Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The End of the Island

I had never been south of the capital city of Roseau until recently, when I took a trip that went all the way to the southwest end of our island. There, a narrow peninsula of land separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. It is a very picturesque setting.
Yes, that is me trekking across the “land bridge.”
You can walk across the peninsula and then scale the heights of the rocky peak known as Scotts Head that marks the end of the island. The nearby French island of Martinique can be seen in the distance towards the south. I was surprised to discover that you could also see Roseau—it turns out that the offshore rock that I had noticed down the coast when I was in Roseau was actually Scotts Head itself. I had not realized how close the capital was to the southern end of the island.
The pounding surf of the Atlantic crashes into the beach on one side, while tourists snorkel in the calm, crystal clear, blue-green waters of the Caribbean on the other side. Back across the Caribbean side where the village of Scott's Head is located, brightly colored wooden fishing boats bob at anchor in the gentle waters of this protected bay.
There are remnants of centuries old fortifications built on this strategic point, back when European powers were fighting for control of these islands. There is at least one stone rampart still remaining with a rusty old cannon keeping watch over Scotts Head Bay. With grass and weeds growing up around it, I felt a bit like an archeologist making a new discovery.
After leaving Scott's Head, we drove a short distance to the north to visit the larger town of Soufriere. On the outskirts of this town, there are some hot springs that are located in a small park, where baths have been built for folks to relax in the supposedly therapeutic waters. The temperature is similar to very warm, but not uncomfortably hot, bath water. However, iron deposits in the mineral water give it a reddish-brown hue. We enjoyed this natural version of a hotel hot tub in the middle of the jungle, before making the long trek back to my home on the opposite corner of this island.
I'm sticking my arm into the pipe where the water enters the pool to see how hot it is when it first arrives.
If you ever visit Dominica as a tourist, I would highly recommend visiting these locations. Finally, as calendar year 2015 nears its end, I would like to thank you for reading my blog and following my adventures in the Peace Corps. There will be lots more to come on this beautiful island in 2016!

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