Personal blog of Derek and Margaret, now living in Dominica, W.I., founders of Ozone Zone – an Independent Canadian book publisher specializing in coffee table books of architectural treasures and lush gardens. We also promote fine artistic photography. This blog contains unofficial reports and comments from our various trips, photo sessions and jobs – an unofficial scrapbook of our travels, explorations and photo-related work. See “about” for more.

Archive for the ‘aerial photography’ Category

Latest few weeks in Paradise – new video series

When filming Dominica’s most remote nature locations for last couple of years, little did I know that I will use this footage for my new Youtube nature series dedicated to all under lock-down, self-isolation, sick, overworked, and otherways affected by this virus pandemic. And yet, this seems to be the most perfect purpose for years of my work – to share it for free, spreading “good vibes” and sharing moments of relaxation we all badly need these days. After all – as we are under various movement restrictions – a virtual journey through the Nature Island is exactly what we may need!

While we both are safe in self-isolation high on hills of Dominica, it is easy to imagine the strain and desperation of all medical personel around the globe doing more than their best – often trying to make it up for their liders’ blunders. Therefore, this series is also for them – all medical staff working countless hours to bring help and relief to others, and also for all essential services’ workers.
I take my hat off to your efforts, and I hope that in a small, humble way I am able to bring you a moment of peace and relax.

This series started in a natural way as it also helped me put my mind at peace, and focus on things I love. I decided to create episodes about rich Dominica’s beauty, each highlighting a different aspect of it.

So, Dominica being an island and surrounded by blue waters just demanded to showcase its diverse coastal lines.

Next, I decided to show small things in nature. I don’t know about you, but I always prefer nature movies about tiny creatures rather than lions or tigers. So, this one is my take on small things and creatures.

I noticed that this episode has less favourable views with couple of “thumbs down” on Youtube. Whatever – I do it my way, from my footage, and with strong belief than nature would be incomplete without small, sometimes hard to notice things. I do hope you will like it, as I bring these small elements closer to your eye.

My third episode is more “epic” in style. Grand waterfalls, tall old trees, high cliffs – all things VERTICAL.  These are what Dominica is famous for, after all…

As I write this, next episode is just being finished. Give me two or three days, and enjoy Dominica in Bloom. It is not just about wild flowers, but also tropical flowers one can grow here – in a pefrect climate and on reach volcanic soil. It is not epic, I know. So, don’t be disappointed if you are after drama, wide drone shots and cinematic music. Flowers can give you a joy too. At least – they bring joy to me and margaret, who – as many of you know – is an experienced and keen gardener. And worry not – next  episode after this one will be again more “epic”!

So, if you want to see next episode, and a next after this one (coming soon!) –  I suggest you may want to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and get notified when my next flics are ready for viewing. And, while at my chennel, you can also see several new videos I created to share hiking epxerience in Dominica. These videos include such amazing places as Victoria Falls, Middleham Falls, and many more – also the famous Boiling Lake.


We do hope you will enjoy these videos, and thank you for watching. Subscribe not to miss any further episodes and clips. And feel free to SHARE this post and Youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbd8t2aqFAF2af0uqSl1BOA
– lets share moments of peace among our friends and strangers!
Happy Easter, stay safe and well!

Until next time!

Derek and Margaret

www.DerekGalon.com
@derekgalon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#volcano #caribbean #dominica #discoverdominica #rediscoverdominica #adventure #hiking #holidays #lakes #boiling lake #active volcano #drone #mavic 2 #derekgalon.com #exploration #west indies #landmarks #documentary #4K #covid-19 #relax #healing vibes #relaxation #peace of mind #nature

Boiling Lake, Dominica. My photography hike. PART 3

Written from a point of view of pro photographer/videographer in hope to give others some insight about shooting there.   PART 3

=======
Boiling Lake, DominicaIn just fifteen minutes or so, we at last arrived at the Boiling Lake. At first we could not see a thing. The whole place filled with hot, smelly and thick steam. I just heard strong sound of big water pumps working at maximum speed. Bubbling and hissing, huge amounts of water pushing out in the centre of the lake. With a sudden twist of wind, all became clear. Thick grey boiling water circulating in the lake at a crazy speed. I could only imagine enormous power stirring it all.

