As Hike Fest 2012 quickly approaches, I am focused on a few long treks, two of which are on the lengthy and challenging Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT). I am psyched to go and am determined to finish each one, even if it takes me all day! More about my WNT adventures in the weeks to come.
Because I am a little older, slower and energetically challenged, most of my personal hiking forays are two hours or less. I really enjoy taking my time, looking around,taking pictures, talking to companions or other people I meet on the trail. It’s pleasurable to allow time for a rest-stop before the return journey too.
In terms of any type of hike, the Nature Isle will never disappoint. There really are dozens of smaller trails which can give you a good work-out in less time and/ or provide an easy pace, and/or stimulate your senses and/or promote relaxation and/or ALL of the aforementioned!
If you think Dominica is all about long, difficult trails, you’re absolutely wrong. I hope you will bring your boots and go on a trek or two that suits you. I insist that there is a hike for everyone. I’ve walked the talk!
I love the southeastern region of Dominica. It’s literally and figuratively “off the beaten path.” The WNT does not pass through this area, but there are still plenty of wilderness outings that can take from five minutes to five hours. Lovely hotels and small guest houses are found in the area, if you wish to stay for several days. (I highly recommend it). Check the Discover Dominica Authority‘s web site for more information.
One of my favourite forays is located at Boetica, a quaint little village between Delices and La Plaine. It’s called the Glassy Trail and it starts opposite the church on the main road. There should be a sign nearby that marks the start. If you don’t see it, just ask a villager.
I really enjoy this hike because it’s downhill to the Atlantic Ocean. Even better, it only takes about half an hour at a moderate pace. The coastal foliage is dense here. There are many plants to see and birds are plentiful too. One can really feel in touch with nature. I’ve never met anyone else on the track, apart from those in my party.
At sea level, the Glassy Pool is a spectacular aquamarine blue. It is a long drop from the trail, so take care when looking down at it.
It’s fun to relax on the seaside rocks and have a snack before the return uphill journey, which is a little steep and might take a bit longer to do, depending on one’s fitness level. The stiff Atlantic breezes do refresh me before I ascend the pretty trail. Once back at home base in an hour or so, it’s time for lunch!
My brother and I enjoyed “cooling out” at the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa’s dining room after our little work-out. This eco-hotel offers a wholesome lunch consisting of locally grown and organic foods in a natural setting at Pointe Mulatre near the village of Delices. I highly recommend a tour of the entire complex as it focuses on being in harmony with nature. It’s an ideal place to unwind! And if you get a second wind after dessert , you can always walk along the rocky beach on the property!
I will close with a word of caution. The walks and hikes should be safe if you’re careful, but beware the strong Atlantic surf. There is a significant undertow along the southeast coast. I would not recommend a dip in this area. However, Jungle Bay does have a pool (for guests) and the White River is nearby, which has some large swimming holes not far from the western side of the road. It could be lonely though, so be sure to hire a knowledgeable guide, no matter what you do!
There is much more to be said about the scenic southeast of Dominica. Stay tuned!