Day 5: Dominica's Indian River Tour AKA The Most Epic Guided Tour Ever
Exploring Ashore On Dominica: Indian River Tour AKA The Most Epic Guided Tour Ever
Dominica is a must-visit place while sailing through the Caribbean. An absolute gem, diverse in natural attractions as well as beautiful souled humans. After our lunch after the Syndicate Falls, we regrouped with our old friend, Titus; the 5:15 in the morning Pirate and took the most epic guided tour of our lives.
Right before he was about to pawn us off on another one of his buddies for the river tour, I requested Titus‘s presence as our Indian river tour guide, and he accepted.
He looked over at our almost river tour guide, said, “Hey, give me your oars,” jacked his friend’s oars, and then we ensued on the most epic guided tour of our lifetimes. Or of this trip anyway.
Exploring Dominica’s Indian River, With Titus, the 5:15 In The Morning Pirate
While gently rowing up up the river, according to Titus, we learned there are 108 varieties of ferns on Dominica, 8 parrot varieties, three or four exclusive to Dominica. There are 4 coconut tree varieties. We learned the rosary plants are what the capital of Dominica is named after, it’s also known as fake sugar cane. There are 12 varieties of crabs on the island, 8 can be eaten. Crabs hold breath underwater for two hours, it’s best to see them right after a rain, and people like to boil the small crabs and drink the water for nutrients. Mangroves are known as a blood tree because the sap turns red.
Looking back, we noticed a lot of his numerical facts about wildlife were divisible by 8, but he’s the bushman and what the bushman says, goes. I could give you dozens of other remarkable facts Titus shared, but you're just going to have to go do the tour yourself to experience just how awesome this island is.
Up the river, we arrived at this hidden oasis Garden bar where we drank shitty rum punch (making #3 for Laura’s shitty cocktail list.) I downed mine, Laura and Danny took a few sips and then watered the dirt.
“Are You In A Hurry?”: The Indian River Tour On Dominica
We reconnected with Titus, upon him receiving a certain green treat from a friend, we toured the gardens, and then he asked, “Are you guys in a hurry? What do you have planned the rest of the day?” To which we replied, “We’ve got all the time in the world,” and then the REAL TOUR BEGAN. He called his friend to go see his farm. We walked through the bush, and when I say bush, I mean BUSH. Stepping over logs, brush, all kinds of BUSH. We walked for probably half a mile on a nonexistent trail, a long enough distance where you start thinking, “What are the odds we’re being lured off into the bush to be potentially murdered?” We passed goats and dogs.
“Okkaayyy,” Titus would say in his soothing, beautiful deep Caribbean creole voice, gently easing the dogs (which I loved), and we arrived at his friend’s farm, where he proceeded to give us the most epic samples of local cinnamon bark, mango leaves, guava leaves, apparently some leaves that help with cramps, Greek oregano, lemon grass, starfruit, grapefruit, Thai basil.
Slap Dem Bones, Boy! Playing Dominos On Dominica During Our Indian River Tour
We walked up to the small village, went into another concrete make-shift bar where we met his farmer friend Leslie, thanked him for allowing us to tour his beautiful farm, and met a few other friends. There was a Dominoes table set up, so we ordered a couple Heinekens and Caribes, and I sat down at the table and “slapped dem bones!“ with Leslie, Titus, and their friends. To my own shock and awe, I won the first game, and needless to say, we were all impressed. We sat for a while visiting, then we resumed our bush walk, returning to the Indian River jungle bar, and resumed our river tour after our hour-long diversion off the beaten path. It was the coolest experience ever.
“Now, My Friends.”
This was the term of endearment Titus would use between spouting off facts around how the Caribbean Indians were from South America originally, and how Christopher Columbus settled Dominica on a Sunday, “Domingo” in Spanish, hence how Dominica got her name.
The rhythm and cadence in how Titus would speak, the thump of the oars rocking along the sides of the wood panga boat, and the sound as we’d move through the water with the sun in the early stages of setting, it was an ethereal moment in time and space. I couldn’t help but film and photograph Titus in all his glory. I’m always leery of busting out a camera and photographing people, for fear of taking them out of their natural, beautiful element. But I wanted to remember Titus. I wanted to document his cadence of speech. The pride in which he speaks.
I want a pocket-sized Titus to tell me stories when I go to bed at night.
The Real Treasure Of Dominica
Some scene in one of the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean is the Indian River's most recent claim to fame, but it offers so much more beauty and experience than some cheesy Hollywood reference.
Doing this tour is a real treat, for flora and fauna, yes, of course, but the real treasure of this land is guides like Titus. The people of Dominica, the pride they take in their island and the ease in which they take the time to light a J and continue telling you about their love and introduce you to their community, that, my friends, is the treasure of this natural marvel.