Day 65 of 68 – Roseau, Dominica

March 10, 2018 Paul Groves

Dominica is another island with lush green vegetation and beautiful beaches. This island, like others we will visit, was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Even though the hurricane hit six months earlier, our guide told us that rebuilding is only just now getting underway. There has been financial aid from various countries, but rebuilding is slow. There is electricity in the big city of Roseau, but the outlying villages are all without water or power unless a household has its own generator and the fuel to run it.

With that said, we were still able to visit and enjoy a lovely tour of the island. We started with a trip to the top of the island for an impressive look down over the city and beaches of Roseau. We were struck with the variety of brightly colored buildings accented by the blue tarps taking the place of the roofs that were destroyed during the hurricane.

We continued on to the Botanic Gardens. As a first-time visitor, the gardens looked green and lush, but the damage from the storm was evident here as well. Leaves and even bark were stripped from the trees by the hurricane and after six months, patchy clusters of leaves were starting to reappear. We did see the remnants of an earlier (1979) hurricane that uprooted a huge tree and crushed a parked school bus.

Our next stop was the lovely Hibiscus Waterfall with a pool of crystal clear water below. Getting to the falls involved stairs, but we are pretty used to that on this trip. We were allowed to swim in the pool which is reputed to make you look and feel ten years younger, but we did not partake… no use “gilding the lily”.

We had a lunch of fresh fruits and vegetables (pumpkin-coconut soup, taro root, rice, beans, green salad and potato salad) and were then treated to the culture of the Carib Indians in the form of dancing and drums. The Carib Indians are the only indigenous people on the island. Our guide was also part of the Carib people.

I think the moral of the excursion is that even though bad things happen, you have to simply move on with your lives. Tourism is pretty important to Dominica, but we were the first cruise ship to visit for awhile. Hopefully more people will visit and the island will recover soon.