It’s a long, arduous, painful trek from Springfield –
clambering over slippery rocks,
fording shallow streams,
clinging to steep cliffs –
There is no turning back, however.
Too much pride gets in the way.
My guide`s persistent encouragement
makes me more determined
to find my way.
My pace diminishes with perpetual distractions.
The wonders of the rainforest
enchant and intrigue
like a recurrent sensual fantasy,
except that this is not a dream.
Suddenly, I awake from my reveries:
“Don`t slow down –
you`ll lose the momentum!
Take it in as you go.“
That voice drifts back to me from somewhere up ahead.
After seemingly endless hours,
bruised, weary and sore,
I am finally there.
Breathlessly, I admire the splendor of the site.
Before me is the most magnificent torrential cascade
towering far above
and showering me with a cold mist
that revitalizes and invigorates my entire being.
I gaze longingly at this Dominican wonder,
hoping that I can capture its mighty spirit
and carry it with me always.
A torrential rain begins to pour
and it is time to turn back.
But I always long for the day
when I can return to Middleham Falls again.
-written near Lakefield, Ontario, Canada
* Middleham Falls is located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be approached from Springfield via the Cochrane Village Feeder Road (4 – 5 hours return at a leisurely pace) or from the trailhead near Laudat (a shorter trip) in the Roseau Valley. It is also possible to reach it from Segment Four of the Waitukubuli National Trail.
You can also hike right through from the Cochrane side to the Laudat side, or vice versa! Allow the better part of a day to do that – and take some time to check out Tou Santi – the `Stinking Hole` which is a huge bat cave. You`ll likely smell it before you see it!
Dominica: Bradt Travel Guide by Paul Crask. Edition 2 (2011), pp. 127-128. Paul is a longtime island resident (British expatriate) who has provided very detailed background information and descriptions of the hikes to Middleham Falls, as well particulars about flora and fauna in this area.
Dominica: Discover the Real Dominica: A Travel Guide Written by Former Peace Corps Volunteers by Anna McCanse. Other Places Publishing, 2011, pp. 255-257 A helpful detailed map and specific directions are contained therein.