We knew very little about St. Vincent before our Easter getaway, but learned much during our 5 days there.
In researching things to do in St. Vincent, hiking to La Soufriere Volcano was put on the top of the list. And it didn't disappoint. On Monday morning, right after our 7am breakfast, off we trekked with our guide Franklin, in hopes of clear skies and a decent down into the crater of the volcano.
The beginning of the hike was easy, as we strolled along the beach and then up an old river/lava flow valley. The next leg of the journey took us up the mountain, along various NARROW ridges and through NUMEROUS ganga farms. I'm finding it funny that spell checker is highlighting ganga, when it is SO common in St. Vincent. It was crazy to see so many pot farms tucked deep in to the sides of mountains, but then I guess who is going to go up there and bust them?
After 2.5 hours of hiking uphill (you can't imagine the size of my legs now :) - and for those who have seen us both in shorts you should figure out this is Gayle typing, we finally reached the summit and one of the coolest views we've both ever seen. We were looking into the mouth of a volcano. And it gets better - the volcano erupted in 1979!!! So what do you do when you are at the top of the crater of a volcano? You climb in, of course.
So down we went, using ropes to sturdy our steep decent. The coolest (or warmest if you want to be literal) part of the crater was a fuming, stinking and sulfur spewing mound of greyish yellow coloured rock. Did I mention it reeked like sulfury rotten eggs??? Needless to say we didn't hang around there too long.
The walk back to the academy was quick, and Franklin's 316th trip to the volcano was in the record book with two Canadians.