Local transport

You can’t go to the islands, and not test the local transport. Whether you call it a maxi, ZR, tuk tuk, share taxi or marshrutlca, the concept is the same, and the adventure no doubt, memorable.

I took a maxi one day and ventured to Portsmouth to get a closer look at that side of Dominica, I had passed through before but didn’t stop. Portsmouth is home to an international medical school and the infrastructure there is built to accommodate that and looks nothing like the rest of Dominica.

I saw a maxi going in the opposite direction, but the driver said he was going to town, so I got in. Next in was a gentlemen and a lady who sat up front next to the driver. As it was after morning rush, we were the only ones for the journey. In the 20 minutes it took to get to town, I learnt more about Dominica,  its people, the education system, the Government and who are the worst maxi drivers in Dominica, than I could read anywhere, from that one lady. You have to love local transport.

Roseau Market

Roseau Market

I spent some time milling around in Roseau before I got a maxi to Portsmouth. Not very difficult, someone always ready to point you in the right direction.  The journey was long, but it was very scenic and nice. I spent the day on Picard beach, had lunch nearby, and took a trip to Indian River (it was featured in Pirates of the Caribbean. On the way back, I got the same maxi I took from Roseau to go back.  I knew the next ride was going to the tricky one, as I did not get in the maxi from the main street, and apparently, not all of them venture into the neighbourhood I was staying in. As a traveller, you must always identify places to find your way back. I got into a maxi I was told was going that way, once seated I heard a lady speaking loudly in the back, and surprisingly she sounded familiar. When I turned around, it was the same lady from the morning trip. I sat back with a grin on my face, there was noway I was going to get lost today.

Picard Beach

Picard Beach

Indian River

Indian River

The next day I ventured out by maxi again, now I have taken local transport in different countries and continents, but the Dominican maxi drivers must be commended. I have never seen drivers drive over what appeared to be a small wooden slab across a river to take someone to their door steep. Taking into consideration, the creaking sound of the maxi most probably from the age of the vehicle, that ride couldn’t end sooner enough for me.

Botanical Gardens - Roseau

Botanical Gardens – Roseau

Travel on a budget Tip: Local transport saves you plenty money, and you get a chance to mingle with the locals.  If you are like me, you will always find something amusing on the journey as well.

 

 

 

 

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