Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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North Side Portsmouth, Dominica, Monday, 04 January 2016 1:21pm

We had a relatively relaxed day today to recover from our hike yesterday. Our lodge arrange for a cute little rental 4x4 to be brought around in the morning. After a quick stop at the airport to pick up driving permits, we spent most of the day tooling around the north side of the island.

Adrienne checked off a lot of boxes today: first time driving on the wrong side, first time off-roading on the wrong side, learning to navigate the hairpin turns and blind curves, and how to signal instead of turning on the windshield wipers, and vice versa (they're on the other side of the wheel than in a left hand drive car).

We found a well-reviewed restaurant in Portsmouth, in the northwest, so we drove there. Unsurprisingly, it was closed for no apparent reason, so we had a shawarma instead. A nice change of pace from the island food we've been eating since we've been here.

We walked over to the local dive shop... or tried. Their website described signs that we were pretty sure should have been where we were looking, but we just couldn't find them. Finally, we went to where Foursquare (which is more consistently right than any other point-of-interest database I've found) said the dive operator was and asked at the cafe there. It turns out the signs were gone because the dive operation was permanently closed because the owner passed away last month (not diving-related).

We headed to the other local dive shop, which is in the Cabrits National Park, but it turned out to be closed on Mondays.

Heading back through Portsmouth, we stopped for a boat tour of the Indian River. It's a pretty trip in a rowboat, with the guide pointing out various plants (mangroves, coconut palms, wild sugar cane, ginger) and birds (moorhens, egrets, herons, and a kingfisher).