Role: Breakfast and morning tasks as required. It’s a small hotel where we have to be flexible.
Tamara was given no warning of the interview and I hadn’t met her before so she was a little reserved at first but opened up easily and seemed very friendly and happy to talk to me.
Tamara standing in front of the fly curtain – made of bottle caps
(In case you’re interested there will be a separate post about the antique clock and barometer on the wall next to Tamara.)
How long have you worked here? Since December 3rd 2018
What’s your favourite item on the food menu? Waffles, but I don’t usually have breakfast at The Champs, I have oatmeal at home before I head to work, starting at 7am. I usually finish at 2 or 3pm.
How far away do you live? 25 mins walk mostly up the hill on the way, just behind IGA Supermarket in Picard. Of course after a day at work it’s a less tiring walk downhill to get home.
Where’s your favourite spot in Dominica? My home village is Cottage where I go and watch them play rounders, I used to play too but can’t really join in and practice because live here. Cottage is just north of Toucari Bay, so by public transport would take far too long to get to us on a regular basis reliably.
Cottage, just north of Toucari Bay (The Champs is just off the bottom of the map)
What are your hobbies? I make candies like ginger and peppermints and sell them at family and friend’s shop. I also make sorrel jam which is available at The Champs.
Breakfast and lunch breads are all made by Tamara as well as apple pie.
Stay tuned for more insights into our staff members!
The second part of this daytrip includes the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emerald Falls – but lets not forget from last week that after the hike to Salton Falls lunch is now in order.
Turn right out of Salton Falls and after about 2 minutes driving a straight road you will arrive at Pond Casse roundabout. You take the second exit/go straight across it and after about another 3 minutes you will see Zeb Zepis Bistro on your right.
Zeb Zepis Bistro
We’re big fans of this restaurant – a mixture of French and Creole influences; some really delicious and creative locally sourced food. Cash or local cheques only. Closed Mondays.
After lunch you can turn right out of the restaurant and head towards Emerald Falls; you will see a road that turns to your left and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emeralf Falls is after on your left, well signposted. But before you get there you will come across a vegetable and fruit stall on the left side of the road known as the Farmacy, the proprietor of which will no doubt introduce you to a fruit or vegetable you’ve never heard of.
Emerald Falls is part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. You can buy a one time entrance ticket for $14ECD or $5USD of pay for a week’s pass to many other sites on the island for $33ECD or about $12USD. The path is well paved and walks gently round and down to the beautiful pool and fall of about 50 feet/15 feet.
Emerald Falls and pool
The approach to Emerald Falls
There are a few curio shops at the entrance you may want to check out on your way out. You simply drive back the way you came to The Champs Hotel. We will be waiting to hear all about it. You may wish to stop at the beautiful Mero Beach on your way home if you have time and fancy another swim (you can swim in both Emerald and Salton pools), or just wait for a swim at our pool with a cocktail from the bar.
We can tell you about Mero beach in another blog sometime…
This will take up the majority of your day, so after a delicious breakfast at Hotel the Champs you can drive southbound following the coast past Coulbistrie and Mero and Layou. On the approach to Mahaut, not long after the Rubis petrol station you can turn uphill onto the Warner Road towards Pont Casse .
You will find Salton Waterfalls entrance on your right. If you get to the Pont Casse roundabout you’ve gone too far. This is a privately owned area and the entrance fee is $5EXD per person. You park at the car park at the top then follow a paved road downhill. You can hear the waterfalls from the first turning and the trail soon becomes unpaved and increasingly wild and ‘jungley’.
You will see an array of beautiful plants and flowers of course, and the path gets increasingly steep and sometimes a little slippery – you’ll need more than just flip flops.
The first falls you come to (lower down) is a double set….
Lower falls at Salton
You go back on yourself then up a much steeper path to your right (left when coming downhill)to reach the other waterfall which is much bigger and fall into a great pool for swimming in. Take great care when climbing in as there are slippery rocks
Upper waterfall at Salton
a little cold after a swim
Enjoy and relax ahead of the steep climb back up the hill towards the most delicious French Creole restaurant for lunch…. detailed in the next blog next week along with a few other tips!
Steep climb (the part shown is not rocky) but you should bring better shoes than flip flops
Many of our guests who stay on a Friday night enjoy an early morning walk to the Saturday market in Portsmouth.
You see rainbows regularly in Dominica
We wanted to illustrate what the journey is like. It was a slightly overcast day which made it cool at 7am and more chance for rainbows. There is lots to see en route.
We start with a short walk down the hill through Picard, then round the bend past a local supermarket called LA Enterprise. One can find more than just the essentials here as well as some fresh items – but better to wait to see all that at the market.
Cabrits National Park behind Caribbean sea to your left as you walk to the market
The road then bends around sharply to the right when you meet the Caribbean Sea.
From here you can see the Cabrits National Park in the distance, to your left while you continue to walk along the road adjacent to the Caribbean Sea.
You will cross the Indian River, looking up it your right (Caribbean sea to your left) . Tours up this river to see wildlife are very popular, often ending with a drink at a rum bar. Speak to us for how to book when you’re here.
The bridge crossing the Indian River
Flowers on the roadside
The Indian River
As you proceed further you will pass the bus stop to your left from where you can catch rides south and also Dee’s, a small shop where you will find souvenirs and groceries. You will no doubt find many people to talk to along he way.
Minibuses at Portsmouth T-Junction
Dee’s Mini Mart – Groceries and curios can be found here
You will have passed the NBD bank on your way (to your right) if you need cash, as early in the morning the one next to Dee’s is locked (see left photo green building)
You will soon arrive at the market… you definitely can’t miss it!
Approaching the heart of the market
The market is busy early in the morning, as farmers from all over the north come to sell their wares. Make sure to go to the back of the market by the waterfront to see the undercover area also (you may also see meat and fish available)
You will find it’s better to ask people before taking their photo.
Our kitchen uses fresh produce grown and caught locally from this market and other local sources. You will find that our menu changes daily in accordance with what is fresh and available.
the market is busy from early mornings
a variety of fresh produce locally grown
If there is anything particular you’re interested in trying do feel free to talk to us about it. We will make every effort to incorporate it into the menu during your stay. We hope that you will feel absorbed in island life and culture and take amazing memories home with you, and possibly even a few new recipes!
Bananas, plantain, avocado and pumpkin
The under cover part of the market