We had a rollicking sail to Dominica from Grenada – averaging 7.5knots over 27hours! This included a couple of hours at less than 4 knots, trying to avoid a squall.
We arrived in Roseau, capital of Dominica and enjoyed exploring the town.
We decided a hike was in order, so bought passes to do one of the segments of the Waitukubuli National Trail – a trail that goes from the most southern point to the most northern… 14 “Segments” make up the trail – each between 5 and 12 miles long and rated easy through impossible.
We took a bus to the start of section 4 – a Moderate trail through the mountains, but when we got there, we realized we were totally unprepared – since it was bucketing down and being high up, it was cold! We ended up taking the bus back to Roseau, and then took another to the southernmost point, Scott Head and proceeded to do section 1. And it was still bucketing down!
Laurie pushed us on and we climbed and climbed through the vegetation and after about 90 minutes of agony, came across a sign indicating that basically the trail was closed (the foot bridge over the ravine was destroyed. Agony! A not said that we should only proceed if we were highly trained hikers (we’re not!) so we prepared to turn back. Then Laurie spotted the rope – an aide to getting vertical to above the ravine – so rather than turn back, we took the hard route. It was steep! Very steep! But we made it and the trail suddenly opened up to a grassy plateau, site of an old coffee plantation. We continued up the trail – to the second ascent – and found a handy Gazebo where we took shelter from a torrential downpour!
We managed to get to the end of the section – which fortunately ended at a bus stop – with a little bar! A couple of beers went down a treat!
The following day we sailed north to Portsmouth where we had moored back in February and Laurie planned our next hike. This time along section 13. We took a bus to the start and then arranged for a taxi to pick us up. Timing got a little strained, so we had to really hoof it to make the taxi – which showed up just as we did! Driver Martin (Providence) gave us a little tour on the way back to Toodle-oo! along with a really good botany lesson!
Tomorrow we’ll have a go at part of section 11 – and then prepare Toodle-oo! for the trip to Bermuda. We’ve decided to leave from here – most likely on Sunday – rather than motor to St. Martin. Our Australian friends David and Leanne aboard Perigee (Leanne is the nurse that tended Kate’s shin while in Martinique) will leave at the same time as us – this will be Leanne’s first overnight trip – so why not make it 6 or 7 in one!
Final kick in the pants from Dominica – Section 11 was brutal! Up and down very steep hills – requiring help of rope in several spots. Got back absolutely exhausted! Great hike!
Second kick in the pants arrived this morning at 3:00am with swells rocking us almost out of bed. Didn’t subside until late in the morning – so long walk with lack of sleep on top of it, just before we set off on a 7 – 8 day passage to Bermuda!!! Great!