Monday, 25 February 2013

St.Vincent - Climbing a Volcano for Graham's b'day

The crater of the volcano
To celebrate Graham's birthday we took a long weekend break and went to the nearby island of St.Vincent.
St.Vincent is quite undeveloped and only has a small regional airport although work is ongoing to build a larger international airport to bring in more tourists from Europe and USA. We arrive late on Thursday night on  a direct Liat airways flight after only 45 minutes, then managed to rent a car and check into a hotel close to the airport. The following day we made our way up the west coast of the island until the road ran out at Richmond Vale and we got our first views of the volcano.

Soufiere Volcano, St.Vincent from Richmond Vale beach.
We stayed at Richmond Vale Academy, a friendly place full of young Danish people. We felt like we were back at university. The following day we were unable to climb the volcano so we visited the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean and a couple of water falls.

Remains of the Pirates of Caribbean set (1st film) at Walliabou Bay, St.Vincent
The old set - Walliabou Bay, St.Vincent
 Finally the day came to climb the volcano - it took all day and was a fantastic accomplishment. Climbing to 3000 feet then going 600 feet down into the crater with the use of ropes and getting up close to the sulfurous smoke coming out of the earth.  We were led by our guide Franklin who was doing it for the 206th time and by a friendly Argentinian.
In the crater next to the smoking vents
The GPS plot shows the time v elevation.
GPS elevation (meters) v time (hours) plot - 3.5 hours to get up and 10 hours total hike time.

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