Dream setting at Dominica’s Test debut

Roseau, Dominica As the propeller plane, carrying not more than 40 passengers, descends down upon the island of Dominica, you are almost expecting a few pterodactyls (the feathered dinosaurs) to fly past and probably even land alongside you. It is the closest you can get to experience a scene straight out of Jurassic Park. Lush mountainous rainforests surround the tiny island, renowned for its rivers and magical waterfalls on all sides, while also housing a variety of rare animal species. Only a few small country houses perched erratically on the hills provide any proof of human inhabitancy.

Though not as commercially developed as Trinidad & Tobago or tourist-friendly as Barbados, Dominica has its own charms hidden amidst its tropical rainforests. The immigration officer, however, doesn’t refrain from admitting that unlike other islands in the Caribbean, his country doesn’t boast of a wide range of beaches. In fact, compared to the pearl-white sands that is characteristic of this place, Dominica has black sand beaches, few and far in between.

“But this is the nature capital of the Caribbean. You want to be one with nature, this is the place for you,” he says sternly.

The trip from the Melville Hall International Airport, situated at the northern end, to the capital of Roseau is a two-hour bumpy road trip that covers the length and breadth of Dominica — not recommended for those prone to travel sickness. Only once in the city is human life noticed, a sizable population of the Carib Indians — the original inhabitants of the Caribbean — who stay and run businesses along the highlands.

The Windsor Cricket Stadium is the most impressive structure in Roseau. It seems a perfect setting for any form of sport and expect the terms ‘picturesque’ to figure prominently in its description over the coming days. Dominica is also prone to heavy rainfall, and if the players are looking forward to escaping the constant interruptions that spoilt an interesting Test match at the Kensington Oval, they might be in store for more of the same here. It has been raining constantly over the last few days, and may hinder the chances of the hosts levelling the series in the first ever Test to be played here.

‘This is Kubuli country’ is pasted all over the island. The Caribbean people are very possessive of their beer, and each island has its own brew to boast about. Trinidad has Carib, while Wadadli, Red Stripe and Banks are the beers you will find in Antigua,Jamaica and Barbados respectively. Locals here though insist that Kubuli ranks right at the top in its category. But hopefully, they will cherish it enough on the cricket ground more than in Barbados — where the party was constantly spoilt by the irritating rain.

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