So, it turns out that driving on the left is not that hard, at least on an island without a ton of traffic (the narrow roads are a challenge).
Hiking up and down ravines for several hours to get to a waterfall–then hiking back trying to beat sunset in order not to kill oneself (on a trip the guide let slip that he’s never come back from without an injury–nice of you to tell us halfway through, guy)–is hard. It left me dead and a little cranky that the guide hadn’t let on how strenuous this was before (he had my parents, one of whom is in his eventies, trying it).
I made it, though, and took a bracing swim in the pool beneath the falls. I heard and saw shapes fluttering of what were later identified as Jako parrots, which are rare–maybe 2000 left on the island, and that’s the only place they exist in the world.
I swore that tomorrow I was going to let the guy show off his plant knowledge without my driving help tomorrow, but dammit if the guy didn’t find the magic words to get me out of bed at 4:30 AM. Sisserou. The other, even rarer parrot and national bird of Dominica.
Curse you, nature guy!
Interesting note–the most complicated driving I’d done was through a crime scene in the otherwise bucolic town of Canefield. There were police with cameras recording the scene and a funeral home pickup truck. No idea what the problem was, but it’s tarnished my image of Dominica as a peacable kingdom.