Getting into Dominica, I planned an itinerary that would take us away from the rest of the cruise ship crowd and get us to see the main highlights in a couple hours … aka See Dominica in 8 hours
My plan was the following
Start in the south at Scotts Head
Make our way past Soufriere Bay and check out Soufriere Church with bathing pool
Bathe in the Soufriere Sulphur Springs
Stop at Champagne for some snorkeling (if it didn’t kill our timelines)
Visit Morne Bruce View Point overlooking the Capital.
Visit the Emerald Pool
Rain forest walk to view the Trafalgar Waterfalls and swim into the falls
Visit the Sulphur Springs at Wotton Wavon.
Sounds like a busy day … now finding a driver that would help push this at a reasonable price was going to be the next challenge. Of course, trying to negotiate with a local taxi driver with 3 white girls in tow is never optimal. So D* and the girls were given instructions to stay 20 steps behind me and not move until I gave them the signal.
Fortunately, a local driver Glenford and I stuck a deal pretty quickly. In the end, it came up to $45 a person for the entire day, which wasn’t bad at all considering I got the following prices from two tour operators. For a 6-7 hour tour, Antours would have made sense also. Dominica is a small island, so once you have a couple people with you, it’s pretty easy to find a decent tour for 4 people under $200. Of course, the same shore excursion organized by the cruise line was $100 + tip per person.
From: Antours (D/ca) Ltd [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 11:06 PM
To: Sankar, Rishi
Subject: Re: Dominica Day Tour – March 13th , 2012
Thanks for contacting us. Our best price offer for vehicle and driver is US$30.00 per hour. We look forward to hosting you on 13th March.
Awaiting your feedback.
From: Mervin Henderson [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 8:20 PM
To: Sankar, Rishi
Subject: RE: Dominica Day Tour – March 13th , 2012
Hi rishi sorry for not replying sooner.I would like to no how many of u all will be coming, if is about eight or ten of u then thats about 40 u.s per person.If is four or six persons, then that will be 300 u.s for the taxi for the day.The places that are most intresting are where they filmed pirates of the caribbean part 2 it’s called titu gorge,where u swim in between two mountains to a waterfall u get to see Trafalgar falls, hot springs, volcanic vent,champagne snuckle. at champagne u get to see bubbles an lots of fishes, those are the fun things u can do.If there is anyting extra that we can do in the cost of the day i would be obliged.
When u reach ask anyone for ninjaman an u will reach out to me.17672455058
So after all the negotiations, we were off to Scotts Head for the view and maybe some swimming.
As we got there, we saw that there was a wash down of algae in the morning, so that made swimming a little unappealing for everyone. It did make for pretty pictures in the morning though …
You can hike to top of Scotts Head, if you check out the video and you’re rewarded with the view that makes sense when you look at the Google map of the area. The Carib name of the peninsula is Cachacrou, literally meaning a “hat which is being eaten”. This is possibly a reference to its location at the convergence of the Caribbean Sea to its north and the Atlantic Ocean to its south.
After the hike and walking around the peninsula, then it’s off to Soufriere Church.
Just in front of the Soufriere Church, where the sea meets the shore, there is a hot spring in the sea, about a semi-circular area approximately 5 feet wide – who wouldn’t want to have the ultimate jacuzzi experience – obviously not us … since I forgot to take the picture … but at least the church is pretty on the inside.
You can’t beat going to fish and then coming back to church to give thanks (if you’re into that sort of thing …or maybe you do the reverse … I think going to church and then fishing makes more sense, when I think about it more)
Next on our busy morning were the Sulphur Springs
A couple copy and paste facts …
The Soufriere Sulphur Springs are heated by water that percolates down into the earth’s crust and makes contact with hot rocks. These rocks are in turn being heated by the magma chamber that lies below the Morne Plat Pay volcanic complex. This complex is made up of all the mountains south of Loubiere. They all share the same volcanic centre and this is ‘live’ and can still erupt onto the surface. The heated water is forced to rise back up and brings with it a number of chemicals and gases such as sulphur oxide, ferrous oxide and hydrogen oxide. ‘Soufriere’ is the French for a place where sulphur exists. When the French were in control of Dominica King Louis XVI ordered that sulphur baths be built here for the troops to bathe in.
Those old sulphur baths are now what we bathe in today. As you can tell, it doesn’t look that appealing based on Ali’s reaction in the picture, but I can tell you that it’s actually not bad once you get past the sulphur water visual. It’s warm and is good for your skin.