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    Boiling Lake and the Valley of Desolation

    May 18th, 2006 by mary

    May 13, Dominica

    We left just after six in the morning for the trailhead of the Boiling Lake and the Valley of Desolation. The trail started with steps and never really stopped, it only changed directions. I felt like I was in an M.C. Escher poster. From one of the peaks we saw our first glimpse of our goal in the distance. Then it was a long, sharp descent to the Valley of Desolation. The first sign of our nearing proximity wasn’t the smoke plumes but the smell. The sulfur springs were constantly erupting and billowing steam and hot spray into the air. The colors of the earth were a stark contrast of white, green, orange, black, blue and red. The spews were rich with minerals released from the interior of the earth as a result of tremendous pressure under foot. We hopped over steaming streams and dodged scalding vents to make our way across the valley. It was a rocky climb towards the lake and the stench of rotten boiled eggs lead the way. We knew we had arrived before we ever saw the lake by the clouds of steam rising from the crater. The steam created such a thick fog that we actually couldn’t see much of the lake as first. As the wind passed through we finally caught glimpse of the boil in the middle of the lake. It looked like a hot tub for Godzilla and Thomas told us the water temp was 250C and it was 150ft deep, 2nd in size only to one in New Zealand. On the way back we stopped to soak in one of the flowing mineral springs before the arduous journey back. Ugh, my knees are aching just thinking about it.

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