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Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.

Archive for July, 2007


Dominica is a small country, but distances within Dominica are greatly magnified by the ruggedness of the terrain and the consequent fact that Dominica’s roads must have many steep ascents and descents, twists, turns, and hairpin curves. Moreover, it is currently impossible to drive around the southern coast; although a new Northern Link Road provides connection and stunning vistas.

Because Dominica is reduced in effective size by these conditions, tourism is becoming regionalized. We have been exploring the northeast, near our home in Calibishie. There is a tourism council for the northeast and also one for the northeast region between Wesley (the first town west of Melville Hall Airport) on the east end and Bense (site of the Chaudière Plunge Pool) on the west end. Calibishie lies on the main coastal road midway between Wesley and Bense. This new tourism council and co-op is called the Calibishie Coast.

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And now the Calibishie Coast has proudly opened a brand new Tourist Information and Reception Center, where visitors to the region can obtain maps, brochures, books, and souvenirs, plus get friendly help with directions on how to get where you wish to go, find a place to eat or to stay (such as Melanese George’s Jireh Celestial Apartments at Point Baptiste, her sister Judith’s Apartment or Teddy Lawrence’s Veranda View and secure a guide if you wish).The crafts for sale are all locally made; there are none imported. You’re likely to find books by Lennox Honychurch, Dominica’s premier author and historian, too.

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The best part of Nature’s Isle, The Calibishie Coast of Dominica. Here you will find some of the smaller more intimate accommodation in Dominica. Don’t forget your camera for some of the best photo opportunities in the Caribbean

This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner

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Need a vacation but don’t want to stay around home town? Want to go somewhere warm and exotic, some place different? Want to fly but worried about the price of airfare? Sourcing the cheapest airfares around has been made easier with competition growing between travel agencies and as people are beginning realize that a Caribbean vacation is not that expensive. Airfare can be an obstacle to the best of vacation plans. With so many travel companies vying for your business, securing a cheaper airfare is at your advantage.

The airline companies set their airfare price, with travel agencies just a little higher than wholesale price. All advertised airfare; whether it’s online or over the phone does not contain any government taxes or duties so extra charges such as these will need to be added into your airfare budget.

Aside from the airline companies and travel agencies setting the price, there are many other factors, which can affect your airfare price. One of the most important factors that can influence price is the final destination. You will be surprise to know that it’s much cheaper to fly to certain Caribbean island and than others. Another factor can also influence the ticket price but not limited to:

  • The kind of airline class you opt for – do you want comfort? Then you are going pay more or you can just settle for economy class which is much cheaper.
  • The location of your seat – window or inside seat can also influence your airfare.
  • The time and day on which you want to trave. How near you book to your departure date – booking nearer to your departure date may boost your airfare big time. Especially if destination you’re traveling to is in high season, it’s always wise to book your flight in advance. Although there airlines which gives last minutes deals.
  • Whether your airfare is part of an all inclusive holiday package. More often than not for these all inclusive holiday packages, the airfare has been given with a massive discount as a contract between the hotel or resort, the airline and the travel agent.

Therefore, if you want to save money, you should explore the different airfare that fits within you budget. Search for a cheap airfare can be a difficult job, especially if you have no idea how to help minimize your airfare price. You can make use of the internet, as last minute deal websites are being developed and there are some great bargains, but be careful these last minute deals because they can end up leaving you behind.

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In a previous posting I wrote about a pretty little secluded Black Sand Beach where one could relax and/or take a refreshing dip. There are other black sand beaches in Dominica. We visited one located between Calibishie and Wesley. To get there, look for a footpath off the main road only about 50 yards past the defunct Club Dominique as you head towards Wesley. Go down the path, which bears to the right. It will take you about 3 minutes at most.

In the photos below I show the bay from the red cliffs above (a sailboat is moored there, and a stream is depositing silt into one end of the bay), a bank of this remarkable sand, and of my wife Ruth and our miniature schnauzer Ranger on a red rock at this beach – were I an artist, I’d title the shot “Red Rocks, Black, Sand, Grey Dog, White Woman”. 😀

I learned from a close Dominican friend and neighbor that one can separate the black sand from white sand (it is intermixed on many beaches) using a magnet. I tried the experiment, and she was absolutely correct.

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Iron is attracted by a magnet, but never occurs in its pure form in nature. It always occurs oxidized, in the form of rust in iron ore. That is why the ore must be chemically reduced in a blast furnace (and why – because its recovery is so complex – that the copper age preceded the Iron Age. But I digress). I thought some more, and realized that iron can become magnetized near the earth’s core by the earth’s magnetic field, and then expelled in lava and cooled into stone before hitting the air and thus being unable to oxidize.

That is what is called lodestone, the first magnets discovered by mankind. I did another experiment and indeed, the Dominican black sand will also attract itself to un-magnetized iron or steel (weakly). Dominica’s black sand is lodestone that has been ground up by the action of the sea. That also explains why it is so dense compared to whit sand, which is typically made up of far lighter elements than iron.

Unfortunately, this black sand beach is not quite so secluded, and thoughtless people have discarded rubbish on it. For that reason, we decided not to try the water, fearing we might step on broken glass or some other sharp or dangerous object. What a pity! This sand is talcum-powder fine and does not stick to you, wet or dry – just brush it right off. Cleaned up, this easy to reach site would make a potentially lucrative tourist attraction.

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