Day 5: Hiking To Syndicate Waterfall On Dominica
Exploring Ashore On Dominica: Syndicate Waterfall
The high mountains of Dominica attract clouds, creating frequent showers mixed with Caribbean sunshine. Dominica is known as the land of many rivers, but it could equally be known as the land of many rainbows (AND PLANTS!) Meet: The Syndicate Falls.
Travel websites say, ”To get to Syndicate Falls Trailhead, take a taxi 2.5 miles into the rain forest.” Note: That’s a very literal statement. Before you get out to the actual waterfall, you’ve got to TAKE A TAXI 2.5 MILES INTO A RAINFOREST. That’s half of the fun!
After my “I Love Plants” outburst, we headed to our next destination after hiking the Syndicate Trail: the Syndicate Waterfall.
Off-Roading To The Syndicate Falls Trailhead
We arrived at the quasi-trail head of Syndicate Falls, which looked like the entrance of a bush trail, and Slim took the van off the road, following the trail. Van off-roading, sweet!! And believe me when I say, this was jeep-status off-roading. Complete with potholes. Big jutting rocks, grass that came up to the hood of the hearty little van. It was one of those off road experiences where you steadily hold tension in your jaw, and your eyes stay slightly squinted like you’re watching someone who’s about to do a questionable stunt that may or may not result in a broken arm.
We started getting stuck at a spot with muddy rocks, Slim gunned it, and we progressed uphill, then there was a loud metal crunchy sound and some bumping around. We went about 10 meters further to level ground, and then Slim stopped the vehicle, opened his door and surveyed the vehicle.
He disappeared from sight, laying down under the vehicle to survey something. Stood up 20 seconds later, walked down the hill a bit, walked back up, cool and composed. Apparently, the crunchy metal sound was losing the spare tire while crawling up the terrain.
Cool As A Muthaf*&ing Cucumber
The best thing about this experience? Through the whole process, Slim’s smooth, steady demeanor did not change for an instant. Okay, there was about a 1.5 second instant. Upon standing after laying on the grass inspecting the belly of the van, Slim looked at his right shoulder, noticed a touch of dirt on his clean shirt, there were about 2 milliseconds of what seemed like an expression of annoyance on his face, he brushed off the debris, then immediately resumed his neutral demeanor. It was awesome.
We went a little further, arrived at the REAL trailhead entrance of Syndicate Falls, and started our trek. Again, we trekked through foliage Theophrastus would have rolled in his grave to experience, and traveled up a shallow riverbed. Slim pointed out some beautiful freshwater crabs. There’s debatably 18-19 species of freshwater and terrestrial crabs on Dominica. We passed Cinnamon trees, and alas, before us stood the towering 100-foot Syndicate Waterfall!
Walking up to the waterfall, we had multiple failed attempts of having Slim take our photo with my fancy ass camera (one of the biggest pitfalls of traveling with a fancy camera - unless someone owns a fancy ass camera themselves, no one can ever take your picture.)
We took a dip in the waterfall, splashed around, made some dumb GoPro videos underwater. Like the white girls we are, we made some COOL videos of me doing jump squats in slow motion on the rocks of the fall (Yeah, it was risky.) Slim, not being a white girl, observed these #StrangeThingsWhiteGirlsDo #ForTheGram #SoFullOfMyself #ImABigDeal #NowWatchMeDoJumpSquatsOnTheseRocks #BecauseThatsNormal, and after a bout of that we made our way back to the van.
We found another fantastic yellow freshwater crab (Great underwater GoPro action clip!), then we retrieved the aforementioned lost spare tire, shared more grapes and water with Slim, and made our way down the island back to the sound for lunch.
Sharing Grapes With A Grown Ass Man
On our way back from the Syndicate Waterfall, Slim stopped at a bend in the road, got out of the vehicle and went over to a waterfall, running slightly over the road to get a drink, splash some water on his face and freshen up. Show off. Just kidding. I realized he hiked the last two trails with us, we had water and grapes, and he didn’t. I quickly offered to share my water and grapes with him, and he accepted.
It was a bonding experience. And, I wanted to lean over and whisper, “How do you get your nails so long and white and strong? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!!!!!”
Alright not really about the nail growing secrets, but truly around the bonding experience. This small gesture of offering water and grapes to a grown ass man in another country (with glorious one-inch fingernails #stopit) seems so menial, but to me, rocked my world.