Two nights in Wotten Waven

Due to Corona we were only allowed to stay with the boat in Portsmouth on the northern part of Dominica. As there is a lot of attractions up in the mountains close to Roseau, in the southern part of Dominica, we decided that we would stay 2 nights in a village, Wotten Waven. We found a very cheap guesthouse were we could sleep in a simple hammock schack. The price was 28 XCD (East Caribbean dollars) per night.

We also managed to time this trip to Roseau with the exit PCR test we had to do. Leaving Dominica turned out to be quite hard, actually. When we entered Dominica we could do the entry tests in Portsmouth, close to the boat and we had agents organizing everything else. But when we were going to leave we had to go to Roseau to take the tests (and then also go back to Roseau to get the results). It takes about 1-1 1/2 hour with the minibus to Roseau. It was also really hard to get a testing time and first time we tried to get it arranged we got answer that there were no available times for 3 weeks. But when we tried another day we managed to get a time when we had already planned to do the trip to Wotten Waven, which was really lucky! We felt that we were quite finished with Dominica and didn’t want to stay another 3 weeks. So we took the minibus early in morning to Roseau to take our tests before we continued up to Wotten Waven.

Waiting to have our PCR tests

After we had taken the tests we took a minibus up to Wotten Waven to check out our accommodation for the following two nights.

We arrived to Le Petit Paradis, teh guesthouse where we stayed for two nights in Wotten Waven
Our hammock schack.

First thing we did was to find a local bar…
And we tasted this funny drink, please take a look at the list of ingredients xD
Cheer!

After we were fed up with Rude Boy and a couple of beers we went to see a waterfall, Middleham Falls.

By Middleham Falls, quite easy hike from the parking to the fall.

Wotten Waven is famous for all the natural hot spas they have and in the afternoon/evening we went to visit one of them, Ti Chen Hot Springs.

Cooling of in cold water before entering the hot water pools.
Making the skin healthy in one of the hot pools. The orange color comes from iron and sulphur.
The scenary around Ti Chen Spa was very magical. It was located in the jungle with a waterfall you could see from the pools.
How many guys can you fit in a hot tub?

We went back to the hammock schack warm and had a good night sleep in order to prepare for our big hike the following day, to the Boiling Lake. The Boiling lake in Dominica is the second largest lake of that kind in the world and is said to be one of the top hikes in Dominica. Everywhere it says that you should do the Boiling Lake with a guide, but we did it without. At some part it was quite hard to find the path but most of the way it was really easy, and if we would have spent a lot of money on a guide we probably would have been quite disappointed. But we also like to hike and look for the path, and we thought this website about hiking Boiling Lake without a guide was quite helpful, link HERE.

We started early in the morning for the hike. The first part was through the jungle and the path was really easy to follow. On the second part of the trip you walk on top of a ridge, with steep cliffs on both sides. Really cool!

But the coolest part of the hike was when you reached down to the Valley of Desolation. In this valley there is a lot of streams with both hot water and cold water, smoke rising from the ground and small water pools that are boiling. A very cool place!

In the Valley of Desolation.
Very cool colors in the river and smoke rising from the ground in several places.
A waterfall in the Valley of Desolation.
Crossing the river…
And crossing once more.
Another waterfall.
Very, very cool nature!

In the Valley of Desolation we followed a river for a while, and it is in this part it might be hard to find the path again. But if you look closely when you walk you find the path that leads to the Boiling Lake. We reached the Boiling Lake and it really is a huge boiling lake, like a massive pot! We ate lunch by the lake and headed back on the same path we came from.

Group photo by the Boiling Lake.
Heading back!

The hike to the Boiling Lake starts and ends by the Ti Tou Gorge so when we got back there we took a swim through the gorge, which was really cool! No photos from it though, will show the inside of the gorge in an upcoming YouTube video instead, for our Swedish speaking followers.

After the hike we visited another natural spa in Wotten Waven, this time Screws Spa. The structures and the pools of this spa was really cool and they played some music. But it was located next to the road and didn’t have the amazing views as Ti Chen had.

Screws sulphur Spa.

We went back to our hamocks and the day after we headed back to Roseau. We picked up our test results (negative) and took a drink at a bar, visited the supermarket to buy some food and bought some Dominica souvenirs before we headed back to Portsmouth and our boats.

Having a drink at a bar in Roseau.

