Friday 24 January 2014

One day in Dominica, the nature island of the Caribbean

Dominica boatDominica Indian river

Dominica, Porthsmouth

Dominica is the big island south of Guadeloupe, on clear days one may even see it from both les Saintes and Marie-Galante...and this year finally I took a boot for a day and went to discover it. After 3-hour-catamaran crossing (the sea was pretty tough) we saw the rain clouds hugging tighly Dominica. And this is the moment when you understand why the island is sooooo GREEN, it rains really every 30 minutes (sometime you get a break of 1 hour)... So we arrived in Portsmouth, which is in the northwest. The city has some 6.000 inhabitants, the whole island has 71.000 in total. The people were very friendly, we passed by the local market, I did some fruit& cacao shopping and then we went for a small hike and then a river tour. The local langauge is English. Dominica is now independent, in the past English and French have changed several times ownership over the island.
Dominica is the youngest of all Caribbean islands and has been nicknamed "Nature island" for its unspoiled nature beauty: plenty of lucious rain forest, waterfalls and rare plants&birds. Definitely worth a longer stop one day:-)) The Sisserou parrot (featured on the flag) is found only here and its islands national bird!
Dominica boat

Dominica, market in Portsmouth

Dominica Jungle bar

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Les Saintes: as seen underwater/ Plongée aux Saintes

Diodon in Les Saintes while diving

Diving in les Saintes is a real pleasure... Most sites are around 12-15 metres deep, with plenty of natural light and abundance of colours. Sponges, corals, fishes, turtles, small and big, all possible shapes, there is so much to enjoy and contemplate! I am taking you underwater with me to discover this breathtaking world... The funniest thing is that if you know where each animal usually lives you start to discover the inhabitants much quicker....and sometimes they come to you:-)

Yucatan shrimp in les Saintes, diving
Flamingo tongue snails in les Saintes while diving

Colours& sponges underwater, les Saintes

Brain coral details, les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Sea urchin crab in les Saintes, Diving in Guadeloupe
Fishes and diver in les SaintesSea urchin in les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Barracuda in les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Barracuda & brain coral in les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Friday 10 January 2014

Hiking in Terre-de-Bas, the second island of les Saintes

Case (local house) in Terre-de-Bas
Most of the tourists in Guadeloupe usually make it to Terre-de-Haut, the main island of the archipel les Saintes. In total there are nine islands (seven of which there are no people living), which belong to les Saintes. The second inhabited island, Terre-de-Bas, is much calmer, less toursitic and extremely green. Great for hiking and getting close to the nature! We went for a day trip with the local bus-ferry (20 min crossing) and did the big hiking circle of 3 hours. Within the forest we found some local crabs, the famous allspice (or Jamaica pepper) tree (see picture of green leaves below), which is know also as "quatre epices" as its aroma reminds of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Some creative post boxes caught my eye in the village as well as the friendly Tourism Office selling local products:-)