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BUMPIING TOURS DOMINICA
BUMPIING TOURS DOMINICA
by Paula Hughes Court

We recently returned from a cruise to Dominica where we had the
good fortune to spend the day with Levi Baron, the owner of
Bumpiing Tours. My family absolutely loved Levi and considered his
tour to be one of the very best we've ever taken. Levi is a
sweetheart and goes out of his way to make sure everyone has a
good time on his tour.

Levi offers a variety of tours and hikes for cruise ship passengers
with most tours stopping at Titou Gorge, Trafalgar Falls and the
Sulfur Springs. Some of Levi's tours involve a great deal of
strenuous hiking so be sure to advise him of your physical ability
beforehand so he can personally point you to the best tour.

We opted for the
Roseau Valley Treasures Wet tour because we
wanted to see as much of Dominica as we could without hiking.
We've traveled to almost all of the Caribbean islands and found
Dominica to be the most beautiful and lush. Everywhere you look
there are gorgeous blooming plants, flowers and trees. Levi does a
great job of pointing out the various plants, many I've never seen
before such as almond, cashew and cocoa trees.

ROSEAU VALLEY TREASURES WET TOUR
Levi met us at the cruise ship dock around 7:30 where he quickly
sorted us into our various tours and loaded everyone into new vans.
Our van held about ten passengers, most of whom had read about
his tours on the Cruise Critic message board.

Be forewarned, the roads of Dominica are very curvy with  steep
dropouts on the sides. Several times the road goes to one lane so
this is one island I would recommend not renting a car. It took a few
minutes for us all to realize Levi was a safe and careful driver. Until
then we squeezed each other's hands and squealed every time we
dared to look at the side window.

TITOU GORGE DOMINICA
Our first stop was Titou Gorge, my primary reason for booking this
particular tour. The air was chilly at Titou Gorge at 8:30 a.m., even
in Dominica. Levi warned us about the cold 60 degree temperature
of the water, but after much discussion only one person backed out.
We all decided the experience of swimming through the gorge would
be worth suffering through the cold for a few minutes and it was.
Levi provided swim vests for everyone so after buckling up we
eased one by one into the frigid water. After making sure everyone
was in, Levi dove head first off the side of the cliff.

He led our group into the gorge, which was bascially a cave with a
river running through it. The gorge was used in several scenes in
the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. To keep my teenager daughter
moving through the cold water, I kept reminding her that if Johnny
Depp could do it, we could too.

The water was only chest deep most of the way and was much
shallower in spots. Levi kept a close eye on everybody and brought
along extra flotation devices for anyone who needed them. The
current picked up as we neared the waterfall and it was fun trying to
swim through the bubbles to get closer. Due to the heavy rains, no
one in our group was able to get close though everyone tried.

Swimming through Titou Gorge was great fun and one of those
lifetime experiences we'll always remember. After drying off and
loading back into the van, we headed over to Trafalgar Falls. The
charge to use the restroom here is $1 so be sure to bring along
some cash. On a positive note, the restrooms are clean so it's worth
the money for the convenience. At this point we were reminded
Dominica is a rainforest because it began pouring. I recommend
bringing along a poncho if you don't want to get wet. We were all wet
anyway so a few raindrops didn't make a difference at this point.

There is a short hike to the lookout point where you can wait under
a pavilion if you don't want to go down to the natural hot springs for
a soak. This is also the best spot to take photos of the falls.

After taking photos, we walked a few feet down the steep trail to the
natural hot springs. It felt great to soak in the hot water after
swimming in the cold gorge. Be careful about soaking too long
though, especially if you've been drinking. It's easy to become
dehydrated very quickly. We felt privileged to be with Levi when
other tour groups walked by with guides telling them there wasn't
time to stop and soak.

SULFUR SPRINGS, BOTANICAL GARDENS, MORNE BRUCE
After Trafalgar Falls, we made a short stop at the Sulfur Springs
then drove through the Botanical Gardens. After that we headed up
to a lookout point, Morne Bruce, for a stunning view of the city and
cruise ships. There are several stands set up here selling
inexpensive souvenirs if you want to bring something back from
Dominica.

Our original intentions were to continue on with the tour and snorkel
at Champagne Reef but my daughter was feeling fatigued so we
called it a day. The duration of the tour at this point was 6 hours, the
Champagne Reef stop adds another 1 1/2 hours to the tour for an
extra $7 dollars. I've heard this a fabulous snorkel spot so I hope to
do this next time in Dominica. Levi drove back to the cruise terminal
and let off those of us who didn't want to snorkel. I heard later the
others had a wonderful time at Champagne Reef. I'm sorry to miss it.

Levi kept us supplied the whole day with a cooler full of unlimited
fruit juices, soft drinks and local beer. I suggest bringing along a
snack of some kind such as crackers or even muffins from the
breakfast buffet. Swimming in the gorge and soaking in the hot
springs drains your energy more than you think so you'll need the
nourishment.

I give Levi Baron of Bumpiing Tours a very high rating for this tour. I
wish all of the Caribbean tour operators could be as professional,
prompt and courteous as he is.

The Roseau Valley Treasures Tour Wet costs $47 including the
snorkel stop at Champagne Reef. The cost is $40 without this
additional stop. Children 13 and under pay $37 and $30.

You can reach Levi at Bumpiing Tours at
www.bumpiingtours.com
BUMPING TOURS DOMINICA
TRAFALGAR FALLS DOMINICA
LEVI BARON BUMPIING TOURS
TRAFALGAR FALLS DOMINICA
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PHOTO TAKEN ON
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