August 4, 2005

Volcân Masaya

Got out of the quadruple enforced US Embassy home today successfully, caught a bus to Volcan Masaya national park and promptly had to...wait...for 2 hours before they opened the gate. But, 2 germans and myself were the first people up at the crater (caught a ride with the park guides doing morning rounds. Good because it{s a long, hot walk otherwise). Wow. Imagine screeching green parrots in droves that live inside the crater on the rock walls, occasional silence during which you can hear the earth breathing. Strange clangs eminate from the center of the crater along with sufurous fog, and deep bellows of air sounding like an enormous smoking giant, puffing away. The indigenous people of ancient times used to throw human and animal sacrifices here to appease the angry gods, the conquistadors called it the very Gates of Hell, and supersticiously erected an enormous cross at the apex of the perimeter of the crater to exorcise the demons floating out. Nowadays, the park rangers just tell people to back into their parking spaces so that she blows, the getaway is quick. Generally, incandescent lava can be seen at the base of the crater, but the fume/fog was so thick today that I couldn't see any. Wow. I just felt so impressed to be there, to look out over the Nicaraguan plains and see smaller billows of smoke from other tiny pores (vents) in the earth's skin. This Earth we live on, she's alive!

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