Location: Dominica

Day 42 started out early. Everyone was up at 6am sharp to make room in the day for our adventurous hike to the last boiling lake left in the world. Yes the world! Crossing rivers, gorges, and many steep climbs we were able to access the hike’s peak, a 3,500ft summit. However that was just the half waypoint. From there the students scaled the side of the mountain using the rocks and light stream to guide us to the bottom. Once we finished coming down the Dragons Spine’ we entered the Valley of Desolation, which is the valley in between the Mont Trois Pitons. The valley is made up of small boulders with a hot stream running through it, making the whole area steam up through the cracks from deep within the earth. Our guide, Pancho, boiled us eggs and everyone took a break eating hard-boiled eggs. The streams run rich with minerals such as calcium, iron, and sulfur causing the area to look yellow, reddish-brown, or white. Some little streams coming out the sides of the rocks looked black or silver suggesting other minerals were trapped in the rocks. From the Valley of Desolation we walked a riverbank and found ourselves going for a dip a wonderful hot spring with a small waterfall to jump off of. We proceeded down the riverbank eventually crossing and climbing another small peak, where we once again entered a similar desolated cliff side. After crossing another stream the hike began to get vertical climbing up a dried waterfall leading to the boiling lake. After a relaxing lunch of sandwiches, pringles and lots of water the crew made there long haul back crossing the desolated cliffs, the river, back into the Valley of Desolation and up the vertical Dragons Spine.’ Once over the Spine the hike became mostly downhill beside the few river crossings, which required you to climb down to the river then back up. Once back down to level ground, everyone went swimming in the rather chilly river water. The cavern, which we were swimming in, not only had a waterfall but was also the location of a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest. For all you blog addicts you may remember we visited Jack Sparrow’s Island back in the Tobago Cays, so the Pirate movies are much beloved by the crew. After our swim we proceeded home to our lovely Ocean Star, tired and sore, but more than anything, proud of the feat we had accomplished. After returning to O-Star the entire crew dressed up in Halloween costumes and strutting there stuff down the “runway” all the costumes were extremely tasteful and funny. It was unbelievably special day climbing through such a remote area, one I know, everyone will remember for the rest of our lives.