All of our friends had told us how difficult the Wavine Cyrique hike is on Dominica. Over dinner, one of our friends, eyes wide, told us how she’d cried all the way down the hike because she thought she was going to die.
We had to try this challenge.
Wavine Cyrique is basically a cliff that drops off into the sea. To do the hike, you walk for about 10 minutes through jungle to the cliff’s edge. Then begins the challenge – climbing down the cliff.
Nicodemus, the local who lives in a shack at the top of the trail, told us that the only people who used to climb down the cliff were fishermen like himself trying to get to their boats.
Over the years the hike has become popular with sight-seers and now Nicodemus maintains it so tourists like ourselves can have the ‘joy’ (fear) of scalling the cliff for ourselves.
Nicodemus and his mates have hooked up ropes and wooden ladders down the cliff face which makes the descent easier. And he’s proud to say that no one has ever injured themselves getting down to the beach.
However, there’s no escaping the fact that there’s a drop of 80 feet to the rocky base of the cliff below. But if you were to slip, your fall would probably be slowed by the numerous tree branches sticking out of the wall – you’re most likely to hit each one of the way down.
Ironically, these tree branches and roots were actually a life-saver for me, as I found using them as foot and hand holds was actually easier than the ropes and other man made aids.
Nonetheless, it’s a terrifying hike but luckily Dave and I managed to keep it together enough to get to the bottom.
Once we were there, a quick walk to the left and around the curve of the cliff line and you come to a little bay.
Unfortunately the tide was in a little but that didn’t take away from the view of the spectacular waterfall coming out of the cliff and onto the beach below.
The only drawback was that there was a lot of rubbish strewn along the beach, somewhat jarring with the image of paradise.
Nonetheless, we were the only people on the beach, making it a perfect place to relax for an hour.
After our climb back up the cliff we were hot and sweaty again so we drove to the hidden Twa Basens for a refreshing dip to cool off.
It was a frightening hike, but not as scary as when Dave nearly broke his back when we were hiking in Oregon – I don’t think anything could ever top that!
What’s the scariest hike you’ve ever done?
What you need to know:
Cost: It’s free to do hike Wavine Cyrique and to visit Twa Basens.
When to go: Check the tide times for Wavine Cyrique because it’s best to go at low tide as you’ll get more of the shore to relax on. At high tide the waterfall will go into the water rather than onto the sand – it’s somewhat more impressive when it goes onto the sand.
How to get there: For Wavine Cyrique, follow the road south from Roasalie. On the main road there is a sign for the village of Rivere Cyrique. Follow this road and on the left hand side you’ll see a sign pointing to Wavine Cyrique.
Drive up the road, which is amongst houses, and park at the end at the beginning of a track. This is the trailhead.
To get to Twa Basens, drive towards the south side of Rivere Cyrique and you’ll come to a bridge that crosses a stream. You’ll see a faded yellow concrete block and the overgrown trailhead is to the right of this.
Follow the stream up river and you’ll come to three pools – we just swam in the first one. For the others you’ll need to scramble up the rocks on the side of the first pool.
What else: Wavine Cyrique is difficult and the elderly and young children shouldn’t attempt it. Prepare to have shaky limbs when you’ve finished.
Because the beach is on the Atlantic side, it’s also very rough and has strong currents, so take extreme care if you swim (or don’t risk swimming at all).