Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Did I ever mention that I’m a first generation Canadian?

My parents were born in a country in the West Indies called Dominica. No, not the Dominican Republic. Sometimes I feel like that's its whole name: Dominica-no-not-the-Dominican-Republic. Because I have to say that each time I tell someone since they've never heard of the place. It's even pronounced differently. Dom-in-EEE-ka.

Anyway, it's smack dab between Guadeloupe and Martinique, two islands you probably have heard of. I always find that strange. It's a gorgeous place. It's got 365 rivers and for a place that's only 790 sq.kms. that's pretty impressive. It's got rain forests and Dominica has hardly any white sand beaches. Its all a weird black colour since they're made from volcanic rock. It's known for being a place for adventurers since it has the Eastern Caribbean's tallest mountain and the best scuba diving and hiking anywhere. No, I'm not at all influenced.

I went there when I was 11 and I still remember everything. From my younger brother Mike throwing up on the passengers on the plane ride down to crying like a baby saying goodbye to my family 3 weeks later. We went to a hotel spa (Fort Young, I think) and were picking and eating guavas from a tree that was overhanging the jacuzzi. We chewed on sugar cane that an old lady sold us on the street. After that first time we chased her down in the street every day like the ice cream man. We went to a lake that bubbled and stunk like sulfur just like in all those old dinosaur movies. It was one of the best trips of my life.

So if you're looking for a gorgeous place to travel that's well off the beaten path and not overrun with tourists, I'd suggest Dominica. I even heard that they filmed some of The Pirates of the Caribbean there because it was so pretty and isolated. Check it out for yourself. I intend to go back someday and bring the kids. They'd love the stinky lake.

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