Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nicaraguan Volcano

One of my favourite things to visit in Nicaragua was the volcano. It was dormant, but was still smoking! The last time it erupted was about 10 years ago, and the smoke was still billowing out of the crater. We drove into the national park and were given a list of warnings at the park entrance. Some examples of the safety rules:

*Park your car facing the exit in case you need to make a quick getaway.

*Don't stay longer than 20 minutes.

*Hide under your car if there's an eruption so that you don't get killed by flying rocks.

We were a bit apprehensive after reading through the list (!) but we did it anyway!

As soon as you step out of the airconditioned car, the smell hits you. It reeked of sulfur and smoke and some other unidentifiable gases. We had to climb up to the lookout point and it was so bad that we were all choking and gasping. Luckily it was a windy day and we didn't keel over.

You'd think the volcano would be ugly. It was dark, and sooty. The fields were ashed, and everything had a certain degree of death-look. Strangely enough, the best word to describe it would be "majestic". It was a fantastic feeling to be standing on the tip of something that could easily kill me in just a couple seconds.

I expect I'll get that feeling again when my sister gets her driver's license.

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