After spending another night in Roseau we made our way up to Portsmouth, yes dominica have a Portsmouth, where we spent the rest of our time in Dominica. In Portsmouth there isn’t a great deal to do apart from venture away into the hills to find waterfalls and hikes. One thing there is to do in Portsmouth is to take a trip down the Indian River.
The Indian River is named after the Carib Indians who once dominated the land, before European settlers arrived. A few indigenous Caribs still live in a small community in Dominica. You can’t just go up the river at your own pleasure, you have to be taken by a guide. Our guide was our boat boy, Bonty, who has been a guide in the local area for many years.
The river is lived by dense Mangroves and a few Palm Trees with all sorts of wildlife living amongst them. We saw Mud Crabs, Iguanas, Lizards and Herons, but we were told that there are fish that live in the river, and the further you go the higher the chance of seeing a couple of crocodiles.
The river was used a a set for Pirates Of The Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest, and is being used again for the filming of the upcoming POTC film. There are still a couple of props from the film dotted about. The main one being a witches house, but there are also many playing cards in the river bar and a Skeleton hanging from a tree.
The halfway point in our trip was at the Indian River Bar, set amongst the trees quite far up the river. We got off the boat, had a walk down a short path, then had a beer before heading back down the river. On our walk down the path we came to a wide area where you can walk down to the water. As we were looking around, taking pictures and what not, I noticed a small lizard scurrying along a fallen tree. As you do when you see something like that so close you try to take a picture, well I got some amazing pictures! The lizard didn’t flinch when I crept closer and closer towards it, I must have been only a couple of feet from it when I was taking pictures. The pictures I got of the lizard are probably my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken! Shortly after my little photoshoot with the lizard (I named him Larry) we headed back to the bar for our halfway beer.
On our way back down the river is when we saw most of the wildlife. Almost instantly after leaving the bar we saw an Iguana, precariously perched on a tiny branch above us, and at the same time we saw the first of 2 Herons. Not too long after that encounter we came across some Mud Crabs, I managed to get 2 great pictures of 2 separate crabs, one from a distance because no one else saw it, and the second we stopped next to and was hiding behind some low hanging branches ready to scuttle back into its hole. Again this is probably one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken.
Before we finished our tour we made a quick pit stop at the Witches House. There isn’t anything inside but the shell is still standing and incredible well built, not just a half effort facade. We took some funny pictures of Ann and Friso there, looking as if they’d just bought the place and were really proud of it.
Right at the very end of our tour was when we saw a Green Back Heron, this time though it was sat on a nice, thick, sturdy branch so had no chance of falling into the water below. I managed to snap a few pictures of it as we floated past, we didn’t stop.
That ended our tour of the Indian River, I would highly recommend it if you are visiting Dominica. Make sure you get a good guide and you’ll have an excellent time.
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