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Date: 12 Apr 2013 00:57:00
Title: Boeri Lake and Titou Gorge

For the first time in a very long time we were cold! High up on the mountain the clouds were all around us and the blazing hot sunshine didn't get a chance to do it's stuff. We hadn't bothered with raincoats since arriving in the Caribbean because although there may be a rain shower the hot sun straight afterwards soon dries you off and it's just refreshing. Not high in the rainforest though. Our dry teeshirts helped a lot but we were still chilly when we arrived at Freshwater Lake. Luckily the lady in charge of the cafe was there and gave us hot chocolate, coffee and hot salt fish sandwiches to warm us up and give us more energy. Sea Cat had cut us some bark on our way back from Middleham Falls, telling us to chew it. It gave one a buzz, and some new energy, rather like drinking one of 
Revived and warmed we set off up the path to Boeri Lake. The main volcano had formed, creating a cone, then inside the cone a new smaller volcano had sprung up, leaving a rim between the outer cone and the new volcano. It's in this rim that Freshwater and Boeri Lakes have formed, on either side of the new volcano, so we needed to hike up to the ridge then down the far side to get to Boeri Lake. This meant that we were going through the Elfin Forest. This rainforest is low, I guess at most 15 feet high, due to the continual strong winds that batter it so high up. I had imagined it wizened and wind dried but it was actually incredibly lush and green, full of every imaginable kind of fern and epiphyte, and flowers and fruits all around us. Although we were much warmer after our meal it was still raining so we took to wearing towels as capes, superman style. We must have looked a sight: dripping wet hair, towels tied around our necks and war paint smeared on our cheeks... but we were having fun! 

    

We came across a snake on the way, Sea Cat said he was a "Stinky Snake" but he smelled ok to me. I looked him up on the internet and I think he was a Grove Snake. He was fascinated by his reflection in the camera lens and was flicking out his tongue at it. I should mention, with proudness, that I held said snake. Phil took charge of him, passing him from one to another of us, however it was more a case of the snake holding Miriam than Miriam holding the snake.

 

Miriam took this little movie which shows some of the ferns and other plants:


The lake, when we got there, was spectacular, surrounded by basalt blocks, but far too cold to swim in.


I thought the day must be about done by the time we got back to the octobus, but the highlight was definitely to come. We drove to Titou Gorge, which is the site of the Pirates of the Caribbean 'Cage of Bones'  drop scene. It is a wonderful solid rock gorge that you can swim up, leading to wider caverns and a waterfall. 

The entrance to the gorge.

   
Looking through the caverns to the first waterfall and looking up.

Sea Cat brought along a float attached to a rope so that he could go ahead and drop back the rope so we could hold onto it to help get us past the fast flow of the river. It was stunningly beautiful, and quite scary at times but Sea Cat was patient and precise with his directions and we managed to not only get into the waterfall but climb up it to the next pool. From here you could see another waterfall above the first. "You want to go behind the next waterfall?" Sea Cat asked, "No!" was the emphatic reply from all three of us - we'd already got further than we though possible and the sheer power of the water rushing around us was intimidating. But he went ahead and encouraged and guided and before we knew it we were behind the next falls: "Mooonshine!!!"

    
The second fall and Sea Cat under it.

  
Under the fall.

Again Miriam with her underwater camera took a movie, of Petra and her swimming back out once past the fast water, playing with Sea Cat.


Wow! Another fantastic, if exhausting day, we were glad of the stop on the way back for - yes you guessed it: Mooonshine!






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