This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter.
The theme of this week’s Photo Friday is LAKES. The picture above is of Dominica’s Boiling Lake, located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the second largest hot springs in the world. And when I say hot, I mean hot. The temperature of the lake reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
The only way to get to the Boiling Lake is to take an 11 mile roundtrip hike into the park. This was the first vacation I took with Don, in 2006 before we were married or even engaged. Lazy even then, we had decided that the hike, which goes up and down through terrain known as the Valley of Desolation, would be too difficult for us. Then we met a family that completed the trek, and were essentially shamed into going.
I’m not going to lie: I was in much better shape back then, and it still was a slog. The hills were steep, with small wooden steps, and it felt like we were on a Stairmaster for an entire day. We had a guide with us who we met at the park, and he took breaks when we were winded, explaining the area’s natural flora and the natural mud pots that we saw along the trail.
Needless to say, it felt like quite an accomplishment when we made it to the lake. It smelled heavily of sulfur, and in some ways, was anti-climatic compared to the hike itself. Plus we still had to go back. Don and I looked at each other and our legs caked with mud – and laughed.
At that moment, I knew we were in sync as far as traveling goes. I consider that trip the point where our relationship went from fun and superficial to something real and lasting. We were engaged within the year.