Sunday, October 2, 2016

If Mars Had An Ocean

If Mars had an ocean, the coastline might look like what I witnessed Saturday. Some of us Peace Corps Volunteers had an outing to visit “Red Rocks” at Pointe Baptiste near the village of Calibishie. The bizarre, reddish, alien landscape was surreal. After recently reading numerous articles on Elon Musk announcing his plans for trips to Mars, my mind eagerly embraced this opportunity to explore a red, Martian-like terrain.

The best way to describe this day is with pictures—and even pictures don't do this unusual place the justice it deserves. The first group of pictures will cover a tight canyon that cuts through the rust-colored rock. It reminded me of some places I've been in the Utah, Colorado, Arizona area.

Above is a view down the canyon towards where it empties into the Atlantic.
This is a different view, looking up the canyon. Note where it tightens into a mere crack in the earth. Also notice the “steps” hewn out of the hillside towards the right.
The steps lead down to a man-made cave carved out of the soft volcanic rock commonly found here.
Further up the canyon is the “crack” that requires squeezing through about 10 feet or so to get to a large “room” further up.
One of my Peace Corps colleagues gazes skyward in the small chamber that opens up after you squeeze through the crack.
In the photo above, she is climbing the hand-hewn steps out of the canyon.
Another view showing the top of the canyon. Note the red hills further above.
A semi-circular feature in the wall further down the canyon.
Here is where water from the canyon empties into the ocean (you can see the semi-circle high on the wall in the back).
Above, some of the rest of our group emerge up the steps from their visit to the canyon floor.

The remaining ten pictures are from a variety of places around Red Rocks. It is a beautiful locale!

I enjoy diagonal pictures—this one captures the sky, the ocean, and the red colors of the rolling terrain.
Look close to see one of the girls crossing the ridge to the northern side of Red Rocks.
This view is gazing toward the south, and on the left you can see part of our group talking with our guide, Danny (who did a great job!). [If you look close, you might be able to see the white sand beach in the upper right corner where we walked to after exploring Red Rocks.]
A beautiful little cove on the north side, with the village of Calibishie on the shoreline in the distance.
Waves crash against the side wall of a sea cave (I wonder if it has bats?). Further back, you can see the black sand beach.
The north side of the point leading out to one of the offshore rocks at the end of this peninsula. My pictures don't really show it, but we could glimpse Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante islands on the distant horizon.
It isn't easy to capture the eruption of seawater that comes up from a blow-hole, but here is my best attempt at capturing these two that were very close together.
This view towards the north of the island shows a cloud passing across the top of a high mountain. [My village is up that way.]
There were numerous places where “steps” had been cut into the soft rock to make hiking easier.
Finally, here I am taking some of these pictures with my old phone. It was an amazing day at another exotic location on the Nature Island of Dominica! If Elon Musk as well as other intrepid dreamers and future adventurers ever succeed in terraforming the planet Mars to be like Earth, then there may come a day when Mars does indeed have an ocean with a coastline such as this.

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