Monday, April 20, 2009
SULPHUR SPRINGS, SOUFRIERE, ST. LUCIA
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY, 1 to 5: 1
From a mile away you can smell the wonderful scent of rotten eggs and onions, or the hydrogen sulfide emitted from the open volcano. La Soufriere remains active today, which in the event of a major eruption St. Lucia would be decimated instantly. The last minor eruption was in the late 1700s. The volcano itself is some 8 miles in diameter, including all of Soufriere. Guides take you to viewing platforms that overlook parts of the crater, including seven acres of bubbling sulphur-water pools. Visitors were allowed to walk around the crater ten years ago, but after a guide fell through a fissure no one has been allowed across. He survived but opted to work as a fisherman. Many still live near the craters.
To get to the springs you can take a bus to/from Soufriere and stop at the signpost, which is about a mile from Soufriere. It is a casual walk, too. At the park guests pay EC$12.50 to enter, which includes paying the guides. Anyone can take a hot dip in the sulphur pools, one of which is before the park entrance and another is just inside (open only to paying guests). The gray sulphur-water is bubbling hot, so visit early or late so you can withstand the heat. Supposedly you can add 10 years of life by bathing in the sulphur, so wipe that mud all over and take a comfortable soak
PEACE CORPS PROCEDURE:
-ALWAYS travel with at least one partner, preferably two.
JENNIFER LESHNOWER, EC77, April 22, 2008
The best time to go to Sulphur Springs is in the early morning before all the visitors arrive. I would highly recommend going on the tour with a guide. They are great folks and offer information you can't read about. Also, don't miss the interpretation center, even though it is not visible from the base of the Volcanic Park.
SAM SHOPINSKI, EC77, March 14, 2008
Lots of tourists visit and with good reason. Many Lucians spend holiday mornings and evenings here, especially in the free pool. The park is very well kept and the water feels wonderful. A must for all volunteers