Tuesday, July 13, 2004

(Walking . . .)

Well, Monday I pretty much worked all day. We had a new guy sign on to replace Mihai, so both of them will be here all week. Mihai leaves on Sunday. His name is Jim, and he seems really nice. He's also a LOT more eager than Mihai to get off the ship, so I don't think that I will have any problem trading days and such with him.

Today I just decided to go for a walk by myself, but the opposite direction of last time. I wanted to walk along the water, for a lot of it there is a sea wall for when there are bad storms. The wall is perfect to walk on, in the distance you can see a cow. Everywhere in Dominica there are chickens and goats running around, and often (in the middle of nowhere) you will see livestock tied up. Today I saw two goats, two cows and a horse, all in different places.

I walked for around three and a half hours, so I actually got a long ways away from the ship. This is the last place that I could easily take a picture of the ship, if you look closely you can see that they are lowering two of the lifeboats. After this the road curved away from the boat.

I walked past one of the airports (there are two, but the other is on the other side of the island). I decided to stop in and check to see how much it was to charter a small plane, but the only charter place wasn't in. There were a couple of people flying out on a small shuttle plane, then I saw a couple of commercial planes come in. I find it a bit hard to believe that FedEx actually makes money when they fly into Dominica and delivers packages unless they charge an amazing amount, there can't be more than a couple a day.

I walked through several small towns, and ended up at Massacre. I believe that it is called this because a large number of natives were all killed there at one point. I passed a tanker, pumping fuel to the island. It is too big to get close to the island, so they float a long, flexible pipe from the ship to the shore (around 300 yards or so).

At one point, the road (which was always next to the water) went up a pretty steep hill. From the wall (which now was more a guardrail than a sea wall) it was nearly a vertical drop to the ocean, but there were still goats tied up on the slope, eating away. Occasionally there would be a path or even steps leading down to a shack on the water. There was one spot where there was a little bit of space beside the road before it dropped off, and the wall had notches out of it every couple of feet (like the top of a castle wall) and a small, wrought-iron gate. It turned out to be a cemetery. It looked like it had been there a while, and was very small. However, at least of the gravestones were put there in the past five years. Most of the headstones were just crosses (often wood and without names), as you can see one has sunken very far into the ground. I don't know if the ground has built up around it, or if the vegetation is just high in that spot. It was funny to see mere wooden crosses mixed with plots where the entire grave had been covered over with a large slab of granite or concrete (but all of these had small headstones).

Overall, it was a really nice walk. At one point there were kids on the rocks below, eating a needlefish that they had just caught. I passed fishermen on the side of the road selling their morning's catch, and very tiny bars. A number of shops (mostly bars) are about the size of a garden shed. The bartender stands behind a bar that is about 3 feet inside the door, with just enough room to sit and have shelves of bottles behind him. As I walked by one, the bartender inside assured me that he is the lead Soprano of the city (I haven't ever seen the Sopranos, so I don't know his name). :)

Nothing much, but I passed the road that takes you up to some falls I have been to. I am wondering now how far it is to walk there . . .