From Dominica to St. Maarten
by Dale James
(Boston, MA USA)
black sand Dominica
My very first trip to the Caribbean was about 20 years ago. The destination was Dominica and the reason for my visit was to see a dear friend and former business partner who lives there.
If you are unfamiliar with Dominica (NOT to be confused with the Dominican Republic), it lies between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The landscape is so mountainous on Dominica that they've never built a jet port so most all flights come in on small prop planes.
My first descent into Melville Hall made me a true believer in Neverland and the tale of Peter Pan. With all of the lush jungle and tropical coves I was sure I spotted Captain Hook's ship!
Being my first, Dominica remains one of my favorite islands. If you visit I suggest you try Springfield Estate on Imperial Road, midway between Canefield and Pond Casse.
This 200 acre estate was bequeathed to Clemson University. It is now a wildlife sanctuary and a center for environmental research and education.
The old plantation house, built over 150 years ago, offers guest rooms and meals that will provide an unbelievable colonial experience.
Over the years I've visited dozens of Caribbean islands, made St. Maarten my home, and have even designed a business dedicated to island memories: islandcharms.net.
Nori's reply: Dale, what a wonderful story. Once you discover the Caribbean, it certainly gets under your skin, doesn't it?
Dominica could not be more opposite to Anguilla... lush, mountainous and rainy compared to Anguilla's dry and flat land. Both, though, have their own brand of special magic.
Thanks very much for sharing your impressions of Dominica! And who knows? Since you now live in St. Maarten, only 6 miles from our home of Anguilla, we may one day pass by each other on Front Street and never know it!
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