I was able to do a lot of activities over the Easter break, and already shared stories about my climb up Mont Rouge, Cabrits National Park, and the large mountain behind the village. For this blog post, I'm going to consolidate several other activities (hence the “odds and ends” title, similar to an earlier consolidated article) from recent weeks into this one story.
I was delighted to recently meet up with a couple of friends from my hometown who happened to visit Dominica on a cruise. We arranged prior to their departure to get together at the Peace Corps office when their cruise ship docked in the capital city. It really meant a lot to me to see these familiar faces with whom I worked for many years (although all three of us are now Treasury Department retirees)! I enjoyed mixing my old hometown with my new home.
Not all that far from my village, there is a crater from an ancient volcano. The roadway which circles the northern part of the island normally runs near the coast, but as it gets close to the volcano, it starts climbing the heights and then crosses over the lip of the crater before running through the interior and exiting on the other side. As soon as you cross the top and begin descending into the crater, you begin to smell the sulfuric gases. Below is a panorama of half of the large crater.
I went on a long hike up the “creek” nearest my little cottage (the locals don't call them creeks, brooks, or streams here—all moving water seems to be called a river). I have a student who lives near this creek, and he had taken me up there a few months ago. At a fork, we took the easier path and went up the right side. Soon, the creek ended against the high ridge, and we walked back down to the village on that trip.
Finally, while school was out for Easter, I did a hike with the ten youngsters shown below. We followed a path many years ago had been a road leading up one of the hills behind our village. A hurricane in 1928 had severely damaged this old road, and most of the way was little more than a narrow, rarely used footpath along the edge of a steep hillside. Near the top, the path ends where a landslide in recent years had buried the trail with rocks and dirt. Thick vines and vegetation have grown over these loose rocks, making your footing treacherous as you cross the landslide. However, once across this obstacle, the old road is in decent shape at the top of the hill, and still connects to the main road. So here is my “crew” after we made it up past the landslide and onto the old road. The Atlantic Ocean can be seen in the upper left.