This week we will take you away from Hotel The Champs and the surroundings. Behind the Macoucherie rum factory you can hike a long way. The Macoucherie rum Factory is 24 km from The Champs direction Roseau. Just before the (new) bridge you go down to the left where you see a walking trail.
The first part of the trail is “flat”… well as “flat” as it can be in Dominica, nothing is flat in this beautiful nature island but the beginning of this trail is nice and as I call it “flat”. You will see parts of the river on your right hand side on your way up.
After about 1 hour walking the trail goes steep up. (sorry we did not reached that point on or walk) For more information about this walk / hike we will put you in contact with the owner of Tamarind Tree who can also organise a guide if you wish.
The river is nice and calm and very relaxing to look at.
In the next blog we will show you some of the fruits we found on our Macoucherie walk.
You don’t need a car, you don’t need a taxi if you like you can start walking from Hotel The Champs. You just walk direction Portsmouth an turn to your right at Borrow Square (“Bus station”) direction 1 mile / Calibishi. This will take you about 30 minutes.
When you turned to you right you keep following the road till you see a construction company on you right hand (you will see materials / cement trucks etc) here you turn to your right into the bush where you see a nice path to walk.
We had sun and rain on our early Sunday morning walk. The rain can be a nice refreshment. The walk is very easy and relaxing. After 25 minutes walking you reach the point where you see the signs of the Waitikubuli trail. We turned because we prefer short hikes on our Sunday mornings. But you can turn to your right at the signs (if you keep going straight it will be a dead ended road.
If you follow the road to your right you will go further up and will reach a nice view point. If you continue you will will end up at Ross Castle Estate in Picard where you will have to cross a (half broken) hanging bridge. Not too sure how long this will take it all depends if you are an experienced hiker.
On our short hike we enjoyed the view over Portsmouth and Cabrits National Park.
If you look well you can even see we had a rainbow on our way back.
Unlike many Caribbean islands, Dominica is blessed with several lakes, Freshwater Lake is the largest of Dominica’s four lakes. It is located at just over 2,500 ft above sea level and is the natural source of the Roseau River. The lake has been dammed to provide water to generate electricity. This body of water forms part of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the largest lake on the island, and the second deepest after nearby Boeri Lake. The lake and surrounding area can be mysteriously shrouded in mist or gleaming in full sunshine, often changing between these climates within minutes.
A hike along the Freshwater Lake Trail provides an opportunity to study Dominica’s higher forests. Montane forest, which can be recognized by its short, thin trees and open canopy, covers the majority of the area surrounding the lake. The shallow soils and strong winds do not permit the luxuriant growth that is so characteristic of the rain forest. The Freshwater Lake hike requires a steep climb but the views are worth it. It is a beautiful spot in which to cool off since it’s at a higher elevation.
You have to take your way towards the path by the hydro-electric building (to the right of the parking lot when facing the lake). A few minutes further along, you plant your feet on carefully constructed steps as you make your way to the top of the ridge on the eastern side of the lake. As you make your way along the ridge, you will admire the views of the lake, abundant wildflowers, birds, verdant precipices and the mighty Atlantic in the distance.
The circuitous groomed track around Freshwater Lake takes an hour on average, or a little more if you wish to admire the spectacular views and/or catch your breath!
You can combine this hike with a hike to Boeri Lake or a visit to Middleham Falls to enjoy your day in the nature to the fullest…..
Every year, from March to October, Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill sea turtles nest and hatch at Rosalie Bay. The endangered gentle giants can travel great distances, as far away as Canada, Europe and Africa, to Dominica to nest on our protected black sand beach.
To protect these creatures for future generations Dominica has founded the sea turtle conservation program. The program engages locals and guests in opportunities to help in the recovery of sea turtles on the island and throughout the Caribbean. Efforts include night patrol during nesting season, clean up on nesting beaches, education programs and data collection. Their trained guides tell you all about the turtles!
From witnessing a 1,000-pound Leatherback turtle crawling ashore to holding a hatchling that is smaller than a baby’s footprint, turtle season offers a vacation experience that is unforgettable and simply magical. We went to see the hatching this time…..
A magical moment is when the tiny hatchlings emerge from their nest for their initial journey to sea. Some nests hatch naturally, while others have a scheduled assisted release in the evening to increase their chances of survival. The odds are not in their favor –about 1,000 to one–as hungry predators and dehydration take their toll.
Rosalie Bay is about 1,5 hour drive from Hotel The Champs, but worth the stunning drive. This time there were as many as 32 small turtles finding their way to the ocean!
A nice walk in ‘the backyard of The Champs’ is to the viewpoint over looking the bay in Portsmouth and Cabrits. You can just start your walk at The Champs and walk up the hill, before the water tank you go left on a small trail. If you are lucky you can spot parrots here!
After about 10 minutes you will reach a gravel road, take this road up to the banana plantation. Each banana plant has one bunch of bananas covered in a blue plastic bag. The bunches are covered with plastic bags for three reasons: to provide a suitable microclimate for the bananas to ripen more quickly, to protect the bananas (at least to some degree) from insects and other pests and to prevent the bananas from being bruised when it is windy and leaves may brush against the bunch. If you are interested you can take a look at the shelter were they sort the banana’s before taken to the market.
Just before the shelter on your left hand side you’ll find a small path winding down through the banana plantation (marked Waitukubuli trail). This path will lead you to the Picard Bridge where you can go swimming in the river or just continue hiking along the trail. This is part of the Waitukubuli trail, which spans 115 miles across the island of Dominica and the Picard Bridge is just a tiny portion of it. The bridge is a little unstable, so be careful when crossing it.
You will follow your way up, some parts are quite steep, there are ropes to help you up. After about 45 minutes you will reach the viewpoint. There is a small shelter to enjoy the view or have a picknick break. From here you can just take the same route down and back to Hotel The Champs where we wait for you with a nice cold beer or cocktail……