Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Indian River

Dominica is noted for its heavily wooded rain forests.  More than a quarter of the island is protected by law.  The people of Dominica seem to want the tourists that come for their island’s unspoiled beauty and not the all inclusive resorts and casinos found on other islands. 

As you head up the Indian River, the water first becomes brackish and then fresh.  Early European sailors, including probably Columbus in a 1493, would proceed from Prince Rupert Bay up the River of the Indians to trade with the Caribs for fresh water, provisions, and wood.


The trip up the river in about 3 knots of current can only be made with a guide in a vessel with NO motor. 

Even with no motor, we spooked this heron.

Some of the other wild life was easier to get close to.

This blue back tern seemed to understand and liked to pose for pictures.

All along the river our guide and our cruise mates, Roger and Stephanie, were spotting interesting animals and plants.

The root system of the bwa mang tree provides a home for the marine creatures and protects the shore from erosion.

Some of the trees and their associated root system can get rather large.  This tree is estimated to be over 400 years old.

This flower is known as porcelain de rose.  To the touch it feels like plastic, but our guide assured us that they did not stock the forest with plastic flowers.

This flower is related to what we call the bird of paradise. 

Our trip up the river started at 6:30 AM and some of the flowers were not open until our return trip.

Martin, our guide, explained that by going early we would see more wildlife and there would be less traffic on the river.  He was right; however the bar at the head of the navigable part of the river was not open yet.  Breakfast would have been nice.

Our guide was always eager to share information and answer questions.

Breakfast turned out to be fresh coconut juice and a banana.

At the end of the tour, Martin presented the ladies with a parrot he quickly wove out of a palm branch he had cut. 

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