That’s no place for boiling eggs. It demanded respect. From a distance, we were watching it in silence. Then, I had to work again. The hot steam was so thick, like a wall. My drone got disoriented and gave me contradicting reports – it is landing in one second (with nothing to land on, except hot steam!), then an obstacle is on its path and drone can’t continue, then sensors just went all crazy. To fly close I had to disable all collision sensors, and only then I could fly through this thick, hot steam. But it was when I flew much higher, than I could really appreciate the whole scene.


A big opal-white hole full of splashing dark water and steam blending with nearby clouds. A strange looking, steaming hot river flowing down the hill from the lake, set between orange and white rocks. It is the White River, leading to the beautiful Victoria Falls, one of my most beloved spots in Dominica. The whole area does not have much green, I guess it is way too hot for that. Raw rocks, sulphur steam and white water fill the large area around the lake. Definitely a very unique experience, all together more than worth the long hike.

While my friends were resting, I tried to squeeze as much filming and photographing as only possible, knowing that soon we had to go back, to arrive in Laudat before darkness. And, we did. Having rather short time for return, I had no time to do any more filming or taking photos, not even for my lunch.

We went back rather quickly, and just as we approached back the Valley of Desolation, I realized suddenly that – without even five minutes to sit down and relax since early morning – I became a bit tired. Many hours of hiking in tough terrain, and work in-between took its tool. Just when I needed most energy, getting up the tricky and slippery path from the Valley – I had my senior moments. I ran out of steam. I just had to stop a few times, as I started to feel like I am really sixty-three old man on a tough hike. But my friends with their patience allowed me to relax for a few minutes here and there, and once out of the most difficult part, I recovered enough to continue in a better manner.

We arrived at the parking spot just before dark. What an amazing hike. Definitely longer and a bit tougher than most around here. But still within reach of most, and packed with beautiful moments and views. We are already planning to go back – this time with tent, to stay overnight and take early morning photos of the lake and surroundings. It will be my big treat. Another amazing hike. This is why I am here in Dominica, the beautiful Nature Island.

Boiling Lake, Dominica

Thank you for stopping by!
Parts 1 and 2 can be found on right side menu.
If you enjoyed this story, please see my other posts, and check me on YouTube channel.

Derek

Thank you to Nahjie from JustGoDominica.com for all assistance.

All photographs copyright Derek Galon.

#discoverdominica #dominica @derekGalon @JustGoDominica.com

 

 

Boiling Lake, Dominica. My photography hike. PART 2

Written from a point of view of pro photographer/videographer in hope to give others some insight about shooting there.   PART 2

 

Indeed, our path became narrower and went sharply down, exposing rocky hills of our mountain.

=======
Indeed, our path became narrower and went sharply down, exposing rocky hills of our mountain. A bit muddy, as it was – I was told we are really lucky that several dry days kept this place really tidy and less slippery than it often is. I had to watch my step, and Nahjie leading our group had to point me to the safest steps and stones. Still, even there we had to stop, unpack my camera, and – selecting proper lenses – I took another series of photos. Amazing deep red rocks, rugged terrain and deep green flora created yet another amazing view.

In Valley of Desolation

Soon after, passing another bend of our narrow and very exposed path, I noticed a remote and constant, unusual sound. A sort of deep hiss. A bit of a gargle too. Not really a stream, not wind – what is it? All became revealed to me after another bend. The Valley of Desolation! Deep under our path, it steamed with hot water splashing from under white volcanic rocks.


Quickly forgetting that I started to feel a bit tired, I followed Nahjie through some slippery and exposed boulders, and we descended to the valley.

