I’m so glad I’m not being eaten alive by mosquitoes right now. So far Roseau has been much better than Soufriere when it comes to mosquitoes. The big welts are starting to heal, I only have 1 left and few sand fly bites really. I’m still being careful with the bug spray though, it was pretty miserable.
I woke up this morning and looked outside and the sun has come! After all the rain yesterday and Ben wanting to make plans assuming rain, I just remembered Diego on one of the boats when I was a kid looking out his window when he was deciding to sail or not. Does it look nice now? I took my time getting up since our plans weren’t that long today and Ben was going to Sunday Mass. We were heading down to Scott’s Head and Champagne Reef, both of which I’ve been looking forward to. I suspect Dominica isn’t that much larger than Catalina, it doesn’t take much time to get that far south. Push come to shove we could even probably walk back. Sadly the buses aren’t in service on a Sunday.
We walked through town kinda haphazardly aiming for the Ford Young Café for lunch since nothing is open at all on a Sunday here. They really do observe that rule here. The hotel restaurant we knew was open since we had asked the day before. Nothing else caught our eye as open on our way. We figured maybe something would be open in Scott’s head so we might as well go first. We found where the buses occasionally stop, but none were there. We were immediately bugged by a taxi looking for a fare. We passed on it though and decided to go eat at the Café first.
Lunch was good but kind of expensive. We don’t have many options on a Sunday, I think it’s literally this or KFC or Pizza Hut. After we asked the receptionist if we could get any deals like the summer rate on a room since they aren’t full yet, she said she couldn’t give us the summer rate. I told her too bad and walked away. I don’t get it sometimes, people will stick to their guns when it comes to what they charge instead of getting business. I guess we won’t be there 2 nights, but we might do 1 just to have something nicer than where we are now.
We headed back out asking about the bus, but most people think there won’t be any. We’re not sure what to do, the weather is perfect, but who knows about tomorrow or Tuesday. I suggest we not waste the weather doing nothing, so we find a taxi that looks like he wants business and haggle him down to $60USD for the both of us to Scott’s Head, Champagne Reef, and back. It’s about a 3 hour trip or so, and gas isn’t THAT expensive, so we think he’s getting a pretty good deal. He accepts a bit begrudgingly and we hop in.
The roads, though short, are narrow, bumpy and very windy. Several times I think of myself as the driver and realize when a car is coming towards me the instinct is still to go to the far right of the road which is wrong, they drive on the left side here. I most definitely shouldn’t rent car here. Scott’s Head is a narrow peninsula at the far south of the island. It’s mostly covered by windblown tall grasses, and offers a view of the town of the same name, and of Soufriere (same name as in St. Lucia, confusing huh?). There is a short hike up to the top of the point, which I’m happy to have to keep me from getting soft. Our driver Donald waits for us at the bottom with the car while we walk up the hill. The view from the top doesn’t disappoint, but just as we arrive a squall passes by dumping sheets of rain on us, and blowing fairly hard. We can see the clouds moving quickly and just wait it out getting soaking wet. But hey, it’s the tropics, if it’s not raining now it will soon, and if it’s raining now it will stop shortly. We made our way down snapping photos of the choice lighting left by the breaking showers.
Next up is Champagne Reef which is known not for its actual reef, but for the volcanic vents that are under it letting out bubbles like in a champagne glass. We hop out and Ben rents some snorkeling gear, and I rent some fins. I’m starting to wonder with how much I’ve needed them if it wouldn’t have been good to try to pack them. Ben is kind of the opposite philosophy to me, I’m trying to include everything I need but efficiently, and he’s trying to efficiently pack the bare minimum necessary. There is a short walk down a path to the water where we gear up and dive in. I miss snorkeling so much. The reef is pretty much just a bunch of rocks with the occasional small coral or sponge, not that many fish. But the bubbles are pretty damn cool. How often do you get to see that?
We headed back into town, settled up, and wound our way back to our rooms. There we met the proprietor of the guest house, Ma Bass, who called a tour guide for us. We chatted with the guide a bit, but decided that the hike was mostly trails, and unless we’re required to have a guide, we would try to go alone, and if a guide was required we at least could see if we could slide in with another group going up. Everything for the week is starting to fall into place. It’s looking like Trafalger falls tomorrow, then The Boiling Lake and Titou Gorge on Tuesday, before heading up to Portsmouth for a bit of sailing and water sports before Ben goes off to Antigua. Meanwhile I’m still around until Friday, so I’m planning Thursday to go down to Mero for the night for more snorkeling and a tour of the Moucherie rum distillery. Friday should be a pretty light day with my flight leaving at 2pm, I’m planning to just have a slow morning and then catch a bus. My flight goes through Antigua, so likely that means passing through customs there too before connecting to St. Martin, so more stamps in my passport (I’m trying to be positive here about the hassle of standing in a line and rushing to my next flight!)
For dinner we went back to Fort Young, again because it was the only thing open with a stop at the ATM. I’m kind of feeling weird like we should be staying there with how often we’ve eaten there. What’s funny is if we do stay there 1 night, I bet we will eat somewhere else for variety.