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Roseau, Dominica

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

10th November, 2014

The morning came after a steady night at sea; Guadeloupe was way over to port and ahead, almost out of sight, were the high mountains of Dominica partly shrouded by a covering of fair weather cumulus. As we closed the land, it became obvious as to why it is known as the ‘Nature island of the Caribbean’, it still has an intense unspoilt beauty with dense rain forest covering much of the towering slopes.

We berthed so close to the main street of Roseau it was almost possible to read the number plates of the taxis waiting to take our folks off on tour.  My wife and I however, took a relatively short journey of our own, through the busy narrow streets of the capital, full of school children who had just finished their lessons, and up along a twisting road climbing much higher towards the renown Trafalgar Falls. We stopped a little before though, at the Papillote Wilderness Retreat, a rather different little hotel set in its own tropical gardens and, one could say, far enough off the beaten track to make it rather special.

We sat in the small restaurant taking a light bite of Dachine Puffs washed down by a local Kubuli, looking out to the lush forest that seemed to cling precariously to the vertical sides of the surrounding mountain. Localised heavy rain showers passed over from time to time, and as they passed us the patio nearby was soon starting to steam. The sun reflected off the still falling water as it continued on its journey. Just outside could be seen the tops of the tropical garden which fell away amongst natural hot pools into the valley below. An Alsatian dog came up the steps and waited outside, not entering, and soon there followed an older lady holding a small pair of secateurs, who smiled and said ‘Hello’. She was Anne, the owner of the dog and the hotel, who was happy to tell me she had been in Dominica for fifty years, but had been brought up in New York. She had married a local man, fell in love also with the country and started what obviously became her life time’s work, and her legacy. It wasn’t difficult to imagine why she has stayed for so long.

Captain Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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