March 21, 2009
Adventures with Red Man and Uncle Sam
The last couple of days have been jam packed with touring the island. We have seen so many unique and beautiful things that it is difficult to do it justice in writing. On Thursday (or Friday.. the days blend together here) Cousteau met up with a sailing buddy of his from 20 years ago named Bucky who also goes by the name Red Man. Red Man has a tri-maran here; however, it is currently beached due to Hurricane Omar. We arranged to meet up with Red Man again later in town as we were going there to peruse the fresh market and continue on our quest for the best Johnny Cakes and fried fish. We wandered around town for awhile and kept coming back to the tiny little snackette that had the best smells wafting out of its doors. Each time we entered, she would tell us her Johnny Cakes would be ready “jus now”- which really meant 3 hours- but they were worth waiting for. We went through those Johnny Cakes like Sherman went through Georgia.
After we had our fill, Red Man took us on a hiking expedition to see some local hideaways that he goes to to meditate with a bottle of rum or wine. The first was this fresh water pool that a river fed into and was filled by mountain rainwater. This was the freshest water you can imagine, in fact, they bottle it for their drinking water. After we soaked our feet in the islands drinking source, we were off to our next destination- a natural hot water sulphur pool. This was a neat place too- the volcanic earth under this island heats up to a high level and sometimes this heat is emitted in the form of a natural hot spring. Red Man stripped down to his skivvies and took a long bath. We just lounged around the perimeter. One of the great things about our hike with Red Man was all the fresh fruit we picked along the way. At one point Cajun’s backpack became so heavy with grapefruits, oranges, guavas, lemons and cocoa that we had to start eating them to lighten the load.
On our next day of exploring we had Uncle Sam, the Doctor of Love as our guide. While a native Dominican, Uncle Sam has traveled the world via the seas and has even spent some time down in South Louisiana in Morgan City. Sam took us first to the Chadiere Pool. The hike to get here was over an hour, but was amazing once we arrived. The pool was over 20 feet deep and was ice cold. We all dove in and even took turns sliding down the waterfall and plunging in- what a rush! After the long hike back (uphill) we were ready for refreshments. We headed to Calabashie to have some local food and Kabuli beer and Red Cap rum. We feasted on dolphin, plantains and yams and let our sore legs rest. We finished out our trip with Uncle Sam at Red Rock and relaxed perched over the ocean with the most incredible views.
Back at the boat, Cousteau came motoring up in the dingy with a 15 pound King Mackerel hanging over the side on the gaffe. He went to shore to clean it up and dole some out to the regulars at Big Poppa’s Bar. Hopefully this time we won’t be eating fish head soup! Big Poppa is having a bbq for all of the yachts anchored here on Sunday, maybe we will be eating some of Cousteau’s catch there too.
Dominica has definitely captured our hearts. The hospitality of the people, the beauty of the island, the absence of crowds and tourists (every place we toured we were the only ones there!) and the authenticity of the culture, make this place so very special. We are already talking about extending our stay.