Time for a break. At least for Nahjie and his friends. For me, it meant start of my real work. Unpacking equipment, photographing, filming, and flying my drone. Scenery indeed looked worthy my efforts – hot steam, hiss, splashes of boiling water – all around me. Remarkable intensity of nature’s powers.

Face painted with volcanic minerals like a native warrior, Nahjie demonstrated how useful these hot pools can be. A dozen minutes or so – and his lunch eggs were boiled hard. Delicious!

Face painted with volcanic minerals like a native warrior, Nahjie demonstrated how useful these hot pools can be. A dozen minutes or so – and his lunch eggs were boiled hard. Delicious!

Time flew fast, and we had to continue on our path. And just now – at least to me – the real wonders started to appear. While we had amazing views and the Valley definitely made strong impression on me, little gems started to appear now on our way to the Boiling Lake.


Colourful mineral pools with yellows, oranges and whiles, blended with the black of liquid carbon oozing through the surface. Like little pools of jewellery were greens of lush moss blended with emerald deposits of volcanic minerals in another pool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another spot brought to mind beautiful dwarfed world of Fairy Glen from the Skye Island in Scotland. A miniature waterfall splashing to a tiny pool below, full of opal-white volcanic water. Set in deep orange rocks and some greenery, it seemed a perfect place for a gathering of elves.

I just had to keep my cameras out of backpack, which proved tricky at some points as the hike here had its moments. Nothing drastic, but a bit more challenging and often requiring both hands.

But hey – “look back” – called Nahjie. I did. And – another surprise. A miniature wall of cracked rocky wall between two streams. It looked like a tiny miniature of Colorado mountains, but with a twist of the hot white water. Soooo cute!

To me, the biggest hike’s highlight was just that – these little gems between Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake. I would spend there a whole day photographing and filming. But – we had to push on.

 

third part of this story is coming very soon, check back for more.
Thank you for stopping by!

Derek

Thank you to Nahjie from JustGoDominica.com for all assistance.

All photographs copyright Derek Galon.

#discoverdominica #dominica @derekGalon @JustGoDominica.com
My new personal site DerekGalon.com

Boiling Lake, Dominica. My photography hike. PART 1

Written from a point of view of pro photographer/videographer in hope to give others some insight about shooting there.

Boiling Lake, Dominica. Second largest in the world after one in New Zeeland.

========
We started early, just after sunrise. The idea was to have plenty of time to stop on our way and take photos. Walking through the forest, four of us felt refreshed and happy. Subtle early light filtered through jungle’s canopy as we were leaving behind the Titou Gorge. We were on our way to the Boiling lake, perhaps the most famous, but also one of toughest hikes in Dominica.

On trail with my friends.

Nahjie, my friend and a legendary adventure guide from JustGoDominica.com, along with his two young and brisk colleagues, dictated the pace of our walk. As the hike is quite long, it is important to manage speed and energy, to have enough for safe return. As we approached the Breakfast River, I heard long song of a Thrush high in hills above us. How delightful – I didn’t hear these birds since the hurricane Maria! Clearly the mountains of Morne Trois Pitons National Park are doing well. Once we reached the horseshoe shaped top of the hill and had a look around from the narrow ridge, the magnificent view confirmed that forest is indeed doing well. Flickering river deep under our feet, lush trees and tree ferns all around us. Rich, deep greenery as long as you can see – up to the coast of the Caribbean sea.

It was a good idea to start early. The views were far too nice not to stop and take elaborate photographs. While I photographed and flew my drone, we were passed by two small group of French tourists speeding towards the Lake. Express teams, I thought. As for me, I much preferred to have time to look around, film and photograph than hurry to the destination. Day was unfolding beautifully, and wide vistas were simply breath-taking.

Roseau far and down below us, and endless green mountains at every angle.

