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


These days Dominica’s roads are jammed with vehicular traffic at all hours and it has become imperative that all the rules of the road are to be observed by all if traffic order is to be maintained and accidents.

Just last week there was a motorbike accident which claimed one young man life and left a young woman nursing serious injuries.

I can remember a time when bicycles had to be licensed, requiring lights, proper brakes, a bell and even a registration plate. In addition, cyclists were required to observe and adhere to the traffic laws and codes. But somewhere along the years all this went out the window and bicycle users seem to have no relevant laws as related to the Highway Code, and weave in and out of traffic, do not observe traffic laws and oft times behave as though they are untouchable.

My intention here is not to come down on cyclists but to point out that using the roadways whether as a pedestrian or operating a vehicle/bicycle, is a serious undertaking that requires the same responsibility. And it’s time the Traffic Department to crack down and ensure that the use of bicycles on the roadways is in regulated with all other forms of transport.

Until legal means are put in place with regards to operating a bicycle, then cyclists need to take responsibility for their actions and realise the trauma caused by their accidents.

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Editor’s note:This post was written by Jermaine, a contributor to the Antiguasunonline.com

GREAT READ AND SO TRUE!

I have a serious gripe with drivers who seem to think that the public roads are for their use only.

It can be very frustrating when you are trying to get to another location within a reasonably quick time and you come upon motorists who have pulled alongside each other and are having a casual conversation in the middle of the road.

Meanwhile, all the regular people behind them from both directions have to put on the brakes and wait until the selfish duo would have completed their chat and decide to move on. Then one would have the audacity to wave at you as though to suggest he is thankful that you gave him the opportunity to do his foolishness.

One of these days there is going to be someone who would be having a particularly difficult day and would not be in the mood for this kind of stupidity. And as much as I am hoping it never happens, that person might not be in full control on that day and might do something that will put him in trouble with the law.

I am not suggesting that he would be right to shout and scream and turn to some sort of violent behaviour but I am using this as a warning to motorists who do not take the time to think of the inconvenience they might be causing to others and the danger they might be putting themselves and others in. Most of the roads in this country are wide enough so that if both drivers pull aside and exchange messages. The flow of traffic will not be severely impeded. Further, there are many areas available for them to pull off and have a comfortable enough chat under trying circumstances.

Things can happen at odd times but we have to be careful what we do out of the lack of concern for others. Can you imagine that an ambulance with a sick person is somewhere to the back of the confusion waiting to get by? Maybe it is some businessman trying to get to an all important appointment in good time.

This highway selfishness must stop before somebody has to pay an extremely heavy price.

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View from the start of Chemin Letang Trail - Hike Fest 2009

View from the start of Chemin Letang Trail - Hike Fest 2009

Hike fest 2009 begun on Saturday may 2nd with a breathtaking hike through the historic Chemin Letang Trail, passing through the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, via the freshwater Lake and finished up at the International EcoFest at Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge.

Chemin Letang trail or lake road goes back to the days when Caribs use to track across the island. The trail was cut and improved during the colonial time, as it was the main route across Dominica by land, although many people and much produce went by sea instead.

The trail is mainly downhill, if you starting from the Freshwater Lake, and will take most hikers about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to complete. On a bright and sunny day you experience breathtaking views of the Atlantic surf in the distance, and exotic mountain views but besides that trail is mainly in the forest. On a rainy day, you experience very misty conditions, the rocks are extra slipper and a lot of mud.

I have too warn you, the trail runs at near cloud level cross the interior of the island – so there is a very strong chance of rainfall during the hike, I suggest that you extra precautions especially if you’re carrying with your “Nikon” digital cameras and cellphones – chances are water will get into them. Don’t do like me, unfortunately I had to learn the hard way. But all-in-all Chemin Letang trail is a great way to see first hand how the Carib Indians traveled across Dominica.

Whether or not I will hike the Chemin Letang Trail again – most definitely! But I just pray that it’s not raining next time. 😎

Here are some scenes from trail – starting from the Fresh Water Lake in Laudat:

View of the Fresh Water Lake - Hike Fest 2009

A view of the Fresh Water Lake - Hike Fest 2009

Mist over the Fresh Water Lake

Mist over the Fresh Water Lake - So exotic!

River running across the trail

River running across the trail

One of the many waterfalls on the chemin letang trail

One of the many waterfalls we encounted along the trail


The video above gives an idea how it’s like walking Chemin Letang Trail.

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