Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Driving in Dominica

Driving in Dominica – my novice experience

Set the scene: left hand drive, hair-pin curves, up and down hills, narrow asphalt roads, no shoulder, ragged edges, huge pot holes, often ocean on one side, mountain on the other. Many pick up trucks, jeeps, heavy equipment travelling at break-neck speed around the S curves, other vehicles tail-gating. Sections of the route are under construction.

I drive a jeep along this route to Roseau. Near Roseau are jam-packed villages where only one car can move at a time, and everyone wants to GO. The entire population is on the street. If you stop to wait for the road to clear a little you will never get through, but somehow I do get through. I am cool as a cucumber, driving with confidence. When I finally get where I am going, I can’t get out of the car. My hands have become glued to the steering wheel and my knuckles are bloodless. I try to get out of the vehicle, but my whole body has seized up. What price COOL!!!!

One rarely hears of accidents, but about once a month someone is killed on the road - usually a young man on a motorcycle. I will, however, continue to drive. I know I will learn the pattern. I'd still like to have my own vehicle.

Driving around Portsmouth is the same but more friendly and easier.