After another hour or so, we arrived at the small plateau at the top of mountain. Surrounded by short, dense vegetation which seemed to be a cross between tropical and alpine, I had another chance to look around. The most amazing view I can remember. A 360 degree panorama, with Freshwater Lake area on one side, Roseau far and down below us, and endless green mountains at every angle.

Taking more photos, I couldn’t resist also shooting wide panoramas made of many overlapping images, in hope they will give the justice to these magnificent wide-open views. A first glimpse at the Boiling Lake far away on right side.

Taking more photos, I couldn’t resist also shooting wide panoramas made of many overlapping images, in hope they will give the justice to these magnificent wide-open views. Nahjie pointed me to one direction. “Can you see that cloud in the forest? – he asked. “It is the Boiling Lake and it’s steam”.
Ouch, while it looked intriguing, it also seemed to be quite far away, and meant only one thing – lots more of the hike ahead of us. And – as I was told – the easy part just finished now, with things getting a bit more tricky from now on.

Photographing landscape, about half-way (the easier half!) to the Boiling lake.

Second and third parts of this story are coming very soon, check back for more. Most interesting photos about to come!
Thank you for stopping by!

Derek

 

All photographs copyright Derek Galon.

#discoverdominica #dominica @derekGalon

 

Why Dominica

Old tree in Syndicate Forest.

View from our home

Caught in busy life of rebuilding our home damaged by hurricane Maria, landscaping our gardens, commercial photo and video projects here in Dominica and on neighbouring islands, dealing with our Permanent Residency status, and other everyday work, one may actually forget the core thing – WHY are we living in Dominica for the last 6 years?   Why HERE?

Having to cope with numerous everyday matters, we noticed we got tired and are falling into a daily routine.
However, couple of months ago, one of my projects for a friend from JustGoDominica.com required me to go to various nature places  of Dominica – and this gave me lots of joy forgotten in recent years. So, we decided to go both visiting the most beautiful locations we know, and to continue exploring new places.

Syndicate falls, Dominica

These once-a-week trips keep giving us more energy, inner peace, harmony and happiness. And we realized these gave us back the reason to be here!  While it did quietly slip away from our agenda – the main reason of living in Dominica is its beauty!

Syndicate Falls, Dominica

Beauty of nature, balance one can find here, less commercialization of our lives and living mostly outdoors-  this is why we decided to move here.

Detail in old forest.

Surely, we do have our everyday tasks to perform – but we promised ourselves to always try and keep some time to go around and experience Dominica’s nature every now and then.
Therefore we would like to share with you some of photographs taken on our latest hike.

We found our peace and happiness in Dominica, and never regret moving here.

Palm trees in bloom

But perhaps happiness can be found everywhere if we have time and will to see beauty around us, and find some moments to do and see things that are our passion and give us joy.

And, if you are like us and find thrill in experiencing daily living in nature and tropics – Dominica will be happy to see you, even for a short visit. The joy can be yours!

 

Syndicate Forest and National Park Info center. Dominica.

As for me – I am now charging batteries for our another trip!

Thank you for visiting our little blog. If you like what you see, please share with others.

Cheers, until next time!
Derek and Margaret
http://ArtPhotographyServices.com

All photos are copyrighted Derek Galon, please respect it. Thank you.

#Dominica  #DiscoverDominica
My wedding photogtophy website is
DerekGalonWeddingPhotography.com

The Deed Is Done

Our home after rebuilding. Acid stains visible on walls and floor.

Funny to remember we expected to have a slower life in Dominica, being tired with the speed and pressure of things in Canada. Here actually our life goes faster in many aspects! Well, all together it is more harmonious and peaceful – but so much things happen to us, we are badly short of time.

Anyway – the deed is done! Our house destroyed to the ground by hurricane is up, and we are in it already! About two years to the date – the process was slow, plagued by builder mistakes, and slowed further by various improvements to the structure.
Now we work overtime on decor, various fixes, and on landscape. Margaret is busy planting hundreds of plants she propagated in last years in anticipation of this moment. So, the place starts to look like our home, and we are quite happy with it.

