Thankfully, the rains held off for the five hours it took Zander and I to walk Dominica’s Wai’tukubuli National Trail Segment 3 from Bellevue Chopin to Wotten Waven via Giraudel, Morne Prosper, and the pretty River Clair. Zander has worked in agriculture most of his life and he has a wealth of knowledge. I was soon able to distinguish and identify a number of different trees, he talked in great detail about leaf spot disease, and how Dominica’s mangoes have a worm that is with the tree from seed (and therefore why they also can’t be exported). I discovered boa constrictors leave a distinctive scent (we picked it up twice) and I’ve now made up my mind about some of the trees I’ll plant as a wind break at Orange Field: “Cinnamon, grows fast and sells for ten dollars a pound, he grinned.” Good enough for me.
If you have my book, everything is still pretty accurate. Perhaps the only change is the bridge across the River Clair which wasn’t there when I wrote it. Do be careful about not going too far when you are walking down the paved vehicle track from Giraudel. Look out for the sign on the right, pointing into the bush and the descent into the River Clair valley. This turn-off now sits right in front of a new gate post. It looks like someone is making it very clear that to go any further down the road would be trespassing. This is a nice walk, moderately difficult (the descent into and ascent out of the River Clair valley are both steep and slippery), and full of great views. It’s a great hike for me too as it passes the end of the vehicle track that leads to Orange Field….