Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Volcán walk

Only one activity today, and that is to hike a Volcano and learn about all the eruptions that have happened over the last century and see the changes in landscape.

Lol, and even tho these early morning wake-ups seem terrible, it seems the recent shutdown at work got me into the groove of walking up early and not hating the world.

We arrived at the trail head for Vulcán Sierra Negro/Chicho around 830am and proceeded on a 16km round trip hike into the mist.

Along the way, we saw a spotless lady bug, a Land Iguana, lots of lava lizards, and lots of OLD lava.

Nerding out on a spotless ladybug

A Carpenter Bee going hard on getting some pollen out of a cactus flower

Tom working on his theme

Local garb vs. Tourist garb while hiking along the rim of a Volcano

Cristian and Pablo recounted their stories of the days after Vulcán Sierra Negra erupted.
This volcano erupted in 2005
and the big things they remember are burnt vegetation & farm animals, sulphur and how the earth trembled.

Old lava flows from the 2005 eruption

"It is not a crater, but a caldera"
-as Tanya put it, kinda like a volcanic sink hole-

Along the way to the Lava Fields, the landscape changed so rapidly from lush forest, to shrub like trees, then to nothing but lava. Notice in the next few pictures how the differences in 'Lava age' makes the landscape change so much.

This land iguana is quite special.
During our walk, Pablo was telling us how he has only ever seen them ONCE in this area before.
And not, a minute later... BAM
Pablo spots this beauty. You have no idea how excited he was to see it.
LOL, the next 1/2 hour was spend photographing the iguana :P
This eruption happened in the 70's

The darker lava is from a more recent eruption than the reddish coloured one.
Also, there