The advantage of visiting Dominica in the off season is avoiding all the cruise ship traffic. The disadvantage is risking the rainy season – both a high risk of “storms,” it’s just a matter of which type of storm annoys you the most, crowds or clouds. Give me the rain any day!
A tropical wave moved across the island turning all the typically clear, gentle flowing rivers into swollen, raging rapids. The runoff would spread far and wide along the coastline, turning the typically “Caribbean blue” waters to the color of the rich red soil of Dominica, far out to sea.
Too stormy for any touring this day, I slept in to the sounds of rolling thunder and rain pouring off the rooftop while buried in a book.
Eventually, hunger took over, so I dodged the raindrops long enough for a walkabout in the little local village of Calabishie. I wanted to seek out some of the local cuisine, so I headed down to the Coral Reef Restaurant to sample what the locals call “provisions,” which typically includes a plate full of lentils, rice, steamed chicken or fish, a small salad with avocado, and then the array of tubers including (counter-clockwise) plantains, yams, sweet potato (green,) dasheen, and fried potato.
The way of life in Dominica is to “eat what you grow,” but it’s beyond me how they can eat this much starch and still stay so thin! But since it is rare to have one’s own “transport” (the name given every vehicle regardless of whether it is truck, car, SUV or van) they manage to walk it off. The oldest known woman recently died at age 128!
Calibishie was very much a typical Dominican community, but as such, it was easy to feel a bit misplaced as a single white female traveling alone. I am sure it has a different atmosphere in the sunshine, but with all the torrential rain, the local fishermen had little else to do but drink….and stare….and hiss. So my walkabout was brisk and short lived. I felt more comfortable exploring up near the Sea Cliff Cottages. I came back from my walk around sunset carrying a coconut I had found on the path. I was met by the Sea Cliff night watchman who said, “I’ll go get my machete!” I enjoyed fresh coconut and avocado from the garden for my dinner.