Nicki Philbert

Nicki Philbert

Life in Dominica is too surreal to explain in one sentence. Sometimes I wonder what was so special about me, to be placed by the creator in real paradise. A place where I can explore, fully open to the lessons of pure existence. Why? What was so special about me and the other 70 000 humans who inhabit this bountiful land?

Others are born in grime covered cities blanketed by smog and entrapped in a systematic existence of false consciousness and hope, working for a big system designed to keep them small. But Dominica is not that. If anything, it is exactly opposite of that. This island is home; A fusion of water, earth and soil elements created with the users in mind properly balanced for our living.

We have a mandate to give back to her as she has given to us. Every day we use her and she lets us. For like a mother she nurtures her offspring. Showering us with torrents of living water and magic soil which brings forth sustenance. She cares for us and sadly, not all of us return care to her. Is it because we do not see the reality of our life and home? Is it because we are distracted by mass media? Is it because the people who govern want us to be distracted so that they can continue to benefit from this island unchallenged? Who knows?

Everyday her unique beauty demands our agape love like a woman too beautiful for only one man to covet. Like the queen of beauty she charms, awes and pulls us to her feet. So we bow. We lean into her presence and are caressed by her mountainous breast. Her aura bewilders even the strongest in mind.

Life here in this paradise suggests involvement in the elements. Her land, her water, her air, her vibe.  And with this in mind I’ve decided to take advantage of all that Dominica has to offer and if I have the right to, suggest that you do the same. I came up with a list of things that every Dominican should experience at least once, in order to gain the title of true Dominican and to gain a proper understanding and love  necessary to fuel the need for change and prosperity. So here goes!

 

The Boiling Lake Challenge

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Some time ago, Dominica held the title of having the second largest boiling lake in the WORLD. The first was Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand, but rumour has it that it has stopped boiling. So guess what? Our Boiling Lake is now the largest on this earth, making it a world wonder. People come from all over the world to visit the Boiling Lake ranging from 6 – 86 years of age. So why is it that the majority of Dominicans have never seen the lake? Is it that they don’t know it exists? Or that they don’t care for such things? Maybe they’d prefer crossing out a Nicki Minaj concert from their bucket list than visiting a world wonder? Again, who knows?

My first suggestion is to visit the boiling lake. It is a challenge though, I won’t lie. This hike is not for the faint of heart as it’s a 6 hour hike round trip and consists of  steep, jungle-like terrain, requiring a reasonable fitness level to make it all the  way around. The terrain here ranges from rain forest, to mountain ridge to the Valley of Desolation. Rightfully named, the valley of desolation lies at the base of Morne Watt and consists of white sulphuric rock, spewing hot gas at your feet, so you’d better be quick on them. This hot gas cools into warm water, forming pools alongside the trail, perfect for a dip. Oh, this place can also smell like rotten eggs. Think you can conquer this challenge?

 

Underwater Adventures

NIcki 2I don’t pride myself on my swimming skills. Actually, I’ve almost drowned many times due to my lack of aquatic coordination. However, I try my best. (I use a life vest/floatation device at times) But I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for missing out on the wonders of our ocean. That would be a crime so I get out there anyway.

Penetrating the blue with a simple snorkel introduces you to a whole new world of colour and forms dancing in the sway of the oceans waves. Animals, plants, life; All for our viewing. Please people, before you die snorkel at least once. Champagne reef is a good bet and those experienced divers out there would know many other breath-taking locations. Oh and while you’re at it, save some lives and kill a lion fish. Please!

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Canyoning

Nicki 4Many people don’t know that in crevices of mountains are what we call canyons; Majestic rock formations which welcome emerald water and tumbling falls. As a child, we would go down one of Laudat’s canyons called “Bassé Shien” and plunge into the cool pool of green water that lay ahead. This particular area is now host to one of the best adventures you can undertake on island – canyoning. The guys set you up in a harness and assist you down the beautiful waterfalls, rocks and ledges, through flowing water, under beams of glowing light. It may be a challenge and I must admit I was scared out of my mind when I did it. But the views and experience are more than worth it. So learn something new about your island and let Extreme Dominica show you the ropes through the canyon.

 

Secret Beach

Sshhhh, this beach is a secret. We don’t even think that God meant to have any man here on this wonder. This cosy little black sand beach, carved from the cliff which towers to theNicki 5 left, forms a beautiful cove looking into the Atlantic Ocean. But what’s the big secret? Well, Secret Beach has a waterfall cascading down the cliff, through its tar- coloured, iridescent sand and into the sea. Photographers, beware! This little slice of heaven is a must see. However, secrets are hard to find. This 30 minute trail starts off as an easy off-road walk but emerges into a steep, adventurous, climb down cliff side. You may have to free-climb down a rope or two to get there, but this secret is absolutely worth it.

 

Victoria Falls

I’ve never been there so I plan to visit sometime soon. I’ve heard that the Victoria Falls is the most voluminous fall on island with a rugged cascade of white foaming water which tends to be blue at times. This fall is said to be aweing because of the 500-600 feet rock walls which encompass the shallow pool that lies beneath. A 45 minute walk should get you there, and I’m sure, just like all other sites on this paradise, it will be more than worth it! Let me know if you have any other places to add to the list.