Catching fresh fish in Dominica…

Catching fresh fish in Dominica…

On a quiet early saturdaymorning walk you might have the luck to catch a glimpseof some fishermen taking in their nets. Most generally, Dominica fishermen rely upon small boats ranging from hand crafted boats carved from a single tree trunk by the native KalinagoIndians to small row boats, to slightly larger boats powered by single, 40hp outboard motors or less. Dominica fishermenuse fish nets, fish pots, spears and go out in their boats for the bigger fish.

The smaller, man-powered boats are seen daily bobbing, most generally a quarter to half a mile from shore.Using hand lines, these fishermen seek anything that will take their bait from barracuda, garfish, wahoo,snapper and other. Other fishermen can be seen checking fish pots. They go out in the sea and drop the fish pot in the ocean to come back next day or a few days later to pick their catch, many times they findlobster in the pots.Lion Fish are hunted with spear fishing. Most of the time by divers or free divers. If you come for a dive holiday this will be one of the options for you to learn!

 

 

 

Close to shore, others  set and pull large nets to catch blue robinsand other hand-sized fish that swim close to shore in large shoals.What cannot be observed is those fishermen who have ventured 5 to 50+ miles off shore, in their single engine boats. They are seeking big fish,blue marlin and tuna.Leaving before daybreak, these brave men take their passions “out there.”You can buy fresh fish at the Fish market (where they will cut and clean it for you) or straight from the fishermen at the beach or the side of the street.We prefer to buy our fish from the fish market in Roseau where we pre-order and geta nice piece of fresh fishfor our guests!

No better treat then a fresh caughtseared tuna @ Hotel The Champs…

 

 

 

The Champs is ready for you!

The Champs is ready for you!

If things loosen up again, you don’t want to stay home anymore. You deserve a nice and relaxing break on our beautiful Nature Island!

We don’t know when you are allowed to stay with us yet, but you can pre-book your StayCation now and make sure you will be one of our first guests. Off course we will welcome you with all our heart and all precautions to both keep you safe and give you the best time.

 

We are continuously monitoring and following the changes in recommendations and guidelines of the local governments and the local health authorities in Dominica, to continue working towards providing the best service possible while safeguarding the safety of our guests and associates.

Hotel The Champs is ready to receive guests with these precautions. Our Hotel is currently being adapted for staff and guests alike, so that it is safe to take a few days off when things are loosening up again. In order to receive guests as safely as possible and to minimize the risk of contamination, the hotel has been examined. The working protocols have been revised so guests and staff can remain 6 feet apart. This new situation required some flexibility of management, employees and guests, together we can do this.

Specifically, the hotel, restaurant and pool area have been adapted in such a way that guests can stay 6 feet apart. Barrier tables have been created in the restaurant, so that there is always a table in between guests. In addition, breakfast and diner can be served on your own private terrace if you prefer. At our pool area we put a smaller amount of sunbeds so guest can still relax in the sun with enough distance from each other.

   

Off course we do everything we can to put our hygiene as optimal as possible. Extra disinfection of the most-frequently-touched areas like door handles, light switches and remote controls. Posters are used to point out guidelines recommended.

If you have any questions or you want to pre-book a room directly, please don’t hesitate to contact us by WhatsApp or Cell# +1 767 616-3001 We miss our beloved guests, so we hope to see you soon!

 

Fifty shades of green; Syndicate & Milton Falls

Fifty shades of green; Syndicate & Milton Falls

Nestled on the foothills of Dominica’s tallest mountain, Morne Diablotin, and close to the Picard River Gorge is the Syndicate Nature Trail. From hotel the Champs it is just a 10 minutes drive on the main road before you take the turnoff just before Dublanc into the mountains for another half an hour. The easy loop trail through the rainforest on the western slopes of Morne Diablotin is beloved by birders for the good chance of spotting Dominica’s endangered national bird, the Sisserou parrot, and its cousin, the Jaco parrot. The best spotting time is in the early morning and late afternoon. Also watch for hummingbirds and several dozen other feathered species. If you are a bird lover, we can also arrange special guided bird watching for you in this area.

Syndicate also has a diverse array of flora. It is a key location for research and educational purposes and has lovely view points along the walking path. Once on this trail there are incredible high, prehistoric-looking trees, beautiful varieties of textures and patterns. There are areas with large clearings and nice lookouts where you can experience how beautiful this ecosystem is.

 

   

 

After you hiked this nature trail, you start your way down again by car. On the way down you stop for the second hike to Milton Falls. The other name is Syndicate Falls, named after the area.

