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Waterfalls, Sulphur and Provisioning – a day out with friends

Yesterday was our car hire day. Jo and George from Sutton Ho had agreed to go in with us so we had good company throughout the day.

We left the boat just before 8 and picked up Jo and George. We dinghied ashore to await the car hire chap who was supposed to drop of the car at the dock at 8am. I guess 8:20 is close enough – particularly island time. Contrary to expectations set we had to go into the office and do some paperwork which slowed us down a bit more. His printer wasn’t working so to prevent him having to hand write the forms I fixed it for him.

Soon we were off. Our first stop was Emerald Pool which we reached with just the one wrong turn. Emerald Pool is one of the national park locations and as with most, it is quite accessible and part of the tourist route. We arrived just after a coach load of cruise ship folks. Knowing that they would be rushed in and out we took our time and soon had the area to ourselves. It was about a 15 minute walk to the waterfalls / pool. The water was cool but very refreshing to dip into. The guides always tell visitors that dipping in these pools takes 10 years off you. Jo, who has been cruising for a few years, has heard this and done this a number of times so she’s pretty close to being reborn.

The path back to the car led us to a couple of view points one of which we could see out to the Atlantic Ocean.

Next we headed in the direction of Trafalgar Falls near Roseau. On the map it showed there were some sulphur springs nearby and on the internet I had found you could visit a number of them if you visited a place/resort called the Rainforest Shangri-La. We also figured we’d look for a lunch spot around there.

Again, it took only one wrong turn to find our way to the vicinity. We found the Rainforest Shangri-La first and decided to go in. The place was a little mountain retreat with a few bamboo huts, a yoga area, a massage hut and a number of hot tubs fed by water heated by geothermal activities. They offered tours of the grounds where we got to see a number of bubbling pools, steaming caves and sulphurous exhalations. We quite enjoyed this as we really had no expectations on this.

We found a delightful place to eat but unfortunately this required reservations. Nearer to the falls themselves we stopped off at another place which was almost as nice and had lunch.

Trafalgar Falls were quite impressive and had a surprise. There are actually two falls which meet shortly after their respective bases. There are no pools to swim in but the real surprise was a hot spring which ran through sevaral pools in which you could sit. Not having had a bath for over three months I was keen to dip myself in.

We did have the possibility lined up of a third set of falls but by then we didn’t have the time so we headed into Roseau for a big provisioning. In under two weeks we’ll be meeting our friends in Martinique. The strike is still on there and while we are hearing that food can be bought in the towns away from the capital we are taking no chances. Having the hire car was an execellent opportunity to buy in a lot of food that will keep. The freezer and cupboards are now pretty full. Now all we need to do is top off what we have in preparation for our friends visit.

Back at the boats and having dropped everything off we popped round to Sutton Ho for evening tipples before heading back to Dignity to have our dinner and fall asleep. All in all a good day made all the better for the company we had.

I’ll leave you with a video montage and the inevitable pictures.

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Day 2 of the carnival wasn’t a great deal to write about. We went along to see things in Portsmouth around 3pm and found it much the same as before. We stayed in for the evening.

Today we went to customs to extend our stay and then took a walk around Ross University, an American Medical University. We had lunch at some small snack huts there. This evening we had George and Jo aboard for drinks. They were one of the couples we met on the island tour. They will join us tomorrow as we go to visit some falls in a hire car. Should be fun.

I’ve just got in from spying Comet Lulip in my binoculars. Lovely clear night and the heavens are shining. Lulip is at closest approach. You can see it as a smudge with the naked eye and can see a nucleus and a bit of a tail in the binoculars.

Island Tour

Today we took a circular tour of the northern half of the island. We were picked up from the boat by Alexis at 8am and handed over to our guide, Winston. He took us and about 8 other cruisers (amongst whom were Alan & Anne from Freya of Clyde and Geoff & Jo from Sutton Hoo) to a number of sites including the red rocks, the Carib Territory and Spanny Waterfalls (where Helen and I skinny dipped). Along the way we had lunch at a beautiful restaurant with an amazing view out onto the Atlantic. We didn’t return to the boat until after 5pm. Given that we spent much of the time sitting, we all felt exhausted. Curry night tonight. It’s goat. Mmmmmm. Enjoy the pics :

Tomorrow we’ll again visit the Saturday morning market and then veg out the rest of the weekend. No further plans till carnival on Monday.