNDRED RIVERS .....



DOMINICA .............. The true rainforest island of the Caribbean ........ Over 3000ft high in places and with a sheer drop into the ocean it manages to catch an amazing amount of rainfall with the results of incredible plant growth ............ It is the 'Garden Island of the Caribbean' and what a joy to finally see so much fresh fruit and vegies ............ Early one Saturday morning we drove to the Capital ROSEAU to be there when they have their weekly market ....... Varieties of every kind, and many we had not seen before ..... And all mouth-wateringly fresh and straight out of the hills .............



What looks like Whoopi Goldberg's brother is weighing out batches of cinnamon and every variety of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, celery, parsley, turnips, taro, sweet potato, yam, plantain and staples like cucumber and carrots were all there, even Chinese cabbage, and every seller has his or her own little space .......



And wherever their house might be, or their garden in the hills, none of it needs watering ............. It's a shame to see so much beautiful water drain into the sea when islands further down are struggling with obtaining even a minimal water supply ............



We saw a sign that said "WATERFALL" so we ventured into the hills to find it ...... There might have been a path to it a week ago, but not any more ........ Spectacular overwhelming growth, and fruit growing everywhere .......... Anyway, we found it, by slipping and sliding and following the river course ......



With a steep coastline, the keeping of fishing boats is really difficult ..... They pull these skiffs out of the water on log rollers onto a gravel beach virtually the length of the skiff ............. They are mostly made of plywood but fairly sturdy and about the same length as this little sailboat (below), that somebody has sailed all the way from SWEDEN ......... Not too much room for vegies on that boat ......

Now, one of the trees you find in abundance in the forests is the 'Silky Cottonwood' tree, also know as the 'Kapok' tree ....... That produces that white fluffy stuffing often used in cushions and 'Titanic-era' lifejackets ........ Beautiful trees except for one thing ........... Don't climb them .............. The perfect tree to plant as a good hedge or fence if you want to keep others out ............ Speaking of which, we went to look at "FORT SHIRLEY" in the now preserved Cabrits National Park ........ Huge battlements of hand-cut stone and arrays of cannons facing the sea ...... A good many buildings spread over many acres on the peninsula .......... The sheer labour of the construction is mind-boggling and much of it now in ruins and overgrown in the hills .... (Check out the video below)



Just reading the plague took us back to former colonial times ....... And the Commandant's huge residence was a good mile away from the Fort ....... This residence was soon abandoned after it was built, due to the 'presence of mosquitoes' and a new residence of the same size was constructed 'nearer fresh breezes'........ Little wonder that somebody revolted .....



In the forest we found the remains of the Commandant's residence ........... If only those walls could talk .............. But all around were seedlings of teak trees sprouting up, and nearer the fort were rows of teak trees obviously planted by later persons .............. Good boat-building teak if we can only come back in twenty-five years ...............



A vehicle passed us just as we took a photograph of this road sign ....... He was doing about twice the normal speed limit, so this kind of suggestion may need a little tweaking ............. Hopefully they will not put up a road sign for 'Hermit Crab Crossing' because they move really, really slowly ........... We think that paint could actually dry faster .........

video

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