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

Archive for November, 2009


Our region appears to be one of those few places where politicians can normally get away with doing as little as possible for their constituents.

The politicians who are elected by the people seem to rarely find they have any need to ensure that they can give, at least, a good account of their stewardship as far as effectively taking care of the business of the people is concerned.

Instead, they become arrogant with power and making sure people know that they are in charge and that they do what they feel to be necessary for things to happen.

There is the school of thought that some people depend so much on politicians for small handouts that they would not and could not dare to demand more of the representatives.

If this is the case then our tiny nature isle is faced with very serious problems indeed. Until Dominicans understand what the role of the people elected to political office really is, and that they are in a position to demand better and more on their behalf.

Sadly, until such time, the development of the country in question will continue to lag dangerously behind others whose people have gotten a real grasp of good governance and are aspiring so to do.

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Roseau cruise ship berth

Like many of the islands in the region, Dominica has placed great emphasis on cruise tourism, while some have pumped more and more money into the sector hoping to see the arrivals continue to rise annually. This to them is a sign showing that the sector is experiencing regular growth, but is it?

It is not that I’m saying the cruise tourism industry is not vital and that the countries of the region should not keep their programme as fit as possible to capitalize. I believe, however, that the emphasis is a bit off balance especially when one looks at what goes into stay over visitors.

These are the visitors who stay and are more likely to spend much more than cruise visitors. But there seems to be no real sense of urgency in dealing with such a matter, and it seems like everyone is out for a quick buck during the cruise season.

The idea should be for tourism to have all its parts working in unison to create one well-oiled and smoothly running plant that offers much more than we have to give up in order to make the industry successful and not to the detriment of certain key elements of the country.

It’s obvious that we are not seeing the balance that would lead cruise visitors to return as stay over visitors and shouldn’t his be a set plan put together by tourism stakeholders for crying out loud?

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laplaine coastline

Editor’s note: This article was written by Leslie Long from limitemagazine.com – Your Online Guide to Lifestyles.

Yes, we love beaches. And there’s nothing like the warm turquoise waters and soft white sand of a blissful Caribbean beach. But if we like beaches, we’ve certainly done beaches. Probably many times. If you’re looking for something more exotic, but still warm and wonderful, think about Dominica.

Known as The Nature Island, it lies between The French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. What’s so nature-y? It has 365 rivers plus waterfalls, boiling lakes, pristine coral reefs and rainforests said to be among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world. Dominica is also at the forefront of eco-tourism so you can choose from nature tours, hikes, whale and dolphin watches and incredible bird watching. And although the beaches are mostly rocky, the diving and snorkeling are great.

What’s to eat before or after immersing yourself in all this natural beauty?

Ritual’s Coffee House has a surprisingly trendy atmosphere, considering its remoteness. Start the day here or stop in later for a slice of their beloved Amaretto Cheesecake. La Maison in the center of the main town Roseau – and serves surprisingly sophisticated fare. Mirage is the place for food as interesting as the island itself: a mix of North African, Mediterranean, Indian and South American.

Where to stay?

Dominica sites

The small hotels hugging the green hillsides are a welcome change from the typical sprawling island spots. Beau Rive Dominica is built into a hillside and has just ten rooms. All are beautiful and have ocean views. Best of all, prices start at $137 a night, breakfast included. With a roof bar, swimming pool, forest trail and gardens of citrus and spice, it’s dreamy and different – just like Dominica.

Although beaches here are few and far between, there are a couple and Calibishie Cove Hotel overlooks one. The hotel’s four rooms are private, pretty and feature free Internet access and complimentary use of a local cell. Local foods are on the menu, including tropical fruits and island beers. Even the soaps are made locally.

Here’s a great way to get in the mood to visit this decidedly different island. Take a look at the work of local artist Marie Frederick. With a range of prices, there’s something for all budgets. But the bright colors and island scenes make the island feel closer than ever. If you go to Dominica, be sure to stop at her studio.

For the most island-y place to stay, check out Marie’s Tree Cottage. This outdoor guest room with Frederick’s colorful paintings, romantic mosquito nets and a view of emerald hillsides could not be more authentic.

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