Every year since the launch of Hike Fest I’ve promised myself that I would go. This year I finally made it and took part in last Saturday’s hike. Since I’m not the fittest woman around and also because I’ve never hiked before, I chose to do the hike for children, the Boeri Lake Trail (and I’m not ashamed).
I must have slipped a hundred times on the trek to Boeri Lake and back, but I did not fall! Thank God!
Despite the late start, which had me feeling like I wasn’t making good use of my morning energy, the experience was worthwhile.
Before even boarding the buses to get to Laudat, Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) staff ensured that every registered hiker was accounted for. The same was done before we started the trail and after we were finished. Moments before feet hit the trail, hikers were introduced to the tour guides and first-aid responders and were then briefed on some of what to expect on the way.
What they did not say was that this lake is the highest freshwater lake in Dominica and is roughly 850 meters above sea-level. The uphill journey was serious, the views though, were breath-taking.
It had rained shortly before we started, so the earth was wet; which means that the rocks were slippery. After my first slip I made sure to walk directly in front of one of the SMART First Aid Responders and close enough to a guide. The tour guides were so helpful and knowledgeable. At the most difficult parts of the trail they gave individual attention and coached us on how to position our feet and which rocks to avoid while holding our hands.
Along the way the children were so entertaining; their conversations both inspired me and had me chuckling.
About 15 minutes in, a 9-year-old started complaining about waist pain. Another little person turned to her and said: “we just start your waist hurting you?” At another time, about a quarter way through, a 7-year-old girl said to her friend who was a bit hesitant: “come on, you have to be brave!”
Another chimed in with affirmation: “I’m brave enough to finish this hike!” That made me smile and little did they know, it was encouraging to me as well.
On the way to the lake I felt so free and light; 45 minutes passed in a flash it seemed like. Looking at the lake left me feeling like I need to get out more and made me think about what I do with my Saturday mornings.
I enjoyed hiking and having my mind and body totally engaged in the process. I enjoyed being surrounded by nature and breathing in fresh, cool air. It was a magnificent experience. Hats off to DHTA and partners for providing the opportunity for me to cross this off my bucket list.