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Caribbean Princess Cruise – Day Five (5)

Our cruise days are flying by pretty quickly. Day five arrived and we were ready for another excursion. Today we arrived on the island of Dominica. I liked this island the best because we were on a bus off and on for five hours that took us through most of the island along with a couple of stops along the way.

Christopher Columbus landed in Dominica on November 3, 1493. Prior to his arrival, the island was inhabited by the Carib tribe who continue to occupy the island even today. They speak English in Dominica and the population is approximately 73,000 people. The currency here is the East Caribbean dollar although the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.

Our tour bus was waiting for us at the end of the pier. There were many guides available as different tour excursions were leaving from the same area.

Dominica Pier

After boarding the bus, we were driven up to the top of a hill. Looking down, we could see our cruise ship, the Caribbean Princess.

Caribbean Princess Ship

In addition, there was a small area off to the side where you could shop for local art or buy drinks. The bathroom was across the street and it has a bucket outside where you can contribute a U.S. dollar. Although I used the bathroom while I was there, I did not pay the “voluntary” dollar as the door had no lock (or handle for that matter) and another woman who needed to use the facilities walked in on me. A very embarrassing situation — fortunately I was washing my hands at the time.

Dominica Craft Stands

I wasn’t quite sure why our tour bus took us up on this hill except perhaps to see the view as later we went back down the hill and up another mountain. The area is very lush and green. There are many (and I do mean many) potholes that our driver was careful to avoid. Besides the driver, a female guide spoke to us throughout the tour about the places that we were passing. I was surprised at how much knowledge she had of the area. Perhaps she has done this many times before. She also answered many of the questions that we as passengers had about the island.

Our next two destinations were a waterfall and a beach that has black sand. It took us quite a while (in my mind) to get to the waterfall. We were told that we had about 15 minutes at this location in order to spend more time at the beach so I think people were hurrying.

The name of the place where we were headed is called the Waitukubuli National Trail. Once we arrived, I was awed by the  dark greens that seemed to fill up my senses. (It reminded me of the song by John Denver called “Annie’s Song” which starts with the lyrics “You fill up my senses like a night in a forest …”   The tall trees, bushes and clean air smell left me feeling exhilarated. I “knew” that there were many creatures living in this forest.

Dominica Creek

Dominica Fern

Dominica Forest

My son spotted a “creature” on a tree. He has a really keen sense of when there are animals or creatures around. I’m not sure what it is. I showed the picture to my uncle who lives in Puerto Rico and he thought it was a grasshopper but I didn’t think so. It was pretty big and clung to the tree. I guess we could have made it move to see if it hopped but then I would have had a heart attack and wouldn’t have been able to blog about it.  (laughing)

Grasshopper or ??

Do you know what it is?

Our walk on the path had gone smoothly enough until we reached the steps that go down to the Emerald Pool.

Emerald Pool Steps

It’s a long way down but somehow it didn’t feel strenuous as I was distracted by the trees around me. There were a lot of people heading to the pool.

Path to the waterfalls

Dominica Emerald Pool

We were told that we could swim in the water although it was cold and I was prepared to do just that. The pool looks like a grotto. It is a little chilly but not cold. I walked down the path which eventually became rocky. Taking off my socks and shoes I stepped on the rocks one by one until I was knee deep in water. It felt good. We were told that swimming in this water can make you feel 10 years younger. I must’ve spent about 10 minutes standing in this water. I had decided not to swim in it as I would then have to sit on the bus in a wet bathing suit as I had not brought along a change of clothing. (In case you’re curious, I did not appear 10 years younger when I returned home but perhaps that’s because I didn’t actually swim in the water. I can hear your disbelief but — who knows?)

The pool reminded me so much of a grotto that it brought back memories of a movie I had watched when I was a little girl that was called “The Song of Bernadette.” It was about a young girl who claimed to see the virgin Mary at a grotto. If one was dipped into the water of this grotto, which was located in Lourdes, France, (it has been said) that one could be healed of many ailments. The small town has a population of around 15,000 but approximately 5,000,000 tourists and pilgrims make their way to the here. Any of you been there?

Okay well, back to reality and not memories …

I made my way slowly back to the trail that I had followed to the pool. The guide was at the bottom of the trail and told me that there was another way back but it was 5 minutes longer. I decided to take the trail that I knew. Unfortunately I had forgotten my asthma inhaler and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the top since the climb up was a wee bit steep. Huffing and puffing and moving very slowly, I finally reached the top of the trail.

Back on the bus, we started out for our next destination which was a black sandy beach. When we arrived, our tour guide gave us a coupon for a free drink which we quickly turned in. Finding chairs to sit on, we bought some chicken since we were pretty hungry by then. We donned our swimming suits and took a swim in the ocean. Black sand is hot! I practically ran all the way down to the water’s edge.

Dominica Black Sand Beach

After an hour, we headed back to the bus and were taken to the cruise ship. But, before we boarded the ship, we walked around the downtown area. It’s really pretty. I had to visit the local church on this island also.

Dominica Church

The stained glasses windows in this church were really pretty.

There were people in the church so I didn’t take too many pictures of the inside so as not to bother anyone who was praying. Back outside, we walked back to the ship. The streets are very narrow but there is a lot of architecture on this small island — old and new.

Downtown Dominica

I love the colors that they use on the outside of some of the houses and apartments. They are so cheerful!

Newer house in Dominica

Compare this new house to the gas station we walked past …

Gas Station in Dominica

Back at the ship, the afternoon activities included:

  • Jenga Challenge
  • Movie – The King’s Speech
  • Xbox Kinect
  • Seminar on Reversing the Signs of Aging
  • Mr. Sexy Legs Competition (no, I did not attend this)
  • Chanel Fragrance Event

There were many others — these are just a few that the ship highlighted in their daily activity sheet.

Dinner again was at 6:00 p.m. The entertainment for the evening was called Comedy Showtime from New York City with Sarge. I have to say that he was really funny. He’s a comedienne, piano player and singer and he does all three things very well. He used the band as his back up and asked the audience what we wanted him to sing. A few people shouted things out. Then I shouted “John Denver!” His response was “I must have the wrong audience.”

It was so funny. A woman a couple rows in front of me shouted that she wanted country music so he had the band play some country music while he sang. I decided to get up from my seat and sway to the music. After a couple minutes he noticed that I was standing and “swaying” so he asked if I would go up to the stage. Gladly! Before I walked up the steps to the stage (where he waited with his hand outstretched for me) I took my shoes off. His response was “Uh oh, she’s serious.”

He then had the band play another country song and he and I danced on the stage. It was hilarious and I had a good time. Meanwhile, my husband and son were trying to crawl under their seats pretending they didn’t know me. Such serious family I have!

I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time. Sarge performed his heart out even though, for some reason I couldn’t think of, there weren’t very many people there for this performance. Hmmm … I wonder if our time together was caught on tape. (laughing)

Bedtime, along with its chocolates, came soon enough.

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