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Monday, February 28, 2011

SWALLOWED BY THE RAINFOREST ........



You know that if you walk about a hundred metres off the trail, turn yourself three or four times and if you didn't know up from down, you would never come out of it .......... The rainforest is so dense and so over-powering as to leave you in awe ....... Of course, you could always follow a stream down and you would hit the circular island road somewhere, but it is still awesome to see the incredible growth within ............. Takes these flowers for instance ....... Never seen anything like it ........... Or the 'calabash tree' with fruit on (below) ........ Or the size of the tree trunks and the vines that entangle and strangle it ........ That's the "Queen" doing an imitation tree strangle ..........



And what adds to this surreal world of vibrant greens is that the volcanic soils are nowhere near as dead as you might think ......... In various places we found the sulphur springs and super-heated steam emerging from the ground in pools of boiling mineral-rich water ............. One of the oldest woman in DOMINICA lived to be 128 years old, so there just may be some truth in the magic of 'hot sulphur spas' .........



Deep and high up in the mountains of DOMINICA is where the water supply for the capital ROSEAU is collected ............. Remarkably simple ....... Let the water that comes out of a gorge run straight into a large pipe ............. What is not simple is that the pipe is made of wood ............ Like a wooden barrel, but this time each of the planks are joined with metal brackets at the butt end to the next one and the whole lot is held together with steel compression rings .... And in a sharp bend, where the pipe has to cross the river it goes into a steel pipe ........ Check out the steel to plank joint ............ Do a double-click on any of the photos to enlarge them ...... Now this is rainforest engineering ...



And right here, in the pool below, is where ROSEAU's water supply emerges from the TI TOU GORGE ..... A magnificent gorge cut deep into the rocks ............... Talk about going ' GREEN '..............



We followed the forest trail that goes past the gorge and after more than two hours of walking we turned around ............ Totally saturated and satiated by the emotional feel and the bird sounds of this beautiful rainforest ....... There is no escaping that being swallowed up by the power of this forest leaves you feeling small and vulnerable, but incredibly elated ........... The photos do not do it justice .... ... Perhaps the video at the end may convey the 'magic" .....

We emerged from the forest with its numerous species of orchids, tree-ferns and bromiliads into bright sunlight ........... And continued with our wanderings around the island ...... But you just have to stop when you see a thicket of these maginficent heliconia-type flowers ...... And in one we found these metallic-blue humming birds, hard at work gathering nectar .............. Tragically the video we took turned out blurred ...... Now, you don't know the meaning of 'disappointment' until you have held a hummingbird in the frame for more than forty seconds ............ Being stood up on a first date doesn't even come close ........ These photos will just have to do ......... But Oh, what a sight to behold ...........What a sight to remember ....



And what better way to finish the day, than to sit and watch a game of " CRICKET " ........ Fully-grown men in blue and gold, spread out over a vast field surrounded by sugar-cane, chasing a hard white ball that someone has hit with a 'plank' ........ And after an hour or so, they all walk off the field to have "Tea"......... "Splendid, I hear, Splendid!" ........ The "Queen of Florida" thinks that for sheer excitement, it is on a par with watching grass grow ....... Well, what does one say to that, other than "Bring on the mower!" ....... It's a cultural thang .... O.K...... This wall-mural should bring us all back to Earth ....... You don't just hand over a good bottle of rum, not even to your loving wife ....... Who knows what she might do to it ........

video

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