Dominica 1: Dominica

Racing resumed the next morning with the team departing French Guadeloupe aboard a high speed ferry bound for the Commonwealth of Dominica.  Dominica is a small island nation, roughly half the size of Guadeloupe and with far fewer people and cars.  English is the official language, but many Dominicans are rasta types speaking Creole.  Many scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean have been filmed around the island.

I’m on a boat!

The team arrived at Roseau and after a delay through customs (island time processing speeds combined with fluid queues) commenced negotiating a taxi ride to the north of the island.  Ang was particularly aggressive in her negotiation and managed to get the team a ride that was half the original 100USD price quoted.

Soon they were heading up the coast in a minivan with other passenger Dominicans (“Wellcome to mi countray mon”) proudly pointing out the various points of interest along the drive.  Soon they arrived in the little hamlet of Calibishie where they were given directions to a swimming beach for an evening swim.

The team quickly set off back down the road asking directions along the way of the friendly rasta types until they arrived at the beach.  There they were along on the magic beach until Coral (a Welsh retiree) arrived and introduced herself.

Ang likes the beach

Later, the team had a few cocktails and chatted with an eccentric American, also retired and the friendly bar staff before they walked back along the dark road back to their honeymoon chalet.  They chatted to another friendly rasta type who was walking in the same direction and soon were back at their accommodation.  A private dinner set on the team balcony was soon followed by rest.

Waking before sunrise the next morning, the team headed to another nearby empty beach where they once again swam alone as the sun rose.  Ang loved this beach, but wished they had the time to go to the much talked about Batibu beach.

Dominican sunrise Dawn panorama
Looking for shells Looking east over the Caribbean

With the flight departure time fast approaching, they then collected their bags and transferred to the airport.  Exiting tax was paid in USD and Canadian dollars and customs was cleared as the officers watched cricket over the internet whilst they processed travellers.  With only a slight delay, the team flew first to Antigua and then on to Puerto Rico.

Arriving in Puerto Rico the team chatted with a friendly TSA customs official (who looked just like Lou Diamond Phillips) then met a nice Puerto Rican couple who showed the team which bus, train and bus to take to their hostel. This was not the most direct route from the airport (a taxi from the airport is much quicker), but both Simon and Ang enjoyed the company and journey through San Juan.

Arriving at the Posada San Fransciso, the team checked into the pit stop for this leg of the race and despite the time lost on the airport transfer, were the first to arrive.

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