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One by one, our group of eight slipped into the cool rushing water of Dominica’s Dublanc River. Cool and invigorating, the water rushed by us like soft jets from a Jacuzzi.

After a 45-minute trek through Dominica’s tropical rainforest, thick with nance trees and muddy trails crisscrossed with numerous roots, we had arrived at what we thought would be a minor river crossing on the way to the next section of trail.

Deep, clear pools of water were interspersed with SUV-sized boulders in the 20-foot-wide river. Water rushed down the easy slope of the canyon, but not at breakneck speed. Just then, our guide Philippe exhorted us to get in the water and start “hiking” downstream. The hike would continue in the river for the next two miles!

Each hiker reveled in this startling new way to enjoy the island’s pristine beauty. Some were more reserved, but had curious permanent grins on their faces. Besides the cheerful noise of the group, the only sounds we heard for the next two hours were rushing water, birds exclaiming their curiosity and the occasional “glissant!” (slippery!) from Philippe.

After the wade, slip and slide experience downstream, we scaled the 30-foot river canyon wall via rope and primitive steps (glissant!) to reach the trail. Another 20-minute hike brought us back to our van and the early morning trailhead.

This excursion was part of a 7-day Norwegian Cruise Line vacation. NCL sails the waters of the Caribbean on a weekly basis from October to April.

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