Cruising to the Valley of Desolation
Dominica's Valley of Desolation
Yesterday, UrSpo posted a brief blurb about an upcoming trip. As is typical for us, next month we are doing our mid-winter escape from the cold with Spo and Someone. This year we are taking a Caribbean cruise. While the Spos are cruise veterans, this will be our first. This cruise was chose in part because one of the spots is the island of Dominica (pronounced dom-in-EE-ka), a place that Leon and I have visited (and loved) previously.
Shortly after I started blogging, I posted about my favorite ecosystems. The Valley of Desolation was one of them. Dominica is volcanic, and high up near the crater there is an area of fumeroles and hot springs. The vegetation is sparse because of the volcanic fumes. At the summit, there is a large boiling lake. Unfortunately, our stop at Dominica will be too short to allow us to hike there (it requires a full, long day of strenuous hiking to get to the summit and return). Nonetheless, we are planning to go off and do some of our own exploring rather than participate in a group activity on the island. I got on a web site specifically about hiking in Dominica and found the perfect hike:
These sulphur springs at Soufriere are a mini-Valley of Desolation. Features a wide area devoid of vegetation due to the fumes and streams of boiling hot water. The area also has a network of trails worth exploring. Recently a large pool has been built where you can soak in the warm waters!Sounds perfect. Once again, we are taking a trip where Spo can get tossed into a volcano if he misbehaves.