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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

100+ things to do in Dominica - #7

50. Drive over the horseback ridge.
This ancient Carib trail between villages and farms is accessible to 4WD vehicles between Salybia and Bataca. Admire the views inland towards Concord. Look out at the Atlantic and the Carib settlements along the coast. Be sure to stop at the look-off points. A pair of binoculars would be an asset.

51. View a unique catholic church
Just south of Salybia, look for the Salybia Church Road going towards the sea. Inside this church are murals depicting past and present Carib ways. Admire the canoe-shaped altar and other traditional religious carvings.

52. Experience L'escalier Tete-Chien Trail
This lava rock staircase descends right to the sea at Sineku. It's the Carib name for the boa constrictor, because the rock formation is shaped like a snake! Ask about its legend.

53. Enjoy river bathing
The Pagua River near Atkinson at Concord has some deep pools and rushing water for river bathing and a picnic along the shore.

54. Walk to Spanny/Penrice Falls
Drive to Belles. Park by the Spanny disco and ask for some directions. A track passes through some farmland and on to the first cascade. The second one is a bit further and more of a challenge.

55. Tackle the Jacko Steps
These steep volcanic stone steps are found near Belles in the Layou River Gorge. Maroons hacked out these steps to make it more difficult for their British pursuers in the early 1800s. Jacko, after whom the steps are named, was a Maroon chief who avoided capture for many years. The whole hike along the Layou Valley Gorge is about 8 miles long and can be very treacherous. Take a certified guide for assistance and you'll learn more about the area's history too.
56. Tour a farm in the Rainforest
Rainforest Mushrooms is just 1/4 mile north of Pont Casse, on the road to Belles. Take a tour of the mushroom farm, observe the wild agouti sanctuary, admire local crafts.

57. Take a dip in the Emerald Pool
It's in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, on the road to Castle Bruce. Follow a short track past magnificent overhanging trees and lush vegetation to a shimmering pool with a waterfall the color of a jewel!
58. Look up at or down from the Trois Pitons
Look for this dominant peak near Pont Casse. Great photo opportunities exist from all directions. Fitness enthusiasts can attempt this massive mountain with a certified guide. The trailhead is on the road to the east, just past the Pont Casse roundabout. Although the start is easy, the track becomes very tricky towards the summit. It will take the better part of a day to complete this one. Then stay a night at the historic Springfield Plantation Guest House, which dates back to the 1700s. It is a wildlife preserve, as well as an environmental science research center.
59. Do some birding
As well as the two endemic parrots, over 160 species of feathered creatures can be found here at various times of the year!


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