The trail to the fall starts where the Milton Falls signpost and a large mango tree are. At the beginning of the walk you wander through farm land. In them you can spot peppers, coffee, passionfruit, grapefruit, papayas etc.

 

 

 

Before the next part of the path you finally see a ‘gate’ and a little house which takes your $5 or $10EC donation for entering private land. After passing the final bit of farm land the path take you into thicker bush, high grasses, citrus trees dripping with moss and vines with mystery green fruit. You find yourself in a green valley surrounded by high peaks and flowing rivers. You make your way up rocky banks, crisscrossing the river, finally spotting the waterfall through the trees. It is absolutely stunning and a nice spot to take a swim and have lunch!

 

   

 

After some relaxing it is time to move forward. Another nice stop on your way down the main road is the Free up farm. Free Up Farm is a 7-acre farm where they have over 300 trees planted, an assortment of unique fruit and medicinals including Cacao, Mangosteen, Soursop, Moringa and Neem. The farm will serve as a demonstration site for the sustainability and profitability of permaculture and organic farming methods. The owners Aubrey and Lulu are more than willing to welcome you (www.freeupfarm.com)

After this food and veggie experience it’s time to go back; your cocktail at Hotel the Champs is waiting for you…..

History and nature combined in Cabrits National Park…

History and nature combined in Cabrits National Park…

Cabrits is the name of two steep block-like summits that are the remnants of a large collapsed volcano. Despite their elevation, the two Cabrits, West and East both provide fine views and they rise directly out of the ocean in a rather spectacular manner.

From Hotel the Champs it’s only a 20 minute ride to the entrance of the park which is located north of Portsmouth. Once you get to the park there is a $5 (US)/ $13 (EC) entrance fee. Turn right at the main entrance and you’ll take a path up to the trailheads. To the left and up the hill is Fort Shirley and the West Cabrits Trail. To the right is a trail that leads to the Commandant’s Quarters and the Douglas Bay Battery on the East Cabrits Trail. Both are well graded and only moderately steep.

 

   

 

Fort Shirley is a large 18th-century British garrison which once housed 600 soldiers. The Officer’s Quarters has undergone a major renovation. The Fort is now used for various functions such as Weddings, Receptions, Concerts and other events on the island. From here you have a gorgeous view of Prince Rupert Bay.

After a visit to Fort Shirley you can continue on one of the trails. You can walk them both easily in half a day and discover the old ruins covered in vines in this small jungle. Wildlife is abundant on the trails you can see many land crabs, hermit crabs, lizards, snakes, iguana and many birds. Although the area is heavily forested, this is probably one of the driest areas of Dominica. While the higher mountains to the east are bathed in almost perpetual cloud cover, often the Cabrits stay bright and sunny.

 

   

 

After your visit to the park you can decide to walk back to Hotel the Champs (if your legs are still fine) or to take a taxi ride. If you are going to walk you will pass Purple Turtle Beach, a nice sandy beach were you can take a swim or stop for a drink. After this relaxing break you will pass the small city of Portsmouth and will arrive at Hotel the Champs after another 30 minutes’ walk……

 

 

 

Let’s take a tour on the scenic Indian River

Let’s take a tour on the scenic Indian River

Dominica is known as the island of many rivers. The most beautiful one is certainly the Indian River, which became famous for filming movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean.

From Hotel the Champs it’s only a 10 minute ride or 30 minute walk to the bridge just south of Portmouth where experienced boatmen in hand-oared river boats will take you silently past many types of wild life and plant life along the swampy river bank. The 1½-hour return boat ride along this shady mangrove-lined river glides past buttressed bwa mang trees with a chance to spot egrets, crabs, iguanas, hummingbirds and if you are lucky even a flock of Jacko parrots.

 

  

 

The Indian River got its name because Kalinago (Carib Indian) lived along its banks and used it as an access route to the Caribbean Sea. The river was important to their livelihood as they used it to transport goods for trade with sailors and along the island chain.

 

   

 

After rowing for at least an hour you get to a pretty little bush bar where you get a lot of local, exotic rum punches, the most special one is the Dynamite. It’s a mix of sorrel and passion rum, the locals like it a lot!

From here you can make a nice walk through a small garden with different plants, flowers, fruits and if you are lucky some more wildlife. The guides can tell you a lot about the plants and for what medical reason they use it here on Dominica. If you walk long enough you will reach another bush bar for another Dynamite, but this is up to you….

 

  

 

After your walk and maybe a few drinks it is time to go back to the boat and step in and relax for your way back on the river…….

 

     

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