SWEDISH: Vi har precis lagt upp Del Ett från vår Atlanten överfart, alla Youtube videos vi lägger upp försöker vi samla under länken HÄR.

 

 

Jungle sleepover in Dominica

When we were in quarantine and talked about what we wanted to do in Dominica we started talking about sleeping in the jungle one night. We pitched the idea to Emma and Roger on Sanuti and Bram on Calypso and they were up for it as well. So every hike we went on we kept an eye open for a good potential camp spot. 

One day we walked another path of the Waitikubuli trail (think it was segment 10 or 11) to look for a good camping spot. That part of the trail hadn’t been cleared since the damaging hurricane Maria in 2017. We brought machete and tried to cut our way through masses of razor grass. Razor grass is a kind of grass that sticks onto your skin and leaves cuts. Horrible grass! After we had tried to walk through the path for a really long time we decided to head back, we were not going to find a good camping spot here anyway! But heading back was not an easy decision as we would have to walk back through the grass once more and get even more cuts!

Feeling really miserable and tired after fighting our way through the razor grass.
Cuts all over from the razor grass.
This is how razor grass looks!

The day after Thomas and Roger went on an excursion by themselves to give it another try to find a good camping spot. And the found a nice one, next to a river and quite close to Portsmouth so we wouldn’t have to walk so far to get to the spot.
The following day we met up to pick up some chickens we ordered and started to make our way to the camping spot we found.

Waiting for the chicken.
Close to our camping spot was this worn down bridge…

But we had to walk over it anyway

Once we got to our camping spot we started building our shelter, we built it only from stuff we found in the jungle, palm leafs and so on
And prepared to start a fire.
Fire almost started
We started as soon as we could with the chicken.
Camp finished, we built a roof and then slept in hammocks with mosquito nets.
We spent the evening around the fire, eating chicken and drinking rum! We watched the sun set and heard the jungle come to life as darkness came.

Sleeping one night in the jungle was a really cool experience! It was really cozy sitting by the fire during the evening and listen to all the sounds. We also saw some really cool phosphorescent lights in the ground close to the fire, quite an Avatar experience!

We woke up in the morning, made a simple breakfast and cleaned after us and headed back to our boats, just to leave them a few days later to stay in the mountains in southern Dominica for a couple of days. But more on that in next post.

 

 

Canyoning and Trafalgar falls

When we just arrived to Dominica we talked to some other cruisers that just had been on a canyoning tour, and we got really excited about that. We booked a tour with Ti Nath Canyoning and it was such a fun activity! We repelled down in the canyon, jumped in waterfall and walked through the majestic canyon! Really, really recommend this activity if ever visting Dominica!

Repelling down in the canyon.

Really cool to repell, jump, walk and swim through the canyon!

The start (and end) of the canyoning was close to Ti Tou Gorge (another filming location from the Pirates of the Caribbean 2). We didn’t swim through the gorge on that day, just had a look at it from the outside. Later on our visit in Dominica (when we also did the Boiling Lake tour) we swam through the gorge, which was really cool also. It was also very fun because you really recognized the place from the Pirates-movies.

The “entrance” into Ti Tou Gorge.

 We had lunch at place near Ti Tou Gorge, and after that we got arranged so that we could be driven to Trafalgar Falls. It is another twin fall, with the Father Fall and the Mother fall. By the Father fall there is hot springs you can sit down in as well as swimming in the colder water from the waterfall. The walk up the hot springs and the pool of the Father fall consists of some climbing on boulders. It was a bit tricky to find a possible way up, but not impossible. In many places it says that you must definitely have a guide to do this. We did it without a guide and it was no problems.

Father and Mother Fall at Trafalgar Falls. Here you can see all the boulders you have to pass in order to get up the Father Fall. 
Beautiful view down on the valley from the Father Fall.
The hot spring and cold water by the Father Fall. The orange part of the rocks are were the hot water flows. Very cool to just jump between the hot water pool and the cold water pool.

Red rocks, chocolate factory and another waterfall

In Dominica we mostly went on hikes on ourselves without any guide, but a few trips we did with a guide. One of them was the Indian River boat tour we wrote about in a previous blog post and another was a day trip by car to different locations on the island. For this trip we went with a guide called Paul and we drove through a lot of villages, he gave some history of the island and the different villages we passed by.

Our first stop on the trip was to the red rocks near Calibishe. It was a fascinating place with the red rocks just by the seaside. At one place you could go down in a canyon and walk through a pretty narrow patch through the rocks.

