Location: Dominica

Today we hiked to the infamous boiling lake. We woke up early in order to meet Poncho, our tour guide, at 7:00 on the dock. We jumped in his van and drove to the beginning of the hike. The boiling lake hike is the hardest hike we do and now we all know why. We started by climbing up to the highest point of a mountain. We all assumed when we got to the top we would see the boiling lake, we were wrong. The top of the mountain was only a windy viewpoint on our way back down to the bottom on the other side. This side of the mountain was covered with steep steps. We walked down the steps, and then we walked down some more steps, until we reached the beginnings of a hot spring. Mineral rich boiling water bubbled from the ground and Poncho boiled eggs in one of the pools. We stopped to catch our breaths, eat hard-boiled eggs, and try some salt cod that Poncho brought for us. After regrouping, we walked down to two gorgeous hot spring pools in the forest. We covered ourselves with mud and jumped into the hot springs. Cool water had mixed with the boiling water Poncho made the eggs in and came down in waterfalls to the pools where we lay. We hung out in the springs for a while, but still hadn’t seen a boiling lake So we got out, dried off, and continued following Poncho. Finally, after climbing up a mountain, then back down, stopping for hard-boiled eggs, spending time in a hot spring, and then hiking in a valley, we reached the boiling lake. We stood on a cliff looking out over a steaming lake. When the wind picked up it would blow the steam away from the top of the lake and we could see that the lake was boiling. To get back we did the same hike in reverse. When we got to the bottom we looked out over a river that had eroded the rock and created a deep gorge and several waterfalls. We jumped into the water, climbed up one of the waterfalls, and jumped off back into the stream. After swimming for a while, we piled back into Poncho’s van and drove back to the boat. When we arrived back at the boat we were all exhausted and happy to be eating on shore where no one would have to cook or clean.