**23 March 2017**

A goal of ours for a considerable amount of time while cruising the Caribbean islands has been to explore the interior of Dominica with its lush green foliage, towering mountains and spectacular waterfalls.  This day would finally see us reach that goal.

Mr. Bean once again picked us all up at our boats, leaving our dinghies securely stowed on board, allowing us one less thing to worry about during the day. He dropped us off at the dock but didn’t follow.  Our guide for the day was to be the Sea Cat of Sea Cat Tours himself, Octavius Lugay.  Octavius has been a tour guide and friend to cruisers on Dominica for 25 years.  He knows many people on the island and many visitors.  He also knows the wondrous sights the island has to offer, the local fruits and vegetables that grow here, and has much to tell about the history and culture of the island. Oh yes, and he’s a bundle of energy.

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After winding up the steep roads into the mountains above Roseau, our first stop was the trailhead for Middleham Falls.  As it does quite a lot in the mountains of Dominica, it began to rain as we trekked off up through the dense forest.  Having suffered through some extremely muddy trails in the mountains of the Caribbean islands, I was very impressed by how well kept the trail was.  Log steps were well placed all along the trail making the climbing easier even with the persistent rains, and they even had “treads” cut cross-wise with a chain saw to keep them from getting slick and worn down with so many hikers.

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The forest is certainly old growth and with the considerable rainfall has likely seen few fires to burn out the underbrush.  When we finally arrived at the platform built to safely view the highest waterfall on the island I was impressed. Spectacular!

After a short stop along the road for a cool swim we headed on to lunch at a local restaurant, then on to Trafalgar Falls.  This set of falls, actually two waterfalls side by side called the Male and the Female, are visible from the road that snakes up through the mountains, but the real adventure came scaling over the rocks, expertly guided by Sea Cat, up through a pool of warm water and iron deposits that have painted the surrounding rocks shades of red and orange, and then on to the pool right under the Male waterfall itself.   A tough climb for those of us willing to risk it, but well worth the effort.

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Afterwards we wound our way down the mountain and pass some of the numerous natural hot springs that dot the island, then back into the town and to our respective boats for a well deserved sleep and a day of recovery.

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