Dominica- Rasta Man's Rainforest Hike

Dominica Travel Blog

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Guide with the Cocoa Pod. Those are the seeds we sucked on.

Today we started our excursion at about noon and had a 5 hour tour/hike planned.  We picked the excursion "Rasta Man's Rainforest Hike."  We took a small van that sat the 9 of us on the tour, comfortably.  We had a driver and a local tour guide who answered all our questions and told us other information about the island. 

We started with about an hour drive to the rain forest entrance which was very high up.  I would never be able to drive on this island... the roads are very narrow and windy and what looks like is a one way road is really both ways.  The driver warned us in the beginning not to scream that he was a good driver... but I was still on the edge of my seat at some points. 

We learned about the animals and plants that grow on the island as well as other fun facts.

Road side table with lots of treats on the island of Dominica.
  So Dominica is the Island they are currently filming Survivor on.  However our guide says its not very hard to survive on the island, that he could easily find plenty of food in no time since the vegitation is so plentiful.  There are supposedly 365 rivers on the island, one for every day of the year.  What I found the most interesting was that Pirates of the Caribean 2 and 3 were both filmed on the Island.  The native people in the second Pirates movie are the Carib Indians of the Island.  However they aren't really Cannibals.  We stopped at a little home/shop to use the bathroom before continuing on our way to the rainforest.  I bought a basket that was hand crafted and made by the Carib Indians who live on one part of the island.
Tree for protection in the rainforest of Dominica.

Our guide grabbed a Cocoa Pod to show us as we drove in the car.  He split it open and showed us the seads which were covered in a white think slime.  He then told us to each take a seed and suck on it, that it is very sweat  but not to bite into the bitter cocoa.  Normally I'm very hesitant about what I eat but I did it... It was very good and sweet but the texture was the weirdest thing ever.

We stopped at another local place and our guide got out quickly to get fresh fruit juice/rum punch for later as well as just picked fruit for our hike.  While he was off getting that there was a stand with an older man with lots of fruits and things  none of us recognized, except what resemebed a small banana.  We took a picture of him and the stand then he pulled out a camera and took a picture of our van lol it was very funny.

Bwa Bande tree.... natural substitute for viagra if you soak the bark in your rum or brew it in your tea.
  Then we held out a few american dollars and for some fruit and he made us a huge bag of things like guava, sugercane, sugar plum, small bananas, mango, and lots of other things which I don't know the name of.  So we feasted in the van passing around these exotic fruits to one another to try.  They were all good except the sugar plum!

Then we entered the rain forest!  It was a small little pathway off the side of the road that the local rasta man uses.  So Rasta men are people who live secluded in the rain forest and way up they have fields of crops they grow, including marijuana.  They travel on foot through the rainforest and often come down to the town to sell their crops.  They also don't necessarily believe in the law and they believe if anyone comes onto their land that they grow crops on and steals from them, they have the right to punish that person.

3 great friends and me in the Rain forest of Dominica.
  They also use many plants in the rainforest for medicine.  Our tour guide used to be a rasta man, its kind of like a religion/life style you can be and then change if you want.  So he has been given permission to lead groups through portions of their trail. 

He pointed out trees and plants as we hike through explaining their significance.  One has big roots with grooves that the rasta man uses for protection during bad weather.  Another is the bwa bande tree.  The locals brew this in tea or put the bark in with rum and it is a substitute for viagra! 

We eventually came to one of the many rivers of Dominca where we rested and feasted on more fruit... fresh bananas, oranges, and watermelon.

Rainforest in Dominica and one of the 365 rivers.
  The guide says every fruit grows on their island except apples.  It started raining... only fitting cause we were in a rain forest.  We headed back to the car... our shoes entirely covered in mud.  Then the van drove us a to another hiking spot where we would hike to waterfalls.  This hike was easier and we reached the beautiful waterfall.  Then we learned up this very steap hill with a rope attached that you could climb up to see the second waterfall.  This climb was very difficult and you had to hold on to the rope and roots of trees to climb up.  Not everyone in the group did this one.  Our whole bodies got covered in mud on this one since it was lightly raining.  We reached the second fall which was also stunning.
Beautiful waterfall on the island of Dominica.
  The water was too cold to swim in or we would have.

On the hike back it started downpouring... we were soaked.  We went to a local shack of a bar to see if we could buy some local rum to bring home as gifts for boyfriends.  Totally moon shine... One had cinnamon soaking in the rum, the other had rosmary, and the third had bwa bande... the viagra substitute.  My friends bought them.  On the drive back we drank the strongest rum punch I've ever tasted in my life and the entire time the guide joked about the rum with Bwa bande... warning us of the use.  No more than 2 shots at a time.... make sure you are with your boyfriend when he drinks it.... make sure the door is locked.... only let him have it if you are really going to.

Dominica
... you know hehe.  It was hilarious we were cracking up the entire way back cause our guide wouldn't stop with his funny comments.  But then my friend got scared about actually having someone drink it.  She ended up selling it to some guys on the cruise ship who tried it at a later date.... I do not know the details though.

Back at our cruise ship 1 hour before our late dinner...... ADVICE: IF YOU GO ON A CRUISE AND WANT TO DO EXCURSIONS I SUGGEST TAKING THE LATE DINNER SLOT!  We all showered at warp speed and got dressed up for formal dinner night.  The day was great and an island worth visiting!  That night we also got to go to an X rated comedy show which was hilarious!

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Guide with the Cocoa Pod.  Those a…
Guide with the Cocoa Pod. Those …
Road side table with lots of treat…
Road side table with lots of trea…
Tree for protection in the rainfor…
Tree for protection in the rainfo…
Bwa Bande tree.... natural substit…
Bwa Bande tree.... natural substi…
3 great friends and me in the Rain…
3 great friends and me in the Rai…
Rainforest in Dominica and one of …
Rainforest in Dominica and one of…
Beautiful waterfall on the island …
Beautiful waterfall on the island…
Dominica
Dominica
Our bag of fruit and sugar cane to…
Our bag of fruit and sugar cane t…
Yes there was a guy on our cruise …
Yes there was a guy on our cruise…