Poker and Liquor

Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm Back from the Valley of Desolation

Three words: Hot Tubs!

One of the wonders that is Dominica is the hot springs. They are everywhere. The Boiling Lake shown in the previous post is the source for some of the hot springs, while others just bubble up out of the ground. The water is high in sulfur, which makes them smell a little, but also makes them good for the skin. The high iron content makes many of the springs very noticable, as the creekbed looks rusted.

The Commonwealth of Dominica (not to be confused with The Dominican Republic) has yet to utilize the great geothermal resources to very much potential. Over 60% of their power is hydroelectically generated, which is good. The remainder comes from--get this--coal. That's right, the country with the hottest, largest boiling lake in the world, and geothermal energy everywhere, uses coal to heat water to turn turbines. There are talks under way to create geothermal power, and I hope that they are able to do it in an environmentally sound manner. Dominica's greatest attraction, and greatest resource is it's natural wonders of the rainforests and hot water springs. If they screw up the rainforest in order to tap into the geothermal energy, then it just isn't worth it.

They do, however utilize the hot water springs well, in the form of hot tubs. If you ever have the chance to go there, go on a hike in the rainforests, and lounge in some natural hot springs.

One night, I had several Kabuli Beer (local brew), some Rum Punch (emphasis on PUNCH), and went to the Screw Spa. As we didn't have our camera with us at the Screw Spa, here's a pic I found online of some other unknown people in the spa. We arrived there at dusk. The full moon shone down on us while some type of lightening beetle flitted about. VERY relaxing.

Every morning and evening I availed myself of the Hot Tubs at the small inn we were at, and occasionally bathed in the cold waterfall on the premesis.

Enough with the relaxation bit, we worked our asses off most of the time hiking all over the island on little sleep, carrying heavy gear. Did I mention this was a rainforest? Yeah? Well guess what happens ALL THE TIME in a rainforest. That's right, rain. And lots of it. On our 16 mile hike through the Vally of Desolation to Boiling Lake and back, it rained about 4 inches on our heads. It also ruined one of our lenses. But man-o-man was the cool sights worth it.

One of the on-air-types, Nancy, started to get hypothermia. I brought her temperature up with some improvised tea. We had some Red Sorrel juice (local yummy juice from the Hibiscus flower) with I mixed with some water, put into my Nalgene water bottle, and heated up over a steam vent that was bubbling and spewing up out of the ground. Nice hot tea, on the spot.

There was a nice hike at Freshwater Lake, the source of most of the hydroectric power.

And, of course, I had to climb a tree. I have a reputation to uphold.

Luckily the work was fun, otherwise it would've been a grueling trip. I had a great time. Oh, and I had the best Pina Colada in the world. The Rum Punch is the traditional local favorite, and it was good--and strong--but the pina colada was outstanding. I ordered it on the last day, because I wanted something different than Rum Punch. The girl said she'd bring it out to me, and went into the kitchen. Fifteen minutes later (and a lot of noise from the kitchen) I recieved the best pina colada ever. It was obvious that she had cut open a fresh pineapple, and busted open a fresh coconut in order to make it. I mean fresh. And tasty.


At 3:21 PM GMT-5, Blogger AlCantHang said...

Holy shit! That certainly isn't your standard G-Vegas tree.

Of course you had to climb it.

At 3:25 PM GMT-5, Anonymous biggestron said...

Great pictures!

At 8:14 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photo of the hot water going into baths ( is at yet another attraction. It's called Ti Kwen Glo Cho in the same village as Screw's, a wonderful place called Wotton Waven.

At 9:58 AM GMT-5, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Rad...I like the girls in the bathtubs...but they had clothes on...booo...heeheee!!! Thanks for the photos.

At 11:38 AM GMT-5, Blogger G-Rob said...

Excellent post...and very cool.


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