Friday, March 30, 2012

Boiling lake

Vittororio Walking down the trail

The last exploration in Dominica was a hike to the world’s largest boiling lake. The distance from Portsmouth to the lake is a couple hours by car and the hike itself takes a few hours each way. A group of five Earthlings from various nations decided to rent a car and drive to this site. Virginie from France, Vittorio from Italy, Syd from New Zealand, Nico is Lebanese/American, and I am Persian/Swedish with an American twist.
This adventure was a 12 hour trip back and forth in the spectacular nature of Dominica. Driving up and down the mountains, around sharp turns, on a narrow two way road made me desire a motorcycle ride.

We had to ask for driving directions along the way and it seemed that everyone had different understandings of how long it took to do this specific hike. Some told us it takes 5-6 hours each way and it was recommended to have a guide. The time a hike takes depends on your health condition and the terrain. I have friends in their 70’s that would be able to keep up and go on hikes for hours and others in their 20’s that would run out of breath within minutes. We already knew that Mike and Rebecca on “Zero to Cruising” did it in less than 3 hours, most likely it wouldn’t take us much longer. The trail is well laid out, steps are placed everywhere, and appears to have been around for a long time.  Whoever made it, must have put a lot of time  and labor into it. We certainly appreciated the work. The trail is medium to difficult and in rainy season, it would probably be muddy and challenging. I don’t think it’s necessarily to have a guide, however, as Dominica’s income relies on tourism, it would be kind to hire one when disposable income is available.
Vaporizing Steam
According to some sources, this lake is the last remaining in the world. The other one is in New Zealand and it’s drying out. It feels like some of the places we visit might disappear in our life time. I feel fortunate to see all these hidden places. This site is in the middle of a rain forest, you don’t see many fruit trees and it’s wet and mossy. There is green, black, grey, short, and long moss growing on trees, bushes, steps, and everywhere else. The symphony of twittering birds entertained us most of the way! The closer we got, the more we smelled the "rotten eggs", we joked, and blamed it on each other. The cause of this was from the sulfur mist, springs, and rivers. Sulfur is good for the skin and the opportunity to take a bath in the pool underneath a hot sulfur waterfall was taken advantage of by this group of Earthlings. In the main valley, steam is vaporizing out of the ground and the mustard yellow/red rocks look like they just came out of the oven. It is slightly frightening to walk between these objects and one concern is to not step into a boiling spring. It’s not impossible to get burn injuries!
Edge of the Wall

The view of the lake is absolutely astonishing. The lake is always covered in haze and when the wind blows, the boiling water in the center is clearly visible. I was thinking; while walking the edges of the tall wall alone, that a landslide underneath ones feet is imminent ejection out of paradise. That thought was scary for a second! But by not letting fear in, the land is less likely to slide!

Love from the Boiling Lake

View the complete Dominica photo Album here


  1. Love your descriptions of the Lake, which we did not do. We were told it was very very difficult....They must have looked at Andy & I and said to themselves..."No way......:" Wish we'd seen it! Regards, Finally Fun

  2. Thanks Sharon, It makes me feel better about how I express experiences and consequently can become a better writer. This lake was a place worth to see!
    Send my regards to Andy