Monday, November 22, 2010

More Honeymoon!

But before we get there....Baby Goat!

As we left Dominica, we saw the baby goat again. Isn't it cute?

We had to check out of the hotel at 11 a.m., but our flight wasn't until about 4:00, so we had some time to kill. We stopped at this beach by the airport to catch a photo of David recreating a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. Several scenes from the second and third movies were filmed on Dominica. Then we headed over to the Pagua Bay Bar and Grill where we had ceviche, fish tacos, and rum drinks. It was a nice place to relax for an hour or so before we headed to the airport. Great view, too.

Pagua Bay from Michelle on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home Again!

And I thought the roads in Dominica were bad! D and I got back to the Twin Cities last night about 10:30 but didn't get home until 12:30 because the roads were so bad. Sheer ice. I don't think our cabbie had ever driven on roads like that before. It doesn't instill a lot of confidence when the guy driving you keeps talking about how scared he is. We made it though! Home!

So, I sort of dropped off the face if the earth for the second week of the honeymoon, blogwise. We had iffy WiFi at our hotel in Old San Juan, and then on Vieques, no WiFi at all. blogging. I'll work on getting you all caught up over the next week.

We loved Old San Juan and loved Vieques even more. The great thing about Vieques is that it has so many beaches, and they are all kind of in a row, so you can kind of beach hop all day long. It's a totally laid back place. And Old San Juan has so much history. We had a really great time.

More details to come!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Off to Puerto Rico

By popular demand, I bring you:

Goat. Sadly, the baby goat was not out. We haven't seen the baby goat again. Oh my! It was so cute! Baby goats are just the cutest thing ever.

So, here in Dominica, as you drive around you see goats and cows tied up on the side of the road. A goat here, a cow there. I'm not sure the protocol here...does someone bring the goat or cow out in the morning and tie it up? Do they come back for it that night? They MUST because it is so dark on the roads at night I would think a goat especially would get run down. Although, when David and I came back from dinner the other night, there was a goat sitting in the middle of the road and it got up and lazily moved out of the way.

I really wish I had a picture of the cow we saw on the drive back from Chaudiere Pool. It was a pretty cow and David had to get out of the car and coax it to the other side of the road because the rope was stretched across the road about 2 feet high. My hero...the cow wrangler.

I thought I had another cow photo, but can't find it right now, so here is a closeup of of cow and duck.

Some other random pictures

Pretty flower outside our home away from home for the week.

Brrr! It is cold! Must be 70 degrees!

We are heading back to Puerto Rico later today. We have really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the snow back home. Seems they everyone on Facebook has posted a comment about or photo of the snow.

We are pretty excited to go to Puerto Rico. We are really hoping we will sleep better once we get there. Last night it got really windy for about 15 minutes and then stopped. It was a little bit scary. David said it was his worst night for sleep so far. We are hoping at the the hotel in San Juan, with real windows and the lull of the AC that we will sleep like babies. Can. Not. Wait.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last Day in Dominica

Sigh. But, we have a whole week of vacation left! Yay!

This morning we walked down to the beach. When we went there Monday, I called it the most disappointing beach in the world. But, go there when the tide is right, and it was pretty cool! Black sand beach, warm water, gentle breeze, dude with machete walking our way...wait, what?

I had read not to be alarmed by this, that many men carry around a cutlass for agricultural purposes. I said this in my head as D and I stood on a pretty much deserted strip of land with a guy with a very big knife walking towards us. I couldn't help but feel nervous. Turns out, Red Shirt Machete Dude was pretty nice. We chatted a bit and then headed back to our place to get the kayak.

We saw Red Shirt Machete again as we kayaked. We kayaked from the same beach and they had a little camp set up there. Said hello again and we were off.

We kayaked over to Treasure Island, which Red Shirt Machete Dude had told us you could also swim to. We hiked about there a bit, which freaked me out. Wait! How many times I have been freaked out in Dominica? Roads, rocks, guys with knives. Is this the way one should spend their honeymoon?

Then we kayaked into some huge waves and I was thrown from the kayak, which D seemed to think was pretty funny. I'm pretty much on board with that assessment
now, but WAS NOT when it happened. It...wait for it...freaked me out.

We kayaked back to the beach and Jenner, from the place we are staying, came to get the kayak. Then we stayed and swam around some more. It was pure bliss. Floating on the waves, sun shining down on us, clear water. There were two other women swimming as well.

When we left, Red Shirt Machete Dude informed us he had kept an eye on our car since the young boys we had seen earlier could be "trouble". Then he sort of guided us to get the car turned around in the mud. Then has asked for some change for a beer, which we were all too happy to give him. He wasn't really that scary after all, but...I still think that if you want to talk to strangers on the beach, you should leave the machete behind.

Friday, November 12, 2010

More scary roads and friendly people

Well, Hello! So nice of you to visit the blog!

Sadly, I have no photos from today (Friday). I neglected to put the card back in my camera, so I cannot show you any photos of the mind-boggling scary road we drove on today. I really wish I could. Although the road really freaked me out, the hike at the end was lovely and there were some nice views along the way. Oh, and cows as well. And a baby goat (although I may get a picture of that later).

So I will intersperse this blog post with random photos.

