Why I Like to Hike on the Nature Island

Gwendominica departs the Valley of Desolation and commences the arduous climb up Morne Nicholls on the challenging Boiling Lake trail.  Photo taken by Liz Madisetti.

“” Gwendominica departs the Valley of Desolation and commences the arduous climb up Morne Nicholls on the challenging return from the Boiling Lake. Photo taken by Liz Madisetti.

Recently, I was contacted by the folks at Backpack ME and asked if I would be interested in writing a short piece on Dominica for their feature entitled Around the World in 80 Posts.    

My article was published in Backpack ME on July 17, 2013 and you can read it and other fabulous entries for The Americas and Caribbean HERE!

 

It's a real 'high' to get lost in the clouds hovering over Freshwater Lake in Morne Trois Piton National Park.  Photo taken by Edwin Whitford.

It’s a real ‘high’ to get lost in the clouds hovering over Freshwater Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Photo taken by Edwin Whitford.

 

Zara, travel writer and videographer of Backpack ME had this  to say about my piece:

“Thanks so much for such a nice contribution about such a rare place!
I NEVER come across articles about Dominica in all the travel blogs I read, so I’m very happy we can include something about it in this collaborative post.”

Admittedly, it was a little tricky to encapsulate my intrepid experiences in 300 words, but it was a good exercise in brevity.  It also caused me to seriously ponder why I like to hike on the Nature Island.  I never could have dreamed that I would have been able to cover so much ground on Dominica in 16+ years!

So let me share this secret with you and hope that it will inspire you to do something outside of your comfort zone today!

Hikers a generally a very social lot and always help each other when the going gets a little tough (as on Segment 7 of teh Waitukubuli National Trail)!

Hikers are generally a very social lot and always help each other when the going gets a little tough (as on Segment 7 of the Waitukubuli National Trail)!

I am so glad that I can say I successfully climbed up and then got back down Morne Diablotins, Dominica's highest peak with my brother in 1999.  It was an 8 hour journey that we will never forget!  Photo taken ny Liz Madisetti, at the trailhead which intersects with Segment 10 of the Waitukubuli National Trail.

I am so glad that I can say I successfully climbed up and then got back down Morne Diablotins, Dominica’s highest peak with my brother in 1999. It was an 8 hour journey that we will never forget! Photo taken in 2012 by Liz Madisetti, at the trailhead which intersects with Segment 10 of the Waitukubuli National Trail.

I like to hike on the Nature Island because:

  1. I feel so much better physically in pure clean air  with no sources of pollution in sight.
  2. Being connected to nature – surrounded by so many shades of green is a visual delight!
  3. I am able to overcome psychological fears and physical limitations by thinking positively and believing in myself.
  4. I am always in the company of people who feel the same way I do about nature and physical activity.
  5. I can push myself  a little, knowing that my companions support and encourage me.
  6. The physiological effects of the hike (endorphins and adrenalin, perhaps) give me a tremendous sense of well-being and calmness.
  7. Being surrounded by nature has given me an even greater respect for and desire to preserve our precious environment.
  8. It’s a great way to distract from worries and cares by experiencing and discovering something new or different on the trails.
  9. It gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment to have completed a challenging trek.
  10. I can apply the life skills learned on the trail to everyday situations.
The spectacular Atlantic awaited me after a lovely little hike down the Glassy Trail from Boetica, in Dominica's southeast.  Photo taken by Edwin Whitford.

The spectacular Atlantic awaited me after a lovely little hike down the Glassy Trail from Boetica, in Dominica’s southeast. Photo taken by Edwin Whitford.

So, no matter where you are this summer, go and do something physical and perhaps a little more challenging than your usual routine in the great outdoors.

I think that Segment 1 of the WNT is my favourite – done in reverse – that is, from Soufriere to Scotts Head. But I am not going to tell you why! You have to give it a try! Photo taken by Simon Walsh of Images Dominica for the DHTA.

Let me know if it works for you!

Crossing the mighty Layou River eight times on the Jaco Flats/Steps Hike was defintiely beyond my wildest dreams!  Photo taken by Simon Walsh of Images Dominica for the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association

Crossing the mighty Layou River eight times on the Jaco Flats/Steps Hike was definitely beyond my wildest dreams! Photo taken by Simon Walsh of Images Dominica for the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association

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11 comments on “Why I Like to Hike on the Nature Island

  1. Roots Farm says:

    🙂

    Roots Farm Organic Produce Fruits, Roots, Vegetables & Herbs Cochrane, DOMINICA 767-449-3038 (before 7 P.M.) karen@rootsfarm.info

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  2. lizziemad says:

    You captured the reasons for hiking perfectly!

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  3. dominicaduo says:

    Congrats Gwen. Dominicaduo, Rachel Walker reads your posts. So happy you are spreading the word.

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  4. Congratulations Gwen! I feel the same way when I hike in the mountains – there’s nothing like being surrounded by nature to make you feel alive!

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  5. The Rockies, that is 🙂

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  6. Thanks for mentioning us, Gwen!
    It’s our pleasure to have you contributing to our group post.

    You are SO ACTIVE! Keep it up! 🙂

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    • gwendominica says:

      You are welcome Zara! I am delighted to be part of your group post. Life is precious and it can be short. I want to make the most of it while I am here (and still able)! : )

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