Red rock!
Narrow passages in the rock structure

The next stop of the day was to the chocolate factory, here we could see every step of the chocolate making, from bean to bar. We got to taste some delicious chocolate and of course we bought a couple of chocolate bars!

Cocoa beans that is fermenting.
After the fermenting they are left to dry.
And then it is roasted and after that there was a few more processes until you get the actual chocolate bar.
Different flavors

Next up was a drive and stop at the Kalinago territory. Dominica is the only island in the Eastern Caribbean that’s still home to the Kalinago people (pre-Colombian indigenous people). It is a quite big territory and some homes still have traditional structures. They have a small museum, Kalinago Barana Auté, which is a recreated traditional village. After a tour there we stop at a restaurant with a really cool view for some nice lunch.

Traditional sculptures in the Kalinago reserve.
Beautiful views.
More sculptures!
A waterfall in the recreated traditional village, a legend says that a mermaid recently lured two fishermen to death in the pool below the fall….
Very nice view from the lunch restaurant.
Local guava juice in a pretty bowl/glass.
In Dominica a lot of bars have their own flavored bush rum, some of the flavors in our lunch restaurant.

After a delicious local lunch we continued to a waterfall, the Spanny Falls. It is a twin fall, where you walk over some rock to get to the second fall. AT the first fall you can easily swim, which we did.

Taking a swim in the pool below Spanny Falls.
Spanny Falls.

After a long, but really nice day we went back to our boats to prepare for our next Dominican adventure.

Another hike on Dominica and finally we found a waterfall

Dominica is really “Natur-island” and offers a lot of hikes and we had a lot of planned hikes we wanted to do on our stay there. So we had a quite busy hiking schedule!

Our next hike would be a segment of the Waitikubuli trail. It is a hiking trail that goes from the south part of Dominica all the way to the north. It is divided into 14 segments of different levels. We had decided to walk along the 13th segment up in the north. We took a minibus together with Emma and Roger from Sanuti and Bram from Calypso, from Portsmouth to Capuchin were segment 13 started.

It was a pretty trail along the north coast, with some cool scenery along the way.  The trail was clear all the way and it was quite an easy hike.

A cute little waterfall along the hike.

The segment ended near Penville and from there we walked along the main road back to Portsmouth. From the road we took a small detour to see some cold water sulphur springs. A cool place were it bubbled up from the earth below. The smell was really bad though!

On the way to the cold sulphur springs.
The cold water sulphur springs.
Bathing our feet in the sulphur springs, said to be quite good for the skin..
On the way back to Portsmouth we found a little hiking trail again, with a lot of green!
Road blocked by a cow.

The following day we went on another hike, and the mission with this hike would be to find a waterfall we could swim in! We took another bus from Portsmouth south towards Roseau but jumped of were the road to the Syndicate Falls started. We had hoped that we would be able to hitchhike with some farmers to the path towards Syndicate Falls, but we didn’t see any car. So instead we walked along the road through the farm lands, which took about one and a half hour.

We took a local minibus towards the fall.

We found the path to the falls and in order to get to the fall we had to cross the river four times.

Cool Dominican views on the way to Syndicate Falls. 
We walked next to the river to get to the falls and had to cross the river four times before we could reach the falls.
First crossing.
Second crossing!
Third crossing, getting closer to the waterfall!
Fourth crossing, Syndicate Falls in sight!
Roti lunch break!. Roti is a common fastfood in the Caribbean. It is a kind of bread-wrap filled with some kind of meat or vegetables, potatoes and curry! A very tasty and usually cheap meal.
After lunch it was time for a swim in the waterfall!

After we had finished swimming below the waterfall we started heading back. We got surprised by a big shower and were really happy when we got a ride with some local farmers back to the main road. We got dropped off by the main road where we were able to catch a minibus. There are no scheduled busses like the ones we are used to back home here in Dominica. In Portsmouth and Roseau there are bus stations and the minibuses leave when they are full, and then they are really full! When you think that you cannot fit another person in the minibus another seat magically pops up! When heading back you just stand by the road until you see a minibus, wave to them and if they have room they stop and pick you up.

Really happy to get a ride back to the main road by some local farmers.

The day after this hike we had a chill day around Portsmouth, hanged out a local bar, played some volleyball etc.

A sign at a local bar in Portsmouth.
Vaccine myth at the same bar. When we got to Dominica they had just started vaccinating their citizens. 
Volleyball on the beach!