Part III: The Valley
of Desolation to The Lake
Approx 1 hour
From the ridge, the trail descends steeply
into The Valley of Desolation, and the climb down is hard
enough, until one does it on the way back!
Valley is not covered by an ice-thin crust that can
crack open and devour the unsuspecting (although one should
certainly explore it with caution). It is perhaps better than
The Lake, because you can scamper around and see all the different
colours you never imagined water could be. A kind of interactive
also for the Fumarole Vegetation - the only kind of vegetation
that can survive in this environment!
At the bottom of the
Valley the trail becomes vague, crossing and recrossing the stream,
so be careful.
There are several places
where you can bathe in the soothing warm waters of the stream, but
don't spend too much time soaking - you don't want your muscles to become all mushy
for the long hard hike back afterwards!
From the Valley it's
generally uphill to a point where one can look down on another
area of 'Desolation'. The Lake is now just 15 minutes away!
Part IV: The Lake
On arrival at the Lake, go to the visitors centre or join the
shortest queue at the McDonalds. Only kidding! Part of the attraction
is that there's absolutely nothing there except the lake. And
perhaps a few other weary, muddy, dishevelled fellow lake-onauts
just like you.
Please exercise extreme caution at the lake: the sides are steep
and though the hill above the lake offers the best views, the
rocks are often very slippy.
The Way Home
Then before you know it, you're on The Return Journey. And isn't
it funny how one no longer cares about getting muddy?
Think only of the hot meal that may await you at the end of the
journey, or of the hot waters at Titou Gorge: when you arrive
back from the walk you can do all the frolicking you want there,
if you've energy left. Additionally, you can quaff a beer and
rest your weary body at Roxy's in Laudat (a good base for your
Boiling Lake trip).
Congratulations - you did it! Now buy the T-shirt! And add your
photo to our Flickr
Boiling Lake group!
If the above evokes fond (or otherwise) memories, sign our Boiling
Lake Guestbook. If you want to know more (like, is it really that
bad?), a number of pages on 'a virtual Dominica are of offical
guides to The Lake. There are more images of TBL here,
and an account of one trip here.
Boiling Lake, an article in The Guardian June 21, 2000, by
Jan 2005: I was witness to Wolfgang from Austria swimming in
the Lake! The Lake at that time was inactive and filling back
up from being almost empty; he reported it was quite cold.
2003 saw the opening of a cable car which starts near Titou Gorge
but goes into the rainforest, not to the lake.
of the West Indies Seismic Unit maintains a website about
volcanic activity in the region.
For a background on Volcanic Lakes, see: http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gpast/lakes.html