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Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Dominica is Colour, the sea with many shades of monochrome blues and gray create a painters landscape that is totally unique. The landscape is pink, red, yellow, blue and white on a carpet of green and brown. The town is painted in bright greens, reds and blues; Strong colors that insist you notice, but they are never gaudy, and sit in perfect balance. Even the wildly coloured fishing boats are in harmony siting on their canvass of gray and silver sand , the green-blue, gray-white sea and sky. There is something extraordinary about the way the colours blend. The boasts on the beaches and anchored in the shallow waters, are painted with personality, each individual, yet complementary. They say much about the style of the place and its people. The entire Island seems at times to be symphony of colour in perfect harmony.
There are many places with bright and vibrant colors, but often they fight and clash each other. But it is not so in Dominica. Do they all use the same artist I wondered. Have they been to the same school of art, is art and painting taught like this in all schools. Perhaps there is just one artist doing all this work. Then who is his or her teacher. I decided to accept that mother nature is the teacher and the divine artist here. In the "nature Island" everyone is an artist working with the same pallet, fitting in rather than standing out.
Fitting in rather than standing out. It is a phrase that suites the Dominica temperament. Although they are independent and different, the sense of a community is not left behind.
It was what I noticed at the Carib village and from articles written about Dominica and its people. They may not have always been this way, but perhaps centuries of battles have made them weary of strife and they have always had a great respect for nature. They are people of nature and nature just IS as people sometimes just ARE; content with being close to the earth and one with all. Being is a possess of observing, going with the flow, accepting and fitting in rather than standing out. Dominicas fit in, with styles.
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Dominica is about discovery. Much of its 360 rivers, rainforest and mountains are still unexplored. Sightseeing, trekking, hiking, diving is among the best in the Caribbean. But Dominica's true nature is a gentle peace; quiet in a land of towering mountains and cascading rivers. Stepping back in time, you are miles away from the modern world and its fast pace, time moves slowly in Dominica and that is the way Dominicans like it.
Dominica's unique quality of life draws people to it. Gilles, a French entrepreneur escaped to paradise, as he says, and open the Sea Lounge with the "Best French cuisine in the Caribbean" says Gilles. "I got to the point where I had taken care of my responsibilities, got my daughter thought her education, and now it was time for myself. Dominica appealed because I wanted to get away from the rat race and do something worthwhile where it might matter. I like the spirit of the people and the place".
The Travel writer, Paul Crask, also fell in love with it. American executives are discovering it for the right reasons and escaping to their mountain homes, "It will not be overdeveloped" says Colin Piper, Director of the Dominica Tourism Board, "we prefer to keep things simple and preserve the unique experience that is Dominica".
I hope that Dominica does not become another Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia where hotels and condos are everywhere. It is not your typical Caribbean beach holiday destination. There are several white sand beaches in the North but the land is private and the developers are not flocking in because there is no international airport and no one wants to tear down a mountain to build one.
The roads are narrow and often steep with many switchbacks. It takes an hour and half to drive from the airport to Roseau the capital - 27 miles. It's not highway driving, you are driving thought the jungle, sometimes a rainforest or a banana plantation, on the edge of a mountain with a panoramic view of the ocean coastline.
You come to Dominica to escape and rejuvenate in nature. Paddling up Indian River takes you to a new place of peace and quiet and character. It is Dominica - The nature Island, a brief moment to escape, take your foot of the accelerator and enjoy the calm of nature as paddle you up the river. The steady rhythm of paddles dipping in the water, is almost hypnotic, it is very soothing. In this island you will sleep in comfort of a boutique hotel, elegant without being overstated, or climb into your cottage in the treetops at Jungle Bay resort.
What you will notice in Dominica is colour, bright and vibrant but never gaudy. Nature abounds with its colour. Along the roads wild flowers spread a carpet of red, blue, white and yellow on a green tapestry. The towns and villages are alive with bright greens, yellow, reds and all shade of blue, and in the fishing villages the well cared for fishing boats are painted with personality. Pink fishing boats say as much about the owner as about the boat!
This is an island of individuals, about personal choice and the determination to be different. It is for discerning travelers who are not the typical tourist. It is, and I hope will always be, an undiscovered treasure tucked away in time, where old-fashioned values last.
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