Location: Portsmouth, Dominica

This morning we awoke bright and early to meet Pancho on the dock for our hike to the Boiling Lake. We drove up into the mountains and soon arrived at the trailhead, where we embarked on what would be an all-day journey. The hike started off relatively easy, with smooth, flattish trails, but soon we crossed a small stream and began to hike uphill. We passed through the Valley of Desolation, rendered lifeless by the many sulfur springs, where we briefly stopped to hardboil some eggs over a vent. We then headed down the valley to where the water was cooler for a quick dip in some hot pools. After a relaxing swim, we donned our shoes for the last push to the lake. Dominica’s boiling lake is formed by large geothermal vents which fill a natural crater – the lake is about 100m across and 20m deep. Although we obviously couldn’t test the depth, it constantly produces a vast cloud of steam as it bubbles and boils. On our way back to the taxi, we stopped at the Ti Tou Gorge, where a river cuts deeply through the landscape, providing a cool and refreshing swim.