Don’t Burn the Mona Lisa – Dominica

My blog titles make sense to only me people, let it go.

Let’s just hit and quit it, shall we?

Dominica is all rainforest. No, seriously, it was all freaking rainforest. Mountainous hills covered in lush green, more green than even Gaia expected. Seriously, when she looks at Dominica she thinks, well that’s getting a little out of hand, right there.

Actually, correction. Dominica is HALF rainforest. The other half of Dominica is Hairpin Deathways with Cliff Plummeting chasers. Holy shit this island is the source of all vomit in the world. You feel nauseous right now? It’s because of the nuclear power of Dominica’s mountain roadways. There is no straight road on the fucking island. The only straight route a person can take on Dominica is the one they take careening to their death off one of the thousand gaurdrail – less cliffs on the many mountain roadways.

Even the livestock are dangerous. You can tell he is about to charge in this picture, which is entirely my fault because I did my father’s perfect mooing impression and the cow thought I was asking him out, it was that good. I quickly redirected my attention at that point.

Now, I must be honest, outside of the fear of God that Dominica instilled in me, it was also one of the most beautiful places I had ever been. Despite that two foot deep trench that lines those terrifying roadways (giving you two ways to end up helpless on the side of the road. Dead at the bottom of a cliff, or stuck in a trench), and the roads so steep that our van stalled out and the driver had to back down the mountain in reverse til he came to a hairpin turn big enough to turn around on, it was truly a beautiful place. But yeah, I felt fucking safe as shit.

We went on a Carib Indian Pre-Columbus Historical tour and drove into the far reaches of space practically, climbing these mountains. I was looking forward to a working village, some handicrafts, a little gnosh, tribal style. I got a National Parks style tiki village with freshly squeezed passion fruit juice that has officially ruined me for all other juices. God that was fucking delicious.

The village was in the middle of nowhere, with pristine and unscathed views of the sea. Still, the tribal ladies were wearing embroidered polo shirts and jeans so I felt a little denied. We walked through the rainforest, which has its perks, mos def, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for. When she showed me a grand tiki hut and told me, “We use this for receptions and people can rent it for weddings,” I kinda threw up in my mouth a little.

The passion fruit juice washed it away nicely though.

Oh, and did you know the cashew nut is actually just the stem of a fruit?

It’s true. I met the cashew fruit, with its unroasted, raw stem hovering there, mocking the monocle clad Planters nut guy with its natural state. The lady informed us the cashew fruit was, indeed, edible. So we tried a bite.

Weirdest fucking thing I have ever tasted.

It assaults your mouth. Literally. It is exorbitantly juicy and has a mild nutty taste to its fruity deliciousness, but then a second and half passes. Why is that second and a half important, you ask? Because it is the last milliseconds of comfort you will feel before the juicy cashew fruit does a number on your taste buds. I have NO idea how this works, but the juicy as sam hell cashew fruit causes instantaneous dry mouth. I’m not kidding. It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie. It just feels unnatural.

This is me ogling my recent fruit escapades with scientific curiosity. The cashew fruit is a practical joke waiting to happen. If anyone knows what causes this, let me know. I theorized that it was the far opposite of a lemon or some such. As in, instead of being super sour and acidic it is the polar opposite; a base so foul that it assaults you orally. I have no clue though. Just theories.

No worries though, the fruit that followed completely negated all negative aspects of the Cashew fruit from memory.

Our tour guide explained to us that the island has more Mangos than they have the mouths to feed. They can’t get rid of the fucking things they have so many. They grow wild all across the island and in just a few weeks, a world’s worth of mangoes that are NOT being exported, will be rotting all over the island of Dominica. So, of course I asked if I could have one.

The tour guide took us to her home where her mother ran a small shop, sold my cohort a Kubuli beer and gave me a SACK of mangoes.

For free.

So, knowing I wouldn’t be able to bring them back onto the ship I started handing them out to fellow guide travelers as we sat to lunch. Eating Coconut pumpkin soup (Fucking Delicious!!) and Green Banana Salad (also fucking divine!) wasn’t enough Dominica for me. So I tore into this mango like a Pre-Columbus Carib Indian Cannibal (yeah, we heard they were cannibals. Not from the Carib Indian descendants, but from the guides on other islands. Interesting…).

That mango was the juiciest, most delicious load of epic I have ever encountered. I ate two and doled out the rest to my fellow tourees. That mango made me realize all I need is the money to BUY the house on an island, from there, necessities like food will totally be taken care of by the world’s failure to import these magical fruits. I will be a mango goddess, sitting by the pool gazing over my private beach with a mango in each hand and a permanent bib sewn into all of my clothing.

Delicious goo!

By the way, this is the black hummingbird that came to nestle in the trees near our hut as we dined on local cuisine. The eco-village where they served lunch also had River tubing, the other excursion I had been most interested in. I now know what I will be doing the next time I cruise. Not that the wedding reception tiki hut wasn’t lovely, it just wasn’t as historical as I was looking for. I learned a lesson after this tour (and one following it in St. Lucia) about historical tour cruise excursions. (I will share that lesson in the next post) Proudly, this was the last time I chose crowd over going alone and doing what I was more drawn to do. Once I made that first solo venture, this trip became life changing.

So, before I finish the tale of this arduous trek of an island, I leave you with why Dominica is worth getting off the boat and suffering the sound of people vomiting into their shopping bags as your van finally pulls back up to port. (Yes, that did happen.)

The views…

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