I recently completely the hardest hike of my life. It was amazing and excruciating all at the same time.
At times, I felt like I wanted to sit down and give up, but then at times, I felt the strongest I’ve ever felt before. It was a challenging day and I’m so glad (and proud of myself!) that I did it.
What hike was this? Boiling Lake, Dominica.
That’s right, I hiked to a boiling lake on a Caribbean island. Actually, boiling; 100°C. I knew from the beginning I had set out to hike to a boiling lake. However, it wasn’t until we actually got there that I realized what this meant. It was incredible. How often do you come across boiling water in the ground? And who knows, this may be the only time in my lifetime. I was awe-struck (I was also exhausted).
The hike took 2.5 hours to reach the Boiling Lake. The beginning of the hike is climbing, climbing and more climbing in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The views are spectacular. Those views alone were worth the trek. It didn’t look real. It looked like we had been dropped in the middle of a set for Lord of the Rings (see below).
The next stage of the hike was downhill. This seemed to be more challenging for me because it was harder to control what my body was doing. The Valley of Desolation was next, where one can cook an egg in little pockets of boiling water all over the hollow. No pot needed!
We made our final ascent to another valley and then onto the boiling lake. We just had to hike around another bend at this point; easy peasy.
Once we reached the Boiling Lake, I was so grateful for the opportunity and the health to allow me to make it this far. It was a challenging hike but really, we were only half way there. The only way out, was to backtrack the trail again!
I wanted to share this experience because it was so humbling. The Earth is still such a great mystery to me and completing this hike made me realize this even more. Disconnecting from the world for a day (what ended up being an 8-hour journey), really allows you to think clearly. It allowed me to challenge myself mentally and physically in ways I hadn’t done in years. It was worth every moment of pain I felt for the next four days!
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, Boiling Lake is definitely the place to go (and I know a great guide, if needed)! Dominica is a fabulous place to travel and I’ll have more on that in a later post. Here’s one last picture from the summit!
All images from That Minimal Life.