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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.


My mom always told me “If you can’t say anything nice, it’s best to say nothing at all”. Following her advice, I won’t say much about Caribbean TV other than that it’s usually not the right cup of tea for American and UK expats. After a bit of experimentation, we believe we have found the best, most cost-effective solution. You need:

1.Internet access of at least 1MB/sec download speed. You can get that on phone-line ADSL nearly anywhere in Dominica from LIME (the telephone company) at EC$129.95 (US$48.50) per month. You’re required to take it with land-line phone service that you may never use. If you live in Roseau, Portsmouth or Marigot you can add MARPIN cable Internet to your cable TV service. I don’t know that price but believe it’s less.

2.A US or UK streaming private proxy server, available for US$20/month from www.trustedproxies.com. UK citizens must add15% VAT. A proxy allows you to download content as if you were in the US (or UK) – without the proxy, downloads are blocked because of digital rights management (DRM). The service will allow you enough data per month to watch 350 hours of HD movies or TV per month.

3.Netflix. For US$8/per month you can stream movies from the Netflix library. There is a Caribbean Netflix, but the movies are a library subset and all dubbed with Spanish audio.

4. A local cable TV provider. Of the two here, we prefer MARPIN (www.marpin2k4.com) based both on experience and the fact that only MARPIN gives you both HBO and Showtime and reliably PBS. MARPIN costs the equivalent of US$21/month.

5.Optionally, a way to get the content to your TV and stereo. We use an HDMI cable from the PC to TV and an audio cable from PC to stereo. Otherwise you must watch and listen on your PC screen and to your PC’s audio output.

6.Also optionally, a TV receiver card on your PC. That allows you to record TV content from MARPIN* that may conflict with your schedule (even while streaming something else), although often you can see recorded versions of popular programs by streaming them from the station Web sites or Netflix.

* But only from MARPIN, which brings everything to your TV on the cable. The other local TV provider cables into a box that outputs composite video to your TV. The PC’s TV card would need another box (and account with the provider), and that’s if the card accepts composite video and audio input.

That’s it. For only US$49/month (not counting high-speed Internet, which you’d probably get anyway) you get all the good movie channels and access to content you can stream from the Web sites of those channels and Netflix. And for music, you can stream any type you like and play it through your stereo.

We use the proxy server in the Firefox browser. You can also use it with Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) or Google Chrome to stream otherwise blocked content. We do other surfing and music streaming through our local Internet Service Provider by simply using either IE or Chrome. We like www.jazz.24.org for example.

I believe this is the model of the future for home entertainment. On the one hand, TV forces you to watch what the broadcaster wants to show when the broadcaster wants to show it, often with commercial interruptions, and in US or UK time, which may be inconvenient for those of us in Dominica on Atlantic Time. And one pays for lots of content one might never care to view.

On the other hand, streaming over the Internet lets us see only what we wish to, whenever we want it, and often without interruption (or the ability to fast-forward though commercials). We’ll take streaming any time. Last night we caught up with the PBS series Downton Abby, which the 2nd local TV provider caused us to miss because of problems it had presenting the PBS signal.

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Dominica is truly the nature island of the Caribbean. Famous for its exotic waterfalls; visitors will discover that Dominica is an arcadia of unspoiled nature.

Tropical forest coats two thirds of the island, which nourishes 1,200 plant species. Rivers, lakes, and streams.

Dominica is the type of island one can build memories that last a lifetime. A place where families can gather year after year to spend time together Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether it is a day exploring the Morn Trois Pitons National Park, or a day where you just want soak in one of the many natural Sulphur Spas.

Photo of a tour truck in DominicaPhoto by Clayton Florent

Creating fun-filled days in Dominica for you and your family is not hard to do; there is a so much to choose from. You can spend your days canyoning with Extreme Dominica tours, or go diving with the guys at Dive Dominica. Explore the island with Sheppee Fun Tour, Bumpiing Tours, or go off the beaten trail with Woody Dominica Day Tour….hiking, birdwatching, whale-watching,or snorkeling. Whatever is your desire, after all Dominica is all about Defying The Everyday Caribbean vacation.

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An image of Dominica's coastlinePhotos by Ken Bosma via flickr

Do you believe in paradise lost? Personally I do. People were not worthy everything God gave and them and thus they were punished and thrown away from the wonderful and magnificent Eden, the blessed land of God.

However, mankind was given the second chance. This chance is called Dominica, the land that may be the echo of paradise lost.

Dominica is the paradise found. It is one of the best possibilities to imagine what the real Eden looked like, as the island of the Caribbean definitely bears some resemblance with its prototype.

Dominica is a real treasure for those who like discoveries. It is one of the few places left undiscovered on our planet. It is the place that does not fail to astonish with its secrets and mysteries. Being not that large, Dominica has something to strike numerous travelers and tourists with: more than 360 rivers, dense rainforests and unknown mountains where man has never set foot. This one of the best islands in the Caribbean, though not as touristy as the other ones.

What distinguishes this god blesses piece of earth is that it is a very quiet and gentle place. There are no international airports there so there is no reason why a person should fail to notice the slightest movements of nature, beautiful landscapes, picturesque mountains and wonderful breathtaking waterfalls. Walking along the island you can found yourself back in time or even somewhere with no time at all. There is a reason to this feeling – the beautiful is not estimated by minutes or hours. It belongs to eternity. Dominica is the land where time moves very slowly and the Dominicans appreciate this very much.

Image of a Beautiful sunrise on the island of Dominica

Nature will never let bad people inhabit beautiful land. And the Dominicans are really worth the island they live on. They are generous, hospitable and very friendly. There is some respect in their souls and hearts. This is the respect to nature and to the land they live on for everything this land gives them. Their life is quiet and plain: they grow plenty of fruit and vegetables, go fishing and keep chickens. They are very resourceful and inventive people. They use all the possibilities their land gives them: the Dominicans brew their own beer, rum and grow unique species of coffee. The natural riches of the land allow Dominica to be of the world’s largest exporters of vegetables, fruit, coffee and sugar-cane.

There are a lot of beautiful places on Dominica worth visiting. Fort Shirley is one of them. It was recently restored. The project of the restoration was headed by a great man, a poet and a historian, a man, whose heart totally belongs to Dominica – Dr. Lennox Honeychurch. The Dominicans have a very interesting life. They organize numerous festivals. One of them is Dominica fish festival or the Titiwi festival at Layou. If you visit one of them you will have a great opportunity to taste Dominica fish and to enjoy creole cuisine – a tasty treat that is served with boiled breadfruit, hot sauces and delicious Kubuli beer. You will definitely like it!

A photo of Dominican fishing boats

Dominica is a wonderful place for everyone who comes there but especially for those who are tired of the speedy rhythm of life, who lose themselves in the asphalt jungle of megalopolises. People stop seeing the beauty of the world we live in.

Dominica differs greatly from the other islands of the Caribbean basin, such as Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. Dominica is not a usual holiday beach destination. There is no international airport there and it will probably never be built. There are no highways on the island. It is a perfect possibility to enjoy narrow streets and roads, spontaneous and unexpected switchbacks and numerous up and downs.

Once you see these landscapes, go through jungle or a rainforest you will never forget these feelings. But the most striking thing you are going to feel with your own skin is the ocean you have never seen. The coastline will strike your imagination and win your soul forever. This coastline will come to you in dreams and you will not be able to forget it even if you would ever want to.

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