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Dominica: North Dominica

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North Dominica | Dominica | Americas

[Visited: September 2011]

After a night-time arrival in Dominica, we decided not to move directly to the capital, but to see some of the north first. Driving the coastal road to Portsmouth turned out to be a marvellous introduction to this nature island. It seemed like we were driving through a tunnel of trees, with one curve after the next, until we were convinced that there was no straight stretch of road at all. The next morning, waking up on the west coast we saw a beautiful, calm sea right in front of our eyes, with an abundance of green all around us. After a short dip in the irresistible sea, we were on our way north and parked at the entrance of the Cabrits National Park. We saw no one around as we explored the partially restored Fort Shirley, and walked up a trail with lots of crabs until we reached an abandoned cannon, but unfortunately without the view I had expected.

Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Wall defending Fort Shirley still looking strong and sturdy

It was already getting warm, even though it was still early, when we drove further north. Especially when the road was going up and the views were getting always better, we were inclined to stop everywhere we could to enjoy. Sure enough, we did stop several times to soak in the beautiful nature surrounding us. A little further on, we parked our car besides the road and walked to the cold sulphur springs, a curious phenomenon in the shadow of the Morne aux Diables volcano. We were now walking in the crater area, and even though I knew the water would be cold, it was still a strange sensation to enter the water with my feet after smelling the typical sulphur smell, and seeing the bubbling water in pools all around me. The volcanic activity in the soil is sufficient to give the water the appearance of boiling.

Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Path leading up a hill in Cabrits National Park

Soon thereafter, we already had views of the east coast of Dominica. It was remarkable to see virtually everyone greeting us, until one person told us that the road ahead was actually blocked and we had to return. We did drive to the bridge that was, indeed, totally out of service, and realized there was no way around it. On our way back, we took a particularly obese local lady on her way to church, uphill, and took another lady on a mission a little later. It was a Sunday, a very laid back day in any case in this part of the world, and even more so on this northern most area of Dominica. The fantastic nature of the north had wetted our appetite, and we were dying to see more of it in the rest of the island.

Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): The surprisingly cold sulphur springs at Morne aux Diables
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Road cutting right through the lush vegetation of North Dominica
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Trees and a hill in the north of Dominica
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): One of the thick walls of Fort Shirley
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): One of the old buildings of Fort Shirley after the reconstruction
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Cabrits National Park is located on and around these two hills
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): View over the northwestern coast of Dominica
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): The bubbling waters of the sulphur springs make you think the water is hot - in fact, it is not
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): The cold sulphur springs in the north of Dominica are a curious sight
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Battery of cannons pointing south of Fort Shirley
Picture of North Dominica (Dominica): Reconstructed walls of Fort Shirley at Cabrits National Park

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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