Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2016 - Page 212

La Soufrière Volcano, St. Vincent | Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Come Away With Me ...
Today, as part of my
birthMONTH celebrations
(yes – I celebrate the WHOLE
MONTH!), we’re hiking up
La Soufrière volcano on St.
Vincent’s tranquil, untouched
north coast. Through dense,
green forest, misty-grey, dry
riverbeds, and green-gold
stretches of mountainside, we’ll
clamber up the sometimes
single-file leaf-strewn trail to the
summit with its wildly majestic
views. In roughly 2.5 hours, we’ll
be peering 600ft down into the
1.6km-wide crater. It’s going
to be an adventure, so get your
walking shoes and let’s go!

Access Road - Arriving in the morning

My friend perching on a rock

O

ur drive up the quietly
meandering east coast
road is showered with
golden rays under a
blue and white blanket, perfectly
accenting the rainbow of tiny doll
houses dotting the landscape. Soon,
we’re turning onto the narrow access
road flanked by 10ft-high walls of
greenery that lean slightly towards us,
whispering of the day ahead.
It’s the start of the trail, and we’re
off! On one side, towering, heavenbound trees hovering over a sea of
broad, green leaves paint a scene of
pristine tranquility; on the other, the
shimmering green portrait offers
views into a deceptively shallow

Me, posing for a quick snap.

valley. I marvel at the way the path
transitions from a neat “staircase” of
horizontally-placed path-width logs
and branch-strewn earth to a narrow,
almost vertical pass that both hands
and feet must be used to carefully
navigate to an undulation of crisscrossed tree roots.
First stop (halfway there!): a dry
riverbed with clear, uninterrupted
views of the sky! In this little cutout in the trail, we are surrounded
by a looming leviathan of gloomycoloured boulders that shrouds us in
a protective embrace, as if to shield us
from unseen dangers along the trail
going forward. A brief glance through
208

the narrow re-entry back onto the
trail yields a curtain of dark green
rising above the rock wall like an
imposing weight, daring us to come
forth. My friend perches on one rock
to take a quick sip while I pose on
another for a quick snap!
Onward, the scene changes - the path
widens to a grey, rocky, vertically
winding course flanked by withering
elongated leaves. Then, up another
green-grey “staircase”, the dense,
overhanging foliage gives way to a
sloping plain of dry, green-brown
grass interspersed among the rocky
mountainside overlooking St.
Vincent’sVincent’s east coast. A few
more steps, and ...We’ve finally made