on November 26, 2009
As you arrive at Soufriere the impressive volcanic plugs of Gros and Petit Piton dominate the skyline. This is the home to the worlds only "drive-in" volcano. This is possible because the last major eruption blew out the side of the volcano so the area visited is actually within what would have been the crater as the wall is no more.The first thing that hit us as we arrived at Sulphur Springs in Soufriere was over-powering smell. All the experiments at school with Sulphur smelling like rotten eggs came flooding back. The smell is supposed to be worse at night but it is certainly pretty powerful in the day as well.I originally visited these springs in 1992 when you were allowed to wander freely between the bubbling pools but now the area is roped off and all visitors stay behind a fence. This was because a guide fell through the crust about 16 years ago and although he was rescued he was obviously badly burnt. As a parent visiting with my children I was much happier that they were not in danger but it does make the visiting experience more sterile.The sight of all the bubbling rock pools is still very impressive. The rock is mainly grey but every now and again there is a patch where minerals have been deposited and they are a beautiful selection of colours. The guide that we had was very informative and was telling us that the people of Soufriere do not worry about an eruption because they believe that whilst the sulphur smell is in the air the volcano is venting and not building up pressure, I am not sure if that is true or not! The last major venting was in the 1700s and it was steam not lava or ash.A visit here is quite short as there is really not a lot to see but the initial impression and the aromatic experience still makes it worth a visit. There are toilet facilities but do be prepared to battle your way past lots of sellers whilst trying to make your exit!
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