Dominica is laid back. It’s the Caribbean after all. Our time in Dominica started last night visiting our hosts, and their friend from Barbados, on the deck of their house. Very relaxed, good conversation and a taste of jelly coconut and coconut water from trees in their yard. The air is thick and Mur has a bit of a hard time breathing. Most likely it is going to be that way the whole trip.
We go to sleep in our quaint house with the windows wide open, pitch black outside, listening to the sounds of the jungle. When we awake, the realization that we are in paradise sinks in. The green is lush, the humidity is heavy, the flowers are colourful.
We drive the north road to Portsmouth, looking for a place for breakfast or lunch. The roads on the part of the island are VERY windy and steep, oh are they steep. There is no speed limit and the locals do drive faster than us, but they know each corner and curve. Murray does well driving on the left and I only have to remind him occasionally to keep left.
The houses are painted bright colours – pink, tourqoiuse, orange, yellow. I would love to live in a bright lime green house! The houses are well kept, the gardens overflowing with flower bushes.
There are small bushes planted on the sides on the highway. They give the road a homey feel. I spied a hummingbird on one of them!
We have an early lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant, shrimp curry for Murray and chicken stew for me. We sit by the ocean and the waves relax me and wash away the past six months of angst.
The trip from Marigot to Portsmouth is quite quick despite the slow speed. There is not too much traffic but there are vehicles on the road passing by in the opposite direction one at a time.
Arriving at Portsmouth we search for our destinations, JC dive shop and Sister’s Sea Lodge. Signage is not a big thing here and we drive right past the dive shop, even thought we know about where it is. On the other hand we spot the small, maybe foot square sign pointing us to Sister’s.
The roads are narrow. On the highway it is not bad because only one car passes at a time but in the ‘city’ there is parking on one side and there is not enough room for the two way traffic. It is patience that gets us from one side of town to the other. We traverse this three or four times in the course of a couple of hours searching for groceries. We must have breakfast in the room. Doesn’t seem to be anywhere that prepares food that early in the morning. We stop at the supermarket and the shelves are very bare. No coke?, No PB?, there is very little of anything. To live here would be a lesson in ingenuity, a meal plan would only be an outline or a wish list. Mur will get by with toast and eggs but I will be eating beans and bananas, weird but it should suffice.
This place won’t be this way for long. We noted a ‘resort’ under construction and that will be the end of the quiet, laid backplace. It will soon be overrun with the ‘tourist industry. Let’s hope it is not too soon!