These four words sum up the majority of land activities in Dominica. This volcanic country is tiny but each excursion into the depths or outskirts of Dominica redefines those four words. This geological drama is breathtaking and humbling. Dominica is part of The Lesser Antilles (see map) which are volcanic islands dotting their way south to South America. Dominica is at the center of these islands and, while they all have one active volcano, Dominica has NINE. (Read here for more info on that.)
To showcase this volcanic wonder, Discover Dominica created The Waitukubuli National Trail, a trail that spans the island, south to north, covering 115 miles of the some of the most diverse hiking, climbing, scrambling, and sliding you can imagine. This trail is fairly new and yet to be discovered by world traveling hikers. The trail is made up of 14 segments, each with its own personality, as the path winds up, across, and around the volcanoes, beaches, waterfalls, and 365 rivers of Dominica. While that trail is incredible, it doesn't even cover it. There are peaks, falls, volcanoes, springs, beaches, rivers, and valleys with jaw dropping hikes all their own. Since January, I've covered 10 of the 14 segments and a smattering of other hikes (which sometimes feel more like swims if its been raining...) and I'm not sure I've seen a quarter of the island yet.
Yesterday, we went to Aba Wavine, a short hike that packs a big punch, on the East side of the island near the Atlantic. It is hard to say this definitively but I think it is my favorite visual experience on Dominica to date. After the climb straight down a cliff to a black sand beach and a spout of a waterfall, we headed to Rosalie to see endangered sea turtles hatch and make their own epic scramble to the sea. I wish I had remembered to take more video but here is a little video compilation plus some photographs.
|Nicodemus cutting bark off of a cinnamon tree.|
|Starting the short but dramatic decent down to Aba Wavine.|
|The Atlantic crashing on the black sands below us.|
|Gorgeous black sand on the Eastern Shore of Dominica.|
|Rosalie Bay Resort property....|
|We're going to see the Sea Turtles!!|
|Simon digging up the nest of eggs...|
|Recording the findings for Simon's turtle records.|
|These are endangered species, these beautiful turtles, and Simon does all he can to help them hatch and make it to sea without being poached or eaten. He even sleeps here to keep an eye on the nests...|
|One little gal dug her way out of the sand and we got to hold her before letting her make the epic shuffle to the ocean.|