EDITOR’S NOTE: Below English writer living in Dominica, Paul Crask, tells of his quest to find Amerindian petroglyphs in the north of the island.
I’ve long held the view, based on absolutely no facts nor evidence whatsoever, that Dominica must have more than just the one tiny little petroglyph that was discovered near the Resposoir Estate on the island’s north coast.
Must have, right ?
If you haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m talking about, sorry. This is an example of an Amerindian petroglyph (Mt Rich in Grenada).
No-one really understands the meaning of these rock carvings, nor what they represent, but most have been found on large boulders near water, usually rivers and river mouths close to the places these people would have had their settlements.
So today was the first day of what I expect to be a very long, drawn-out and potentially fruitless quest to discover something similar here on the nature island. My wife and I headed up to the L’Autre Bord River in the north east corner of Dominica, between Vielle Case and Pennville, where Amerindians are known to have been.
The first time I first came across this pretty babbling brook a couple of years ago when hiking and researching the new National Trail, I was absolutely convinced I’d discover something on one of the huge rocks and boulders between a little area of pasture land and the sea. So today I was very excited to be back here again with more time on my hands and an enthusiastic wife to help me search.
Here’s what the L’Autre Bord River valley looks like from above.
Here’s what it looks like at the bottom.
And here’s what it looks like in the river itself.
We made our way slowly and painstakingly down river, examining all the large rocks as closely as we could, looking for anything out of the ordinary. It’s both a dramatic and scenic little river, and I could almost picture Amerindians bathing, eating, and fishing for mullet and crayfish here.
After a while however, my imagination began to run riot, and I started to see faces in just about every natural scar and crevice I came across.
See what I mean ?
And what was this all about?
No idea. Do you ?
We searched all afternoon and, although there were so many awesome rocks and boulders and you could almost sense a discovery right around the next corner, we eventually arrived at the river mouth empty handed.
But we enjoyed a well-deserved picnic by a rather wild and beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Sorry. No petroglyphs to report. But we had a nice little adventure.
Paul Crask is the author of two Bradt Travel Guides and, from time to time, writes Caribbean travel and island life features for a handful of newspapers and magazines.
His blog can be found by clicking on the link below.