Location: Roseau, Dominica
We got off to an early start, as bagels and fruit were quickly devoured, and jars of peanut butter and jelly were packed up into backpacks. We met Pancho, a long-time friend of the SeaMester staff, and the one who did all of our dirty laundry, so that he could lead us on our day-long hike to the boiling lake. One quick stop at the bakery was made, so we would have fresh bread for sandwiches, and we continued with our drive up the mountain to the starting point of the hike. The rain started to pour just as we began our trek, but rain coats were shed as we began to ascend higher and higher up the wooden steps, roots, and rocks of the mountain. As the climb got more difficult, the temperature grew cooler and cooler, and the views along the path became even more incredible. Over halfway to the lake, we stopped for a rest at the hot sulfur springs, where Pancho treated us to a well-earned snack of some cod fish and hard boiled eggs, which he boiled for us on the spot in the spring. He then showed us a new method of “eggsfoliation,” using the gray mud from the sulfur springs. We covered our faces with the mask and continued on. We were all amazed when we reached the top and could see the huge boiling lake below us, which we learned is the largest boiling lake, and the last of two remaining boiling lakes. We enjoyed our lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a new canine friend provided our entertainment as we watched him eat globs of peanut butter. After lunch, we headed back, and stopped at some sulfur spring pools for a very warm swim, which was nice after the chilly temperatures at the top. We then finished the hike, and everyone was thrilled at the opportunity to swim at a very familiar waterfall, where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed. On our drive back down the mountain, an ice cream stop was in order. We then returned to the boat to clean up, and rest our feet after a long and very rewarding hike. Hot dogs, cornbread, and chocolate chip cookies made for an excellent dinner, and we ended the day with an OCE class. Looking forward to seeing more of beautiful Dominica tomorrow!