Make Trip to Cabrits National Park

Cabrits National Park on the northwest coast of the island to see Fort Shirley, one of the most important historical sites in Dominica. The Fort was once the headquarters and main defense post of the British Army Garrison on the Cabrits and is currently in the middle of a 6-year renovation project that began after more than 150 years of ruin. The renovation, funded by the European Union’s ecotourism development project, was led by historian and anthropologist Lennox Honychurch. Under his leadership, they completely rebuilt the Fort according to the original plans, including the classic Georgian architecture of the officers’ quarters.

Honychurch and Company completely restored the upper and lower batteries of the fort and placed 14 old guns along the city walls, facing Prince Rupert Bay. The guns include mortars of various sizes and types, Carronades, a 12-pounder gun and a larger 32-pounder gun. The historical site also includes a circuit that leads visitors to the main buildings – some of which were still reconstructed during our visit – including military barracks, exercise grounds, Douglas Bay Battery, the commander’s house and the ruins of an unusual octagonal house.

In addition to the fortress, the Cabrits National Park also offers a small informative historical museum, hiking trails through the dry forest of the Cabrits Peninsula, spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a marine reserve of 1053 hectares with the rich Douglas Bay coral reef, more than 100 species of fish, four different species of cetacean and three different species of dolphins.

After a few hours in the park, the Brutal midday sun took its toll, so we loaded into the car again and made the short drive to the nearby town of Portsmouth for lunch. Portsmouth was originally the capital of Dominica in 1760, but after the malaria epidemic that year, the capital was moved to Roseau, where it still is today. One of the things we don’t like about press trips is that they tend to eat a lot at resorts or fancy restaurants that are usually heavily influenced by American or European tastes. As loyal lovers of world culture, we are always looking for more local flavors, so we were grateful when Oris took us to lunch at this little cafe in Portsmouth.

By far our favorite activity of the day was a guided tour of the Indian River, a brackish water estuary that stretches from Portsmouth to the Morne Diablotins, the highest mountain in Dominica. As the area is a nature reserve, you will have to hire a guide to take you on a paddle boat to the river, as no motors are allowed. Anyone who knows me well would probably call me a “character”, which is probably Code for “crazy”.”

But I have nothing on our guide to The Indian River, a remarkably colorful figure known by the nickname James Bond. James, as he liked to say, received this nickname from no one but Johnny Depp, whom James liked to accompany along the river during filming and who then asked to drive with James every time afterwards. Although I can’t verify if The story is true, I have met Johnny Depp several times during my career as a journalist, and I can assure you that James Bond is definitely the kind of crazy Dynamo that Johnny would probably like to drink and laugh.

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