Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 Rs: Rum Cake, Rum Punch, and Rhianna - Part 2

Day 4 Dominica: 

We continued our action-filled vacay in Dominica. Again, our excursion was booked for the afternoon, so we had some free time in the morning. We hopped off the boat to walk around the town since it was such a short walking distance from the boat. The off-shore taxi drivers and tour guides were a bit more aggressive than any others had been on the previous islands. I tend to be more adventurous during vacations, so I wasn't too terribly bothered by the shouting. We took a few wrong turns down some alleys and unfortunately we were met with some intimidating stares. We thought it was best not to push our luck, so we returned to the boat. 

When we left for our river tubing excursion, we were greeted by a cheerful tour guide and friendly driver. Our tour guide, Jesse, was quite knowledgeable. River tubing was my favorite excursion. Initially, we thought it would be mellow yellow. Once we arrived, we could see the rapids. Lucky for me, I got the tube with the plastic bottom. My bum was very thankful as I skidded across the rocks. The guides were very helpful and dislodged us if we got stuck on a rock or along the shore. I even got escorted through part of the roughest part of the river. We didn't see that many animals in the trees, which was a bit of a disappointment. 

Afterward, we hiked to Emerald pools, which is supposed to have been thought as fabled Fountain of Youth. It's a bit touristy. We met a hilarious gentleman from England and compared cruise notes with him. Lastly, my hubster had his first experience with rum punch this day. His teeny cup was definitely more rum than punch. We learned he's a sleepy drinker.

Day 5 St Lucia:

We adore St Lucia. The Millennium docked close enough for us to walk into town, so we didn't have to take a water taxi into town. My agenda was to find the large local outdoor market and Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. First, we walked to the cathedral. It has this amazing calming feeling. It wasn't overly decorated or pretentious. After a few minutes in the church away from the hear, we went back outside for some more strolling. On our way back to the market, an elderly woman saw my hubster and me holding hands. She smiled and said, "I like seeing that." She was absolutely adorable. 

Before we went to the outdoor market, we wandered around the indoor market where all the tourist kitsch is. Picked up a few postcards and gifts. Then, we ventured out to the outdoor market. It was fantastic! It was vibrant and busy. I saw outdoor meat stands and tons of spices. This day was a much needed vacation during our vacation. 

Day 6 Barbados:

For Barbados, we had an early morning excursion booked. We were going on a 4x4 ride to the caverns. Our 4x4 ride was a Land Rover with open seats in the back named Scooby Doo. It was quite a windy ride. We got a great overview of the island. The local architecture, economy, and history was explained by our guide. When we arrived at the caverns, we boarded a tram. Silly. I know. It kind of felt like a cheesy grown up Disneyland ride. What was really neat about the cavern was how much water was in there. We saw rivers and a waterfallish body of water. The cavern ceiling drips on you the whole time. I'm so excited at the possibility of how elaborate the formations will become. 

After the tour, we went on a 4x4 ride through a patch of tropical forest. There were dogs from the village below along the trail. We also saw some breadfruit trees along the way. For a break, we went for a brief trip to the beach. There were huge fossilized coral formations along the shore. Gorgeous! 

When the tour ended, it was around lunch time. I persuaded my hubster to venture downtown with me to look for some local food. We walked around the main streets, but we didn't see anything enticing. Then, we saw some people leaving a side street with to-go food containers. One after another after another. We both looked at each other with excitement. We found a little restaurant upstairs in an unassuming building. It was filled with locals. Perfect! 

As we looked at the menu, we must have looked like sweet confused tourists. A cook popped his head out and explained the specials of the day. One of the specials was dolphin. My jaw must have dropped by accident. Because he immediately smiled and said, "No, not Flipper." My hubster had the dolphin and rice while I had the chicken with mashed breadfruit. One of my goals during the trip was to have breadfruit. Every island had it and Anthony Bourdain had it on his Caribbean special. Breadfruit is a lot like taro, very starchy. The locals were very sweet to us in the restaurant, which made Barbados one of our favorite islands.

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