March 2012


“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.”  — Paul Dudley White

 Join us for Hike Fest 2012! Walk in the footsteps of the ancestors. Take this unique opportunity to experience the healing energies of Dominica’s natural areas.

Hiking is a traditional way of life in Dominica. Only 100 years ago these same trails were our main method of getting around. In those days if you were from Grandbay, Castle Bruce or La Plaine and you wanted to sell your eggs, milk, or fresh produce in Roseau market you carried it over the paths often during the night cause if you left at dawn you could not get there early enough.

The Carib Indians paved their major paths with stones, you will see an example of this on the first hike of the fest. I love the thoughts of tredding on the same stones as those amazing people, who were so closely attuned to nature and such great navigators.

The Maroons, freedom fighters from the days of slavery, mapped the whole island out in trails joining all their villages, at one place called Jaco Flats there was a pulley system built to get big loads down the mountainside. These freedom fighters knew their paths and forest so well, foreigners thought they appeared and disappeared in the forest at will.

To this day our school trips are often “Belle Marches”, a much healthier and environment friendly school trip with many educatonal opportunities.

The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association are an amazing example of what people can achieve working together to create a dream.

One part of the many ways DHTA promotes tourism here is their yearly Hike Fest.

As a visitor or resident this is a lovely opportunity to immerse in nature, explore the trails of Dominica and learn about the island while meeting a mix of people of many ages from Dominica and all over the world.

This year DHTA has partnered with the Waitukubuli National Trail, Discover Dominica Authority and various other Hiking Committees and Tourism Stakeholders to plan Hike Fest 2012.

This year’s itinerary:

Saturday May 05th

Waitikubuli National Trail Segment 5 (River Hike)

Pond Casse to Castle Bruce, ending at Castle Bruce playing field.

This trail nestled within the Morne Trois Pitons World Heritage Site traverses the Old Carib Trace – a Kalinago stone pathway that leads through the Emerald Pool and Fond Melle areas. It features the long standing contributions of our indigenous people, the struggles of a resilient people and the value of our forest and water resources.

Vegetation Type: Rain Forest, Cultivation & Coastal Forest

Distance: 12 km or 7.5 miles

Estimated Walking Time: 6 hrs

Climb: 533 miles or 1,750 ft

Type of Hike: Moderate, family hike

Areas of interest:

Old road (Carib trace)

Emerald Pool

Castle Bruce Swamp

Forest Station & Nursery

Neg Maron Headquarters

Savanne David

Castle Bruce Village

Jaco Cave

Morne Turner (Morne Neg Maron)

Creole Gardens

Spanny Falls (optional)

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Saturday May 19th

Segment 10 and part of 11 (Cross Country Hike)

Starting Colihaut Heights and ending in Picard, Portsmouth.

This trail traverses old and abandoned farm and estate roads, heavily forested areas and sections of the Northern Forest Preserve. It provides an excellent opportunity to sight the rare Jaco or Sisserou Parrots in their natural habitat. While walking this trail, one can learn about our farmers, about our many trees and listen to the merry sound of our birds. Morne Diablotin National Park is the most popular spot on island for bird watching. Maroons used this trail in the 19th Century!

Vegetation Type: Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest; Cultivated

Distance (km): 6.4

Estimated Walking time (hrs): 4

Type of hike: Easy hike, family hike

Climb: 610 metres or 2000 ft

Areas of interest:

Morne Diablotin

Secondary forest

Agricultural farming

Parrot habitat

Syndicate Nature Trail & Welcome Center (optional)

Lookout points

Morne Diablotin National Park

Rain forest

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Saturday May 26th Beach Hike

Eden by the Sea, Wesley to Londonderry, ending at Cabana Beach

This beach hike with dramatic views of the Atlantic Coastline will commence at Eden on the Sea in Wesley and will end at Cabana on the Londonderry beach.

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The health benefits of these hikes are amazing.

Walking in nature is a proven stress management technique; it releases hormones that fight depression and strengthens our bones and muscles. Hike for Health.

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I love to meet people, and these hikes are a great way to get to know other people who love nature and being active while exploring Dominica’s nature spots.

After each hike there will be a celebration in a nearby village where you can purchase food and drinks.

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Price:

EC$40 for 1 hike

Ec$ 70 for 2 hikes

EC$90 for 3 hikes (DHTA Members)

EC$100 for 3 hikes (Non-DHTA Members)

Price includes: Transportation, Water and a Hike Fest 2012 t-shirt!

Waitikubuli National Trail

Hike Fest on Facebook

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The stories of the benefits of GM are starting to fall apart …..

This corn touted on introduction as sure to lower the use of pesticides has lost it’s effectiveness and is causing the overuse of pesticides!

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/monsanto-corn-idUSL2E8E9ASB20120309