One of the great things about Dominica, if you donâ€™t feel like going to the beach (e.g Prince Rupert Bay or Batibou), you have the option to visit one off the 356 rivers on the island.
One of these is ChaudiÃ¨re, a deep mountain pool in a stream, reached on a trail from the village of Bense. The pool is deep enough to dive into safely from the highest rocks, and one can also enjoy the natural water slide. The water is so swift in the chute that one does not touch the smooth rock at all when sliding.
At ChaudiÃ¨re one can simply bask in the sun on the rocks and enjoy the rainforest canopy greenery and listen above the soothing sound of rushing water for birdcalls; you will occasionally hear â€“ and possibly see â€“ parrots. One can also bathe in the refreshing stream or pool â€“ the rocks at the edge of the pool even provide some convenient seats and footholds.
And, for the adventurous souls, thereâ€™s the opportunity to dive or jump into the pool from the high rocks or ride the water chute down into the pool. What fun that is! And how refreshing! The bubbles will massage you and rejuvenate and cool you.
ChaudiÃ¨re (Creole for “potâ€ pronounced â€œshow-doughâ€)
ChaudiÃ¨re Is Fun To Get To As Well
If you donâ€™t mind a moderate 15-minute walk from the well-marked parking spot, that is. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. Actually there are two trails: the old one â€“ which is quite steep, and a newer one that is easier although slightly longer, and the new one is the one that is marked. Youâ€™ll have many beautiful vistas over valleys at the start of the trail, and rainforest habitat with flowers, ferns, vanilla vines, etc. on the middle part, and some meadows near the trailâ€™s end just before you each the gorge and stream. You will have to step across some smaller streams and follow the sound of the water chute to get to the ChaudiÃ¨re pool itself.
Although you can get to ChaudiÃ¨re by taking a bus to Bense, youâ€™ll probably want to take a car. Even from the highest point in Bense, itâ€™s a fairly long walk to the parking spot at the trailhead. And, not all busses go up into Bense, and it would be a very long uphill trek from the Bense bus stop on the main road. Hereâ€™s how to get to the trailhead by car:
Coming from Portsmouth toward Melville Hall Airport along the main road, you will cross a bridge that has the well-marked Bense bus stop at the far end of the bridge. Thereâ€™s also a sign there about ChaudiÃ¨re. The main road takes a sharp left, but youâ€™ll turn right and head up into Bense. (If youâ€™re coming from the airport, you can also take the new concrete road into Bense; itâ€™s a left at an intersection sign on the main road).
Follow the road up to the highest point in Bense, which has a phone booth where the Bense road meets the new concrete road. There is one other road at that point, a track that heads along the ridgeline. Follow that track to the trailhead. Youâ€™ll know youâ€™re on the right path when you see an experimental farm sign on your left, which also indicates that youâ€™re halfway there. Fortunately, the part of the track that had been most unsettling to drive is now a nice concrete way.
I enjoyed jumping from the rocks!! I was told you can also ride the water chute but considered it to adventurous for me.