So today we decided to hike to Chaudiere Pool, which we had heard many wonderful things about. After getting really good directions, we set out. We left the main road and climbed up through a little town, asking several times if we were going the right way. Then we got to a dirt road that got worse and worse and worse. We knew we would need 4-wheel drive, but I didn't really think it would be THAT bad. Deep ruts, up and down, one lane, bushes coming in through the car windows. I freaked out and made David turn around because I was sure this was not the way.

We stopped a really nice woman balancing a bucket on her head and she assured us that it was the road and it was about a 15 minute drive to the trail head, since the road was "not so good".

Understatement of the year. It made the road from Tuesday look good.

But we made it and the hike to the pools was very nice. We swam a bit and then headed back to our place. We stopped at the tourist center in town and bought some postcards and chatted with the nice women there. We could hear the kids singing at the school next door.

People in Dominica really are so friendly, and it is true that to really get the most out of a visit here you have to be able to go out of your comfort zone and talk to strangers. I don't think I am quite there yet, but maybe the next time we come back to visit I will be!

Tomorrow is our last day here. Sounds like we will go kayaking. The guy who was going to kayak with us got really sick (he was also going to take on us the Boiling Lake hike) but I think we'll be able to paddle around the bay on our own.

Another beautuful day

It is another beautiful day here in Dominica. 84 degrees, lovely breeze from the Atlantic, blue sky, white puffy clouds, and another day full or opportunity.

Yesterday we went with a guide to Victoria Falls, Glasse Trail, and the Kalinago village by the sea (think of any park you have been to that recreates life in a bygone era...this of the original Amerindian population of Dominica).

Victoria Falls was beautiful, but the hike freaked me out. We had to cross the river 5 times, which wasn't so bad. It was climbing up and over rocks, sometimes quite steep, that really freaked me out. We got to the falls and swam a bit, but the force from the falls was so strong it wasn't ideal for much swimming. We did see some freshwater crabs on the way, one of which was a female...the guide lifted up a little flap on her underside and we saw her babies scurrying around!

By the end of it all, we were completely soaked. I hadn't expected to get quite so wet on the hike (I knew we would at the falls). So, I spent the rest day wet. Oh well.

Then we headed to Glasse trail, a beautiful hike through the forest down to the Atlantic. Yes, down. Which meant we then had to go back up. But, it wasn't so bad and the view was amazing and we were able to soak up some sun in a little pool that the ocean carved out of the rock.

By then, we were pretty tired. We stopped for fresh bread and cokes in this little village and then headed to the Kalinago village. It was quite interesting. We learned a lot about the history or the original people of the island. Got some souvenirs while I was there ( you will like them Gigi) and then we headed back to home. Exhausted. This morning I am still sore from the hike. We just had a big breakfast and will soon head out for a little hike, if we can find it.

I should note, D and I have been up by 7 a.m. at the LATEST every morning. We have not slept well here (the insects at night are very loud) and are pretty much up when the sun comes up. Then again, we are usually in bed by 9. So, I have many lovely sunrise pictures.

I am getting excited about heading back to Puerto Rico. I can't believe we have a whole week left!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Midway through week 1

The hubby and I are midway through the first week of our honeymoom. Dominica is lovely. It is called the Nature Island for a reason.

(note...we are on the island country of Dominica, NOT the Dominican Republic)

The island is mountainous and green, with many rivers and waterfalls. Today we went to Emerald Pool, where we also some some German butts (after the German tourists got out of the water they would change "discreetly" behind their towels) and boobs.The pool was beautiful and we had a nice drive arund the interior of the island. It was a much nicer drive than we had Tuesday when we went to Fort Shirley. We took a road on the way back that crosses the northern part of the island and it was VERY steep and VERY twisty. I kept my eyes closed quite a bit and reminded myself that people seem to make it up and down the streets of San Franciso which are also very steep. Seriously, some of those roads seemed like they were at a 45 degree angle. Even though my eyes were closed, I could feel it. I didn't like it.Each day though, it has been a pleasure to come back to our little home away from home, take a dip in the plunge pool, read, knit, and just relax in the breeze. The weather has been great and each night we head up to the roof to stargaze. We have seen Pegasus, Pisces, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus, Jupiter (not a star, obviously!), and a bunch of sattelites. We can see the island of Guadaloupe from our place and can see the lights twinkling across the ocean.

Tomorrow we are off on a tour with a guide. We'll do a hike, see some waterfalls, etc. So far we have not had the best luck finding stuff in Dominica (no signs) so I'm hoping we will have a lot of fun!

Cow and duck

Monday, November 8, 2010

Greetings from my honeymoon!

I know, I know. I shouldn't be blogging on my honeymoom. But, I don't get cell phone reception here in Dominica and since I want to update my sis on all the fun, blogging it is. Yup, no cell phone, but there is WiFi here!

We left Saturday morning and spent a day and a half in San Juan. It was lovely. We swam in the ocean, shared a hammock while we read, had sushi for dinner.

We left Sunday morning in a rainstorm for Dominica. I suppose for some people a flight that resembles a roller-coaster holds a certain appeal, but not for me. Fortunately, it was warm and sunny when we got to Dominica. We got our car and drove the skinny, windy roads to our home for the week.

We had a lovely dinner of jerk chicken and then went up on the roof and gazed at the stars. It was amazing. So many stars!

The guide book the owners left us stated that the sun rises "triumphantly" around 6 - 6:15 a.m. And so it did!

That's all I have to say for now. I'll update more in bits and pieces. For now, it's time for sunscreen, bikini, and the roof! Then a dip in our plunge pool.