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More South Caribbean Dec 08

Not the Dominican Republic, but Dominica. Same root word, but completely different places. Well, different islands. They’re both tropical islands in the Caribbean, and both nice places to visit. Dominica boasts 365 rivers (compared to Antigua has 365 beaches)
Dominica is a common cruise destination, a volcanic island, and almost entirely covered by rainforest. Although the volcano is dormant, you can find a hot spring or two. One is underwater, and escaping gasses bubbling up have given it the name “champaigne reef.” It’s a popular snorkeling site.

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Buildings dot the mountainsides

Dominica is one of the islands they recommend you not visit independently, but join a tour group from your cruise ship. The place does not look dangerous, but as you travel around the island you will see a lot of rusted corrugated sheet metal patchwork, peeling paint, and buildings either incomplete or utter disrepair. The streets are narrow and often steep.

A lot of homes are both occupied and extremely shabby. The building code must be a lot more casual than in the US. English is the official language, but unless you speak Creole French or Spanish, and know the island and the culture already, you will probably feel uncomfortable. And you’ll probably look like a tourist no matter what you chose to wear.
The island has some industry, particularly coconut products and bananas, not to mention tourism.
All that aside, though, the island is beautiful and the people are friendly. The tops of the unbelievably tall and steep mountains are in the clouds. Rain forest is no exaggeration, either. The dry side of the island gets maybe 50 inches of rain a year, and the wet side gets several hundred. You need all those rivers!

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