Tales from Afar...
Okay, so they say that it rains a lot in Dominica. SO i did kind of know what i was getting myself into coming here during the rainy/hurricane season. However, i dont think i had prepared for quite THIS much water. I have literally spent the last four days perpetually damp... After my lovely hike to the waterfall on saturday, i thought i'd catch a few rays on my verandah on sunday, accompanied by a good book. by late morning i was roasted and dripping with sweat so decided to make the most of my day and call some tour guides and see if anyone fancied taking me hiking. So, a few hours later i set off up to the Titou Gorge with my benevolent guide Richard (who rather alarmingly had a limp). We drove high up into the islands interior, where suddenly the heavens opened upon us. the windscreen wipers could NOT go fast enough. I was starting to feel a little dubious about trekking through the (now exceedingly damp) rainforest and down into a (now very fast folwing) river gorge. but as Richard informed me, we were goingt to be getting wet anyway, might as well be rain as well as river water...And he wasn't wrong. After reaching our destination (a very fast flowing river that has carved a beautiful gorge through the Domincan landscape and supports 40% of the isalnds electricity output - its that strong...) we hiked for about an hour through some dense rainforest before basically dropping ourselves over the ravine and into the the river gorge. we donned our wetsuits and got in the river and made our way up river to a number of waterfalls - which we also had to climb over. i have never been so terrified in my life. I had to swing myself on a rope underneath the water and hide behind the fall before hoisting myself up and over. On my first try i lost my footing and ended up clingling savagly onto the rope while the river (as i said, VERY strong) tried its hardest to weaken my grip and send me splashing to my death. I was stuck. i didn't know where to go/look. i was desperately grappling for a breath but i just ended up taking mouthfuls of water. just about when i'd resigned myself to drowning i felt a big arm grab me and drag from under the falls. I was so shocked/tired/scared. but in a weird way, it also felt pretty good. I tried it once more but fatigue had set in by now and my psyche had taken quite a substantial (and literal) battering, so we turned around and headed back down river. It was much easier this way and i soon found my feet clambering over all the rocks and mini waterfalls and jumping into the river to let it carry me. We arrived back at our point of descent and headed back through the forest to the main tourist part of the Titou Gorge, (where you don't have to hoist yourself up on ropes) where they filmed part of Pirates of the caribbean. yes, everyone. i have official hidden in the same cave as Olando Bloom! Surprisingly enough, he wasn't still there tho. So after my first "baptism"/river dunking of the week, we headed off to experience a totally different kind of water at a place eponymously called, Screws. 3 guesses how the propriator got hs nickname?! The name does the place a great diservice tho as it is one of the nicest and most beautiful places i have EVER been. Screw himself basically found some hot water sulfur springs deep in one of the river valleys. Using the sulohur springs as water sources, he has landscaped the gardens into 3 baths of lovely hot water, surrounded by the luch forest with a pretty stream coursing along side the baths with a cold freshwater plunge pool at the end. It was magnificent. like taking the most luxurious bath under a rainforest canopy. all i required was a hunky young man to share it with me...all i had were richard and screw. Nevermind hey! Really didn't want to leave, but it was getting dark and the mozzies were on their way out and seeing as i had been immersed in either water or soggy wetsuit for the past 3hours i was starting to turn into a king-size prune! My wet adventures continued throughout the week. not all nearly as exciting as sunday's activities, but wet nonetheless. The rain came in on sunday, and it literally hasn't stopped since. i have adopted the Dominican philospophy of getting on with things regardless. and have consequently spent very little of my time dry in the last 4 days. I must admit, walkin in flips flops in rain so heavy that roads metamorphosize into rivers is not fun, so i've taken to going au natural and people have stop staring cos i'm white and are now just perplexed by the fact i;m white AND barefoot! The hair is in ruins too (see photo) but d'you know what - i no longer give a damn! Over and out, dry people... The soggy one Xx