Margaret applying acid stain

The concrete acid stain we used extensively on floors and walls added to unusual and warm look. It was great decision to go for it. We are totally relying on rain water, and it proves a reliable and comfortable solution, specially with the efficient solar water heater recently installed on our roof. The concrete roof itself is covered outside with special white sealer which also acts as sun heat barrier, and even on hottest days our home is cool inside.

Victoria Falls, Dominica

We are so focused on home work that we don’t feel like going anywhere, even for quick shopping. But we have to, as we have plenty of other work. Past months saw me working for a large nature film company (can’t talk about it until project is finished – so stay tuned to learn more about this later on!), filming series of short flicks for our friends at JustGoDominica.com and other such tasks. This work sent me to beautiful places such as Victoria and Middleham Falls, Wavine Cyrique, and I am soon to go other places.

Wavine Cyrique, an unique waterfall ending on a beach.

In the meantime we keep photographing and filming various real estate properties and hotels here, occasionally shooting on other Caribbean islands. Latest one a fine boutique resort in Grenada – was really fun to visit. Another trips (Barbados and Grenada) are on the plate.

Photo from my recent job, photographing Fort Young Hotel in Dominica, after extensive renovations.

We will try to keep you posted, although it is not always possible as finding a free moment is tricky these days. But we want to share with you more news and stories, so please stay tuned for more.
Until next time, cheers! And if you like this post, share it and subscribe!

Derek

PS
All photos by Derek Galon, please respect copyright.

Revisiting Papillote Gardens in Dominica

While life keeps us extremely busy with rebuilding our home after the hurricane Maria (we hope it will finish in about 2 months! Hurray!), we try to work on photography and video as much as we can. And there is lots of work to be done. Just recently our XL sized prints were placed on walls of S-Mart supermarket, adding a flavour of local nature to the store.

our prints on walls of S-Mart

 

Mounting my huge print inside Dominica International Airport

Soon after -in collaboration with #EliteEvents –  International Airport in Dominica had been decorated with even bigger size prints. We are working on a series of wall-decor nature prints available in several retail locations, and – same as these above projects – we do it in collaboration with the best printers in Dominica – Campbells.

Then, I had a creative photo-video session with a professional model and a friend – Nicole Morson. We worked together before. This time it was a horse-riding theme, courtesy of fantastic Brandy Manor Riding Center near Portsmouth.

I am now preparing for a short trip to Grenada, to do photography and video for promotion of a new luxury boutique resort – I should have more about it soon.

So, as you see – there is quite a b it of work we are tackling on top of our everyday lives.

Nicole Morson during our photo session

 

But during all these activities we also revisited the Papillote Gardens in Trafalgar – one of our most favourite Caribbean gardens. It is always  a pleasure to meet Anne, garden’s creator. She helped me filming several agouti feeding before sunset, and we were shown all recent changes and improvements.

During these visits we did what we always try to do – filmed and photographed, and Margaret had a short interview with Anne. The result is now available for you to see – a short video presenting Papillote Gardens. Have a look. We hope you will enjoy!

 

So, that is all for now, we will be in touch soon.

Don’t forget to like and share the post if you enjoyed it. All the best!
Derek and Margaret

Dominica Film Challenge

The last three months saw us crossing our island of Dominica back and forth, filming some amazing places. Now that all the work is already done we can sit down and tell you about it.

Margaret starting our drone in Scotts Head

For the last few years Dominica Tourism Authority (DDA) organizes Dominica Film Challenge to promote the island as a nature destination. So far it were teams of avid travellers from abroad who got invited to participate. But this year for the first time the concept changed, and only local Dominica filmmakers were invited to apply.

