Day Ten, March 3, 1997 Roseau, Dominica


6:00 a.m. came way too early, we had to be up and off the boat by 7:00 a.m., as the ship had to leave the pier for a cruise ship coming in. Most of us got up and went but some of the girls ( Stacey, Jessica and Melissa) did not.  They  stayed sleeping.  We waited for our taxis from yesterday to arrive until 8:00 a.m., they did not so we got a new one. We ended up cramming all 16 of us into the one taxi, (a poor choice). We all had gear, plus the camera crew's gear, the van was overloaded, and it was another ride up into the mountains.  

We arrived after about a half hour ride we were all happy to get out and stretch before the long excruciating hike. The trail was well maintained, but as the sign at the bottom stated it is a very difficult hike of at least 3 hours each way. The trail was stairs made of dirt and mud, capped by roots of trees, and wood carefully placed to make steps. For the most part the trail was continually upwards. We crossed over two streams (which were the only down sections of the entire trail). After about two and a half hours of hiking, we reached the top of Desolate Valley, it was tricky footing to get down, and it was just as its name implied, desolate.  Another short hike up to the Boiling Lake. Although the area was continuously fogged in, we hung out there for about an hour.  WE did manage to get some good footage of the lake and the bubbles in the centre.  The water in the lake and surrounding feeder streams were white with the clay that had been eaten away from the rock by the acid. We ate lunch, then headed back. The hike back was a lot easier as most of the trail was going down, although it was still quite strenuous. We made decent time back down the trail.  


    The Entrance to the Valley of Desolation
At the bottom, some of the stragglers at the back decided to take a swim in the falls at the bottom. Most of stayed in our shorts, while some of us stripped down to their underwear. We swam through the gorge, which was about 30 m long,and varied in height of 3 to 5 m above the water, while the depth of the water varied from 0.5 m to 2 m to unknown depth, to the falls. We swam in to the end where there was a waterfall. At the end opposite the waterfall there was a ledge where we could sit upon (the ledge was so perfectly placed that it was as though it was man made). The water was so cold and refreshing, especially after that hike.  

We got dressed, and went to wait for the taxi, which was nowhere to be found. We thought he might have ditched us. That would have sucked, as we were in the middle of nowhere. While we were waiting, we snacked on fresh grapefruit, and tried green fruit which resembled bananas (but they were not ripe) freshly picked from a neighbouring yard. We were hungry and very tired, and decided after waiting half an hour for the taxi, that we would walk and see what lie just up the street. We walked up quite a ways, and found a little convience store. There everyone gorged themselves on pop and cookies. We drank ourselves silly with Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, 7-up, and Quenchi. We filled our stomachs with every kind of cookies possible, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, lemon, everything that the guy had to sell us. Our taxi showed up soon after, the same guy, and once more we had to squeeze and cram all 16 of us back in again. Except for this time we were hot, sweaty, grumpy, tired and full. Some of us slept, while other made funny comments about those passing out. 

Good news when we got aboard the ship, the Captain saw what rough shape we were in, and how tired we all were, and so decided to delay sailing till the next morning. It would have been too dangerous to sail while we were all zombies. So we all went to bed, and only had anchor watch, but we were sailing out at dawn tomorrow.