Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dominica: Boerli Lake and Middleham Falls

Wednesday, Day 34

It rained a lot of the night, and the wind picked up so much that I actually got cold! Cold enough to get up and put on pants, a sweater, and a scarf! That did the trick. Sleep great the rest of the night - until the sun and chickens woke me up around 6:45. I got dressed (in the same thing I wear every day: swimsuit, board shorts, tank top) and walked out to order breakfast from Bevin. He said it wouldn't be ready until 8. Just enough time for a quick little hike to the nearby Sulphur Springs.

It wasn't much of a "hike." More up the hill on the road to a river of natural volcano spring hot water! There was one man-mad pool at the bottom, and some natural hot tub like pools up higher along the trail. I suppose that could be romantic. A natural "hot tub" in a secluded rain forest. But the orangish  water and smell of rotten eggs would probably ruin it for me, haha! Either way, glad I made it up to see them.

Just hiked right back down and made it just in time for breakfast. I ordered scrambled eggs, but all they do is a fried egg. A little heavy on the easy part of the "over easy" eggs today. Yikes! Hard for me to swallow. I'm used to my moms slightly well-done eggs!

I also had a little granola and warm milk out of a box, too. Edible. But not a fan of milk at all. Especially warm! Just so weird!

After breakfast, I packed up and said goodbye to Bevin and the wellness retreat. Really a gem of a place, and Bevin was absolutely the host with the most. He knew everything and everyone on the island. Really glad I gave the tent thing a chance. 

Bevin loaded up my absurdly heavy suitcase and drove me down the dirt road to the bus stop. It's not that far, but it sure seems like it when you're carryin a backpack and an almost fifty pound suitcase that won't roll over the uneven dirt surface. 

There was a bus waiting at the stop that I hopped right on. No waiting. Got dropped off in the middle of Roseau. Too easy.

A cruise ship was in today, so there were loads of white people just getting off. Which meant loads of tour guides and taxi drivers clamoring for business. I talked to one couple who was trying to avoid paying $40 USD for a short taxi to Champagne Reed. Got them on the right bus for about $2 instead. :)

Now I needed to get out to the airport to try and get a rental car, or out to the Hummimgbird Inn, where I was booked for the night. After stopping several people to ask directions, and a several block walk, I ended up at the bridge and directed to a bus to the airport. Really wasn't that hard, and saved about $40 because that was the going tourist taxi rate today!

Canefield airport just north of Rosea didn't look promising for a rental car. So small! But two nice security people working had a phone number of a guy to call who rented cars. About 5 minutes later, someone showed up to take us to the "car rental shop" - which I'm pretty sure was some guys house and he was renting his personal all car for $50...and it was on Empty. Whatever. It was close and easy. Done. 

Now to try and check in at Hummingbird Inn, which we had just passed on the way to the airport. It was up a steep hill, and thankfully, the owners happened to be there! I had tried to call and email to confirm the stay, but never got through. They said they had had some "problems" , but I think that meant they were just partying for Carnival. ;) 

Either way, they had a nice room available to drop bags in. Worked out great!

On the agenda for today: Boerli Lake and Middleham  Falls. They were near each other, and maybe a 30 minute drive northeast of Roseau, in and up to the rainforest. 

A guy on the side of the road tried to convince us to pay him $50 (USD) to be a guide for Boerli Lake.  Bevin didn't mention anything about needing a guide, so I said I could find it and went on the way. There were signs and a guide definitely was not needed. 

Freshwater lake was a one minute detour, and nothing special. Stopped to fill up my water bottle in a roadside stream and started the hike in to Boerli Lake. It looked amazing in the magazine, but on a gray, dreary day like today, I didn't have much hope.


The hike was longer and more strenuous than I was expecting. A lot of up hill, slick rocks, and several river crossings. About half way in, it started raining pretty heavy. I took shelter under some leaves for a bit, but once I started getting wet there, too, I just put on my rain jacket and kept going. As if the trail wasn't slick enough before, it certainly was now.


About 45 later, I got to the lake. Glad I didn't have high expectations, because it was so cloudy you could hardly see anything. A little disappointed, but the hike really was gorgeous enough to make up for the lack of view.

Hiked back to the car and made the quick drive down the road to Middleham Falls trail head.

The guy working there said we had to have a nature pass to hike...but they didn't sell them there. What the... After a long discussion about buying one yesterday but no one checking it at Emerald Pools, and not finding a place to buy one today, he agreed to let us hike without one. I really have no problem  paying the $5 to hike, but just make it a little more convenient and consistent to do it!

Anyways, the hike -- I was again surprised with the level of difficulty. I swear it was straight up for 40 minutes! My legs are tired from all the walking, and not working out in a month now has taken its toll. So maybe I'm just that out of shape. But the trail was no walk in the park. Beautiful, though, and the view at the end was definitely worth it.

Middleham Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls I think I've seen! I'll have to look up its height, but it looked huuuuuge standing underneath it.


It cascaded down from the top in to a pool, and then continued down again in to a smaller pool. The river kept going and actually had waterfalls all over the place. Just nothing like that huge one.

There was an optional 20 minute hike from there to something called "Stinking Hole" which didn't sound too inviting to me, so I passed. Back to the car.


It was still early-ish in the day.  A little after 3. But I was pretty done. It's shocking to me how I feel when I eat healthy vs when I don't. I have so much more energy without all the cookies and crackers and chips I've been gettin by on with everything closed for Carnival.

Back in town, I would have paid so much money for a good salad, but it was no where to be found. I tried a Vegan "rasturant" that was closed and a juice man bar that had nothing but fried meats. I was desperate. Not eating all day is not good for me. So two slices of pizza won out. Not a good decision.


Drove up the western coast to see how far north I could get before the sun went down. The roads are pretty nice here, and the vegetation in the north was much more dry. Driving along the ocean almost felt like driving in California -- until you come to a place where the recent Hurricane Erica washed away entire sections of roads and bridges!

Got back to the Hummimgbird Inn a little before 6, and showered in time to catch sunset from the porch. Not a bad view.

I really should have gone back in to town to eat something, but I was just too wiped and my stomach was not happy with the pizza, so I stayed in. Instead, I got an hour and a half full body massage -- one of the best I've ever had.  And then fell asleep for the last night in Dominica to the sound of birds chirping and waves cashing. 

Early morning flight to St. Martin tomorrow!

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