Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens
Dec 12, 2013, we went on a private van tour with www.bumpiingtours.com. The tour guide and driver picked us up near the cruise ship docks in Roseau and after introductions were made, we went through town and up winding mountain roads into the rain forest. Eventually, we hiked to Emerald Falls and Trafalgar Falls. All along our route, our guide, Kelvin, answered all our questions. It was evident Kelvin was very knowledgeable about and devoted to his beautiful island nation. Asher, our driver, was amazing and talented. He has a PhD in driving (Pot Hold Dodger)!
The variety and density of flowering plants and various fruit trees in Dominica is beyond belief. Through Kelvin, we learned about the hurricane that seriously damaged Dominca about seven years ago and the government's successful attempts to restore the country. The tour was a mixture of driving, walking, (optional) swimming at the falls, and sight seeing. Kelvin kept a running commentary of what we were seeing and was able to answer every question we posed. We will not hesitate to utilize the services of Bumpiingtours (yes, that is with two i's) upon our next visit to this lovely island.
- Hiking and Walking
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Trafalgar Falls was a highlight of our tour of Dominica. The falls were about a twenty minute drive from the port in Roseau in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. When we arrived we walked through the Visitor's Center and hiked a short walk to the Falls.
From a viewing platform we were able to see these twin falls known as the "Mother" and "Father". The upper waterfall, the higher of the two is called the Father. The lower waterfall is known as the Mother. Climb down a rocky path to the base of the Father Falls for a dip in the hot springs.
During our vivist we wer able to view the falls at their fullest as there were many rainstorms during our visit. The visit to the springs below though was cut short when a torrential rainfall began and we had to hike pack to the visitor's ceneter before the hiking trail became to muddy and unstable.
You smell it before you see it. The sulphur springs are a popular attraction for tourists and locals. We had the opportunity to visit the springs but forgoed the bath. We had done a sulphur springs excursion on St. Lucia and frankly didn't want the heat of the water and the lingering smell of rotten eggs on our bodies for the remainder of the day.
This was a weird stop on our local tour of Dominica. Basically this was someone's house (a local singer) that we visited. There were three different types of drinks being served: a grapefruit, lime and orange. There was also CD's for sale of this woman's singing. We had our drinks and went back on our tour. Still makes no sense to me but we got a drink out of it.
Dominica Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens was just one of the stops along our tour of the area. The Botanical Gardens were established in 1889 when Dominica was still a Brittish colony. Well known Botanist from England supplied the majority of the tropical plants and several species are from around the world.
The garden was once considered one of the finest gardens in the West Indies until 1979 when they were severly damaged by Hurricane David. Since the hurricane many trees, plants and flowers have been restored to their former beauty and the garden draws many visitors.
Some of the highlights of the Gardens were the large Banyan Trees, The Cannon Ball Tree, Palms, lizards and the parots of the gardens. My wife was thrilled to see her favorite cannon ball tree as well as the large African baobab tree that crushed a bus during the hurricane. I was able to take many pictures of the beautiful grounds while we visited; I am a big fan of trees.
David the Goliath
In 1979 Hurricane David struck the island of Dominica, devastating most of the Botanical Gardens. During this storm a huge African baobab tree fell and crushed an empty school bus. The bus and tree are still in the gardens as a reminder of the devastating storm. The tree is Called David, the Goliath.
A highlight of our tour of Roseau was the views from Morne Bruce. After our visit to the Botanical Gardens we drove up Jack's Trail to this viewpoint. From here there were incredible views of Roseau; the Harbor, the gardens, the town, simply wonderful. In particular I loved the view of the Cricket Stadium. I could definitely see myself sitting up here watching the game for free.