Nahjie securing our way in canyon

We offered ourselves to participate and were among the six teams selected to create a short movie on a given theme. Our theme was “hiking”, but we decided that we should expand over this theme, taking advantage of being both local and also foreign. I mean, yes – we live here for five years and know Dominica for much longer. But we also spent half of our life in Europe, then many years in Canada – travelling a lot – including various off-the-usual-path places, also in the Caribbean. That gives us a different perspective. We thought we could see what visitors may find most thrilling in Dominica, but also how the post-hurricane recovery and all the changes it caused may create an added attraction for them.

Margaret in the canyon

That gave Margaret a nice start to write her script, beginning with a short introduction of Dominica as a beautiful Nature Island, then reminding of last year’s hurricane and then going on a trip to re-discover Dominica and see the changes. We had some nice pre-hurricane footage and also documented Dominica soon after it. So, now we recorded recovering nature and visited some amazing locations, also filming short interviews with tourist guides.

Trafalgar Falls 6 months after hurricane

The trip we both remember as the most unusual was the canyoning with our friend and a fantastic guide from ExtremeDominica.com, Nahjie Laflouf, and his climbing partner, Junior. They brought us to a beautiful rock formation at the bottom of a canyon. Beautiful and amazing place to film. However, dragging the equipment through a rough path often changing to a vigorous stream, then through high river waters was not exactly easy for us, and without their help it simply would not happen! But the reward for this hike was amazing, and the footage shows it well.

on hiking trail over Freshwater Lake

Our favoutite locations such as Freshwater Lake or Trafalgar Falls were surely nice to revisit, but I also filmed in the bush, taking close-up shots of recovering nature and re-growing forest. The last on our list was a boat trip through the Indian River with “Fire”, a great guide we know for years. We found Indian River changed but really beautiful – as “Fire” said – we could see “a different kind of beauty” around us. We saw the nature bouncing back, a heart-warming assurance that soon it will regain its old glory.

Derek on boat with “Fire”

Being on boat with “Fire” is always great. Whenever we had visiting friends we made sure they go with him exploring Indian River nature reserve. But this time – although this is how he makes a living – when “Fire” heard we make a film to promote Dominica – he refused any payment for the trip. What a guy! Respect, man!

With all material in hand we spent quite a time editing it and crafting as a super-short movie.

We actually decided that requested length of 3 minutes did not have proper chance to tell our story the way we wanted – so we delivered… TWO movies! One is officially entered to the Dominica Film Challenge, and another one is a bonus. Two-for-one, well – you know – like a pizza. This version extended by two extra minutes shows more of nature recovery process which we find fascinating.

What really adds to our video is the voice-over. We were in luck to “discover” a great talent in the person of Kevin Francis who recorded Margaret’s narration in a single take, bringing out every flavour of this short text. Combined with fantastic music by our Polish friend, a guitarist Andrzej Chochol, it added a really immersive sound layer.

Indian River nature reserve

All work is done and delivered, now progressively launched by Discover Dominica along five other videos.

We surely hope you will this short film. We had a blast doing it, and thanks to it we visited places we did not see before. So, all is well. Now, click the link, have a look, and “like” and “share” the clip if you find it nice. Your clicks will help selecting the winning video!
Please use headphones if watching on a tablet or small laptop.
Dominica – Hike an Island Reborn

Enjoy!
Derek and Margaret

Please remember all photos are copyright Derek Galon and Ozone Zone Books. No usage without written authorization. Thank you.

#DominicaFilmChallenge,  #rediscoverDominica, #DiscoverDominica

 

Still Stranded – Hurricane Maria notes – part 3

Dutch Marines coming

In roofless kitchen every cupboard, every mug and plate is covered with dirt and shredded leaves. I am surprised to find that our tightly closed spice jars are half-full of water pumped in under enormous pressure.

It is hard to believe two weeks already passed since the hurricane Maria. We are still spending lots of time sorting our things drenched in muddy water. It takes hours to pull them out, dry them in the sun, clothing spread on branches of our broken mango tree. In the roofless kitchen every cupboard, every mug and plate is covered with dirt and shredded leaves. I am surprised to find that our tightly closed spice jars are half-full of water pumped in under enormous pressure. Nothing stayed dry.

Soaked, messed boxes of stuff ready for our moving – now ready for garbage bin.

destroyed chapel at Retreat House

I am opening soaked boxes only recently packed to move to our new home – now totally destroyed by hurricane. In a dry weather we burn wet packaging, discoloured moldy clothes, destroyed furniture. Our neighbours, the Retreat House, kindly offered us a dry room to store the few things we managed to salvage. We are at the retreat house unloading boxes when we hear loud engines of approaching helicopter – a large Dutch military craft. Two uniformed figures descend on a steel line. They came from St Maarten hit by hurricane Irma and can compare. Dominica was hit much stronger, they say. They are looking for a Dutch couple living nearby to check if they are OK. They left only to come back soon with food for all of us – cans of beans, juice and rice. We laugh saying it will make the most expensive dinner in our lives.

How this tiny stream could turn to the nasty river? All these rocks were brought by water, damaging all homes around…

We are tired of experiencing a waterfall in our living room with every rain, so we decide to call village rastas for help making a temporary roof cover. We hear there is one store in town selling metal galvanized sheets for roofing. We can’t possible go there – our road is still blocked. We decide to find all our old pieces of galvanage and patch them together.

Typical scene of destruction

Finding them is not easy – some are blown away as far as the bottom of the ravine. Dragging them through bushes is a daunting task. We gather wooden rafters and metal sheets scattered around the house and go searching. I found a good sheet of galvanage, but it is stuck on a tree. We are out of luck for this one. After two days of hard work the job is done. To celebrate it, we spend the first night since the hurricane in our own bed. What a luxury, comparing to three weeks spent in our car!

Margaret walks on main street of Soufriere…

Step by step with much effort, our lives slowly improve. We made our pizza oven work again and bake our European bread. We can’t deliver it yet to shops, but we simply share it with neighbours and people in our village. An old friend of ours shipped a new generator as a gift – this will surely make big difference. Another friend invited us to see page www.gofundme.com and do search for Derek Galon. She organized a donation fund to help us, with friends and total strangers chipping in! Some other friends sent us their individual donations. Each such thing feels like a miracle. Gestures like that not only help rebuild our lives, but also show us much needed support. We are full of gratitude and appreciation. And we feel even more motivated not to fail.

While path to Emerald Pool is now cleared, the waterfall looks like set in middle of forest clear-cut

Soon we will be able to drive again – a hired excavator is clearing the road. We are invited to a bbq chicken party at village’s roofless bar. Everybody share their hurricane stories. There is a strong sense of togetherness which makes it easier to face days ahead.

 

 Please subscribe to see more photos and read next part soon.
Thank you!
Margaret Gajek
www.ozonezonebooks.com
Derek Galon
www.ArtPhotographyServices.com

If you wish to help us in this difficult situation, you can do so by using link
www.paypal.me/DerekGalon
Thank you.

Please respect copyright of this story and photos. Contact us if you need to reuse this material.

Tags:  #hurricanemaria  #hurricane #maria #tropicalstorms #dominicastrong #dominica

 

Center of Roseau

what remained of our bedroom and new home. most belongings were later stolen

The Nature Island Still Rocks!

_DAG1505_6_7-Panorama-sm-sAbout a month passed since the tropical storm Erika lashed  Dominica, flash-flooding it with about 15 inches of rain in mere 10 hours of time. It was in the news around the world, so I won’t repeat the tragic ordeal we all experienced here. With the destruction and heavy losses, the whole country stood together working hard to patch the biggest wounds as soon as possible. Countless and  huge  landslides are in most part cleared, temporary bridges are being installed, whole villages keep working together on major cleanups. Both airports are reopened and the tourist season will start soon.  And guess what? Dominica is still as beautiful as ever!
[Group-0]-_DAG1259__DAG1271-13-images

We both were anxious to find out what happened with most popular and beautiful attractions, making the Dominica what it is – the “Nature Island of the Caribbean”. Weather became beautiful once again. We packed our photo and video gear, and went on hiking.  Trafalgar Falls – the iconic falls were easy to drive to, and we were impressed how quickly landslides were cleared off the long, winding road. The falls themselves changed a lot. Not only they are now devoid of much vegetation, exposing huge, bare boulders (some of which are freshly fallen, pushed by massive power of flooding waters), but also another surprising change occurred. _DAG1453_4_5-sm-sHidden for decades, hot sulfur springs running next to the taller waterfall were uncovered by the storm. So, now the waterfall is joined by picturesque hot springs, clearly visible thanks to their sulfur-stained, intense orange rocks. The milky water running down the spring mixes with fresh water of the waterfall in a small rocky pool, making it a delightful option for a nice, warmer bath.  We went up and close to both falls which was a bit tricky as we had to drag with us about 20 kilograms of photo gear, and it is not a typical hike but rather jumping and climbing between huge builders, constantly up and down. Our efforts were well rewarded by the beauty of the newly reshaped falls. To be so close to them, to hear hiss of falling water, feel the cool breeze of tiny droplets – it was quite magical experience. We photographed, filmed with drone and regular video camera, and enjoyed every minute of this blissful time. It was so good to see the falls in full glory, perhaps even more unique than before._DAG1475_6_7-sm-s

See them up and close as we did, simply play the HD video we are sharing with you. We hope you will enjoy!

Fantastic weather continued, and just couple of days later we decided to check the trail to Boeri Lake, and our favourite Freshwater Lake. Driving up the steep road to Laudat, once again we were impressed with amount of work done to clear dozens of huge landslides. Parts of the road damaged by floods are already being restored and fixed.

We arrived at the beginning of trail without problems, and started the one hour long hike to Boeri Lake. The views were breath-taking and hike was fun. In one spot we had to take hiking shoes off to cross a shallow  river, which added a flavour to our walk. The trail survived Erika really well and  the whole hike was really enjoyable. Arriving at the end of path, we looked in silence at the serene, small but amazing Boeri Lake. [Group-6]-_DAG1683_4_5__DAG1704_5_6-8-images-sm-s
It is the highest freshwater lake in Dominica, set in an old volcano crater at 850 meters above sea level. Air is cool and fresh here, lush greenery around  – pristine and unspoilt.  We were alone, enjoying the serene feel of the place. The weather was fantastic and lake full of vibrant green and blue colours. We were told most times it is misty and cloudy here, with lake looking mostly  black and eerie. Seemingly we were lucky to catch it on one of these clear, sunny days.  Looking closer we were surprised to realize that water level was clearly much higher than usually. Grass and smaller plants were visible some two feet under water, adding a green carpet to the shallow shore of the lake. _DAG1719_20_21-sm-s

As we descended back, we decided to stop at the nearby Freshwater Lake, which is in the same area and located just slightly lower. We were there just 6 weeks earlier, and saw it covered with low clouds, mist and fog. At this time, however, it looked sunny and happy, inviting for a quick, refreshing swim.  Never before we saw this place with no wind at all, so calm, fresh and still. I just had to fly our drone and film it.

Same as with Trafalgar Falls, we would like to share our hike with you and show you our short video clip. We hope you will enjoy!

These two trips awaken our appetites to see more. We plan to visit other places soon, filming and photographing them for you.
So, subscribe to our blog and be among the first to know our new posts. And if you like what you see – please SHARE with friends.
Until next time, cheers!

Derek and Margaret

Please note: all images/video are copyrighted, please respect our rights. no usage without authorization. Thank you!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: