Dominica is all mountain. The villages crouch in the dips between the hills. Everything is green and savage like the set of Jurassic Park. We arrive via ferry at the port of Roseau, the capital of Dominica. We are here because Dominica is just one island over from Martinique. My main destination for this trip was Martinique. However, the plane tickets from San Francisco to Martinique were outrageously expensive. In my research, I discover that Martinique is connected to several islands by a ferry service, L’Express des Iles. I also discover that we can fly from San Francisco to St. Lucia for half the price of a ticket to Martinique. St. Lucia is just one island from Martinique and Dominica is one island over on the other side. We are island hopping via ferry. Each ferry trip is about an hour long and cost about $75.
To the average traveler, Dominica is a stop on a cruise ship. They stay on the safe confines of the ship, only to venture onto the island with a guided tour. For us, I want a more authentic experience. I have rented a house for us through VRBO. My first mistake is that I have not reserved the rental car in advance. Clara and her husband meet us at the ferry to help us find the house. Clara looks distressed when I tell her I have not yet rented a car. It is not as easy as I thought. Clara’s husband drives me to a garage in the outskirts of Roseau to find the owner of the rental car company who then meets us at the shop in another location. An hour later, I have a car and we head to our house.
Our house Villa Etoli is on the main road halfway between Scott’s Head and Soufrière. It has a large deck that overlooks the ocean. Within a few minutes of unpacking, we hear a knock at the door. I did not lock the gate leading to the door. I am a little worried because we are in the middle of two towns with no one around us. It is a young man with a very large fish. “Would you like to buy a fish. I just caught it.” Second mistake, I say “no thank you.” I assume that I can run to town and buy fish at the market. I soon discover that it is not that easy.