Caribbean Day 10: Trafalgar

Today was a fortunate day I suppose. Other than my lack of water pressure for my morning shower anyway. Our goal for the day is Trafalgar Falls, which the guide book says are worth seeing if you come to Dominica. Not being able to hike Middleham falls, they sound like a good choice.

We ran into one of the French couples from our guest house on our way to breakfast. We had seen them at Fort Young the night before since it was the only place open and they were warm and friendly. Anais and Cedric, Anais had been living in the Philippines and I think that warm friendly atmosphere I remember from our family friends the Cotes was there too. Cedric is a bit more quiet and reserved, but when you get him talking he opens up and is very friendly. We joined them for breakfast while Ben ran off to the hotel trying to find his camera. The breakfast drinks arrived just in time for Ben to show up, no luck. The breakfast was Americanized, but the passion fruit juice was amazing. The couple was headed down to Champagne Reef like we had the day before and then were leaving on the 2pm ferry. Before we parted, they gave us their park passes good until Thursday, $12 each normally. What luck.

We set off towards the buses, and up ran our taxi guy from the previous day. He had Ben’s camera, and Ben gave him a reward for returning it. It felt kind of fishy that he said he hadn’t seen it when Ben had asked him earlier if he’d found it, but somehow managed to find us right after breakfast. Either way its good luck it’s not gone.

The buses line up in a certain area, but they don’t leave until they’re full, this makes them highly unreliable, but also is part of why they’re so economical. We found the one we needed with no one waiting. Unlike the day before when Taxi service was 125EC, this time it would be 25EC. We decided to wait for the bus, we were in no hurry and you meet nice people this way, so we grabbed a seat and slowly people joined us in the bus. We got going and the lady in front of us pointed to where the buses would be tomorrow for our trip to Laudat. She also tells us she’s near the last stop, but if it’s going further she’ll help us make sure we’re going the right away. We passed small communities as we entered the interior and the rainforest. The lady in front of us remarked that sometimes she can see the line where the rainforest ends on the road because the rain just stops right there. Everything is lush and green, and the dirty nature of Roseau fades away behind us. As it turns out one of our passengers runs one of the souvenir stands next to the trail so we get to go all the way. More good luck I suppose.

The passes we had been given by the French couple over breakfast were good here too, and so we got to enter free of charge, we’re already getting use out of them and we still have tomorrow to go! The trail to the falls was very well maintained, better than many trails stateside, you can tell it sees lots and lots of tourists. We arrived at the lookout point about the same time as a big group of French students from Martinique, and a couple from Czech Republic, and got to chit chat under a roof as a cloud above dumped buckets. We headed down to the pools below the falls.

I figured they would be a bit closer to the trail, but all the same the rivers that leave the bottom of the falls forms nice pools of water. Papa falls, the northern of the two has hot geothermal waters flowing down, while Mama falls next to it has cold clear waters. Each of the two falls have pools to sit in, so you can choose a hot tub, or a cold bath. Even more cool, the two meet at a point further down and mix, you can easily find a pool with both waters and have cold water at your back and hot water in front. Small fish had even found their way into some of the pools. It was perfection. Nature made hot tubs with flowing water, lush jungle all around. You couldn’t ask for more. We stayed for quite a while, the falls really very nice, definitely better than the Piton water fall in St. Lucia, and no one trying to con us afterwards. While we were there a nice creole couple from Martinique passed through, the guy was taking his girlfriend on a romantic weekend away to Dominica which reminded me of my trip to Big Sur recently with Jennifer.

Leaving I picked up a super cold bottle of water which I downed, and we headed towards the settlement below, hoping to find lunch. We eventually saw signs for a restaurant called Le Petit Paradis and aimed towards that in the nearby town of Wotten Waven. This turned into a bit of a trek, but relaxed we took our time up and down the hills. This reminded me a whole lot of when I was a kid, traveling with my parents, walking along a road in Malakula n Vanuatu. It would rain on and off as we went, it is the rainforest. We eventually found it though and sat down for lunch. The same couple from Martinique we’d met at the pool was there too. There wasn’t a menu, just what the chef was cooking: Mahi-Mahi with rice, beans, salad, and plantains. We also had the guava juice which was amazing. All the while we had rain shows dumping down, and brightly colored finches dogfighting. I enjoyed the meal a lot, it wasn’t cheap but one of the best ones to date.

We caught the bus down pretty easily and in no time were back in Roseau. It’s striking how small the island is once you’re in a car. For dinner we decided to try a new restaurant having eaten too many times at the Fort Young, but it was a bust. Ben liked his meal, but mine wasn’t very good, the veggies I think were out of a can, and there wasn’t any meat on the bones, nor was the flavor all that great. I’m starting to think the Fort Young is about the only good dinner spot in town, and since we’re staying there tomorrow night I bet we eat there then too.

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