VALLEY OF DESOLATION, Dominica -- As I picked my way over hot rocks and bubbling mud in the pouring rain, I realized Dominica was not for the faint-hearted.
I was hiking to the Boiling Lake, a bizarre cauldron of steaming-hot water, 200 feet across, and one of the strangest sights on this rugged and beautiful Caribbean island.
The hike is a six-hour round trip that runs through dense rain forest and over mountain ridges before emerging in the Valley of Desolation -- an eerie, treeless swath of volcanic devastation striped black and orange with mineral deposits and swirling with mist and steam.
Like so much in Dominica, the journey takes effort -- but it's worth it.
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