Dominica: colourful and unique. It is the 4th dimension.

Before I met my husband, I hung with a tough crowd. Pure badass. We did not vacation in the Caribbean. No thanks.

Instead, my gang would load SUVs with duffel bags, and stay in low-budget motels in Canada, USA, and Italy. We’d see beautiful sights, and hike and drive long distances. We’d talk about our technical gear with its wonderful, wicking properties.

The ringleader of our group owned a GPS. With his GPS he could navigate even the most well-marked, city streets. For him, Rome was no object. The GPS was like a magic box. While other people sat drinking lattes in a sunny piazza, these happy folks were, no doubt, oblivious to their elevation, heading and waypoint information. The GPS gave us 2D insight into a 3D world.

My husband, Rick, removed me from that madness. He had me at “I refuse to wear a climbing harness” and introduced me to the 4D world. Whooya!

Rick and Lorraine Escher 2017

My husband will groan and roll over in his sleep when he sees that I’ve tied the concept of 4D into a description of our travels in the Caribbean.

Rick is very interested in mathematics, string theory, and talking about the abstract. He’s a critical thinker. He challenges me. And, he’s not content to make fluffy assumptions.

To better understand our generator, which was overheating, he recorded generator data for many hours at five-minute intervals. Then, he taught me how to record the data. Rick is smart, like a fox.

Recently, Rick was sitting at the saloon table, and thinking about ways that education and teaching methods could benefit from artificial intelligence. To illustrate what he had in mind, he suggested that perhaps a computer app could manipulate a poem to show various iterations, becoming less and less abstract. The intent of the computer app would be to reveal the literal meaning of the poem.

When I began to google “abstract thinking” Rick insisted I watch a Carl Sagan video on YouTube called, “4th Dimension Tesseract, 4th Dimension Made Easy“.

Fortunately, no one has come to this blog post to hear me describe the 4th dimension or the concept of the tesseract. Do not look for that here.

This blog post is about Dominica – a Caribbean country that – much like the 4th dimension – is like nothing I ever could have imagined. In Dominica, flowers grow talker than my children, and tree roots seem as old as time.

We anchored for two nights in Portsmouth. It was a somewhat expensive stay for our family. We paid to take two private tours. First, we took a boat up the Indian river and saw part of the movie set for “Pirates of the Caribbean II”. Then, we visited the Syndicate Rainforest and an 80 foot waterfall.

Indian River – a natural wonder and a film set

Here are two pictures taken on the Indian River. Who does it best? My photo captures the wonderment of my kids. I think they were looking at birds. The photo of Johnny Depp was taken in the same location.

My kid’s enjoyed seeing Calypso’s hut, which was used as the witch’s home in the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean II.

Our trip up the Indian river ended at a Tiki bar with a marvelous garden. The Tiki bar host was a Carib. You can find Caribs in South America but Dominica is the only Caribbean island where a population of indigenous people still exist. Everywhere else, Caribs were wiped out by disease and European settlement.

The garden of the Tiki bar provided the natural setting for many colourful plants, which in North American we see in miniature as houseplants. Here in Dominica, Croton and Elephant ear plants grow as tall as trees.

While we were at the Tiki bar Betty learned how to make a fish using palm fronds.

Betty age 11, Indian River May 2017


Syndicate Rainforest and Waterfall

We spent about three hours in the Syndicate Rainforest. The trees were massive and our kids enjoyed swinging about on the vines.

For the rainforest trip, we were with an older couple. They hiked to the waterfalls. It took them about 2 hours. But with our young children and their short legs, our guide drove us to the trailhead for the Syndicate Waterfall. Our hiking route took us through plantations. And, we saw our first pineapple growing in the wild.


The hike ended in a trip to an 80 foot waterfall. It was wonderful to feel fresh water again.

There are many waterfalls on the island of Dominica. You can visit Carib territory. And, for the intrepid hiker, there’s even a boiling lake.

When we sailed to the Caribbean islands in January, my snobby early 20s self reared her head and said “You need more challenge!” So shaped was I by my attitudes, I considered bypassing the Windward and Leeward islands, and heading straight to Panama. Fortunately, Rick was not on side with this plan. He wanted to visit some friends in Antigua. We enjoyed Dominica very much. In more ways than one, my husband has introduced me to the 4th dimension.


  1. Is Rick an engineer? Your descriptions resonate with me. One year I popped a small puzzle in my husband’s Christmas stocking and he spent the break writing a program to solve it. He was delighted and got days out of that gift.


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