Josh and I once again took advantage of the kids being off at summer camp wonderland, to engage in a little adult activity. Yes, all that and more at the most awesome eco-retreat in Dominica. The resort is called Secret Bay. And the island, one in the chain of West Indies islands between Martinique and Guadeloupe, is referred to as the Nature Island. It was a pretty wonderful place. All mountainous and rocky with quaint villages on hillsides and beautiful black sand beaches on the Caribbean side and golden beaches on the Atlantic. Waterfall hikes, bird watching, snorkeling and more. Here is the secret cave at Secret Beach. Amazing snorkeling on the reefs right off the beach with anemones and Nemos. Cool swim into the cave with the bats hanging around. (I happen to love bats)
Josh on the beach at Secret Bay. Very rocky with volcanic rocks and pumice everywhere. Rivers connecting to oceans and beauty in contrasts.
The resort consists of 7 or so bungalows and villas. Very private, secluded, so unique in it’s diversity. Beautiful architecture and posh amenities. Here is villa called Zing Zing.
Inside Zing Zing was the most amazing kitchen, even by my standards. All Siemens appliances including coffee maker and washer dryer in one. A first for me. Gemma the resort chef came up to teach us (Josh) how to make shrimp curry one day. Really cool experience. She made dinner for us every night, whatever we wanted, served on our deck or a secret deck overlooking the ocean. Extremely romantic. Hot tub waiting when we got home from a long day of enjoying each other and the island life. A+
The house was stocked with groceries we had asked for in advance. Rum punch being my favorite. Well, and the island made coconut chocolates. Josh’s shrimp curry here.
So much to do on Dominica (pronounced Doe men eek ca). We hiked to water falls the first day.
Here is the big one called Trafalgar. 1 hour hike to get to. Up, up, up. Whew!
We also did some bird watching. Josh loves birds, so Dr. Birdy took us out and we saw some beautiful birds. Dominica has 188 species and 2 endemic, which we saw one. a Antillean Crested Hummingbird. Super. Here we are looking for the Sisserou. Dominica’s national bird.
We never saw him, but here he is in paint at the Botanical Gardens.
On one hike, I think to the Emerald pool waterfall we saw this red mushroom. I loved it so much. Wow.
Speaking of the Emerald pool. Nothing better than a cool dip under a waterfall after a hot sweaty hike.
Since Dominica is a volcanic island we went to a few natural sulphur springs and here near the very bottom of the island was the Bubble Beach Bar. Hot bubbly water right on the beach. Ahhh!
We drove quite a lot. Well, Ryan, a native Dominican drove us around a lot. On the road here was the hillside town of St. Joseph.
A few glimpses into the world of island life.
Fisherman under the almond tree.
I love churches and there were many to adore in Dominica. This one in Soufriere.
Inside was just as lovely. I especially liked the use of conch shells throughout.
Ryan also took us to an awesome diving spot on the island called Champagne Bay. It is called this because it has something called a shallow “fumarole” A fumarole is a volcanic vent from which seeps gasses and mineral rich heated water. Water temperatures over this vent can be in the 90’s and a constant bubbling of gasses allows you to enjoy a truly unique experience, similar to snorkeling in a mild oceanic hot tub or a bottle of champagne. It was really fun. The most exciting things we saw were a school of really big squid. I love to eat squid. But I had never seen them in the ocean. So interesting. I couldn’t tell if they were coming or going and their colors were otherworldly. But the best was a giant crab, and I don’t mean what we called as a kid the “granddaddy” blue crab. You know about a foot long tip to tip. This crab was about 3 feet long, from tip to tip, maybe more. This is not a fish story. Josh saw it too, unbelievable. In my head and in my hungry heart forever.
Ryan took us into the Capital of the island, Roseau. Here we stopped and checked out the local market. The biggest crop on the island used to be banana’s, now it may be pineapple.
The best, though, was the fresh juices. Half frozen and inspiring. I got cherry. OMG. Josh had ginger. Fresh coconut juice right out of the coconut was also had.
Coconut plantations all around the airport area.
Here’s Josh at Scott’s Head where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean.
The sign that lets you know you’ve made it. Just FYI it is a bitch to get to via an island airline. We had a to spend a horrendous night in Antigua before arriving in Domincia a day late. Breathe.
Still loved this island and the people and best of all, Secret Bay. Definitely worth every minute and every penny.