Monday, May 30, 2016

Dominica -Warm Up Hikes For What

The Boiling Lake really boils

Que the dramatic music.....dum-dum-dum....
The Boiling Lake.

Here is a description  -directly from the book Caribbean Hiking by M Timothy O'Keefe -
"This hike is awesome and deserves to be described in details.  As the Caribbean's best hike, it deserves such recognition...and respect.  The hike can be divided into three distinct phases.  The first hour is deceptively easy, starting with a moderate 25-minute ascent, followed by some ups and downs until you reach the Breakfast River at the end of about 60 minutes of steady walking."  "Phase II is a 45 minute walk up the side of Moren Nicholls, a steep and sometimes very slippery climb.  Phase III is the slow, 45-60 minute scramble descent into the Valley of Desolation (which itself take only 5 to 10 minutes to cross) then another 30-45 minutes to reach the Boiling Lake."

However, the hike actually started at Titou Gorge and the many steps up that run next the gorge leading to Phase I.

Base layer of rainforest. 

Steep trail
Another phase means different floral and fauna.  I forget the various names of the different stages of forest/terrain.  We passed through several types as we climbed.

In the clouds
Windy near the top, the view is often obscured by clouds.  We lucked out with light cloud cover that helped keep us cool but allowed spectacular views. 

At the top
3000 ft summit of Morne Nicholls

Hiking down into the Valley of Desolation from the ridge above
As we descended into the Valley of Desolation the colors turned from green to rust and eventually white and grey stained sulfur rocks with steam rising around us.

Valley of Desolation
Valley of Desolation is an active fumarole area.  Click the link if you want the definition.

Head up towards the Boiling Lake
More forest and green.

Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake is believed to be a flooded fumarole.  The depth varies.  Temperatures around the edge have been measured between 180 -197 degrees.  The temperature in the middle of the lake where it actually boils is unknown as there is no way to measure it.  *Info taken from the below book.

Caribbean Hiking author M.Timothy O'Keefe's final words on this hike - "It was three days before my legs stopped hurting.  Everyone on the hike reported similar conditions."

Our warm up hikes served us well, especially me (Sabrina).  Even still, we were both tired and a bit sore.  I had two days of sore muscles.  Tom only had one day.  However, sore muscles were well worth it.  This hike is phenomenal.  But wait....there's more.  This hike was a big deal so I have another blog posting with additional details, personal thoughts and of course, pics.  Lucky readers!


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