Officially, I’ve never been to Dominica. But I have seen Trafalgar Falls, been to the World Creole Music Festival, and walked the streets of Roseau.

Stern of boat, Dominica, Roseau
All aboard Camille F.F. !

October 26. 16:00 – Schoelcher

In all white, Camille F.F. looked regal and sophisticated as she glided toward us. Our 47-foot catamaran floated up to the pontoon in Schoelcher; rather than making a grand entrance, our skipper Victor tells us to hurry up and jump on. Thirteen people—three Americans, two Britons, one Canadian, one Dane, one Irishwoman and a Rastafarian group of five—scramble onto the catamaran. No one manages to embark elegantly. I can already tell this isn’t going to be the luxury travel I had seen on CSI: Miami…

October 27. 07:00 – International Waters

Waking to the smell of weed and the sounds of Sizzla, I was tired but unable to sleep more. I put on my bathing suit and dove into the sea hoping it would wake me up. Irie. After breakfast on the catamaran, Victor and Tom had to go to Customs and Immigration to declare the passengers and get their stamps. I, however, wouldn’t be declared. While they were trekking around Roseau barefoot to get souvenir stamps for the first-time visitors to Dominica, I worried Immigration would check the boat and prevent me from going to land.

No worries but also, no stamp marking my travels. Once they returned, Victor told me I was free to commit any crimes as there was no record of my presence in the country. Excellent. After a brief existential crisis (i.e. a girl arrives in Dominica, but no one knows she’s there—did she ever really arrive?) I got over myself and made my way to shore with two other assistants…

October 27. 16:00 – Roseau

After some good negotiating by Victor, we make our way by taxi to Trafalgar Falls. These two waterfalls with nearby hot springs just outside of Roseau attracts many tourists. A fee of $13.35 Eastern Caribbean awaits us at the entrance. After a short walk and a challenging climb up boulders, I was able to swim under the waterfall. Ice cold and powerful, this waterfall is a good introduction to the natural wonders of Dominica. Now it was time to relax. Another trek down the boulders and into the hot springs I went. A few minutes in the natural hot tub allowed me to unwind and relax my muscles after the rock climbing. Meanwhile, the sun was starting to set and my companions were preparing to leave. We left, deciding to cram 19 people into a taxi meant for 15…

Trafalgar falls, Dominica
Part of Trafalgar falls, Dominica

October 28. 02:00 – Windsor Park Sports Stadium

Tom and I ordered two rum and cokes. I noted the amber colour of the drink and surmised there was plenty more rum than coke. The bartender noticed my apprehension, “Not enough rum, or not enough coke?” A little bit of both, I said. He signalled to us to drink some out and he subsequently emptied the remaining rum into our little plastic cups. He added a dash more coke. They were still the same colour…

Tarrus Riley, World Creole Music Festival. Dominica
Tarrus Riley

We returned to the stage just in time for Tarrus Riley’s first song. You could feel the excitement in the crowd. I felt good listening to it and I remembered how much I enjoy this upbeat, romantic reggae style. Live from Jamaica, as he often reminded the crowd, Riley and his band (which included Dean Fraser, a well-known Jamaican saxophonist) were engaging and enjoyable entertainers. Having Tom (who is considerably more interested in music than I) to dance and enjoy the night with made it all the more memorable.

5 thoughts on “(Not) On Dominica – World Creole Music Festival”

Leave a Reply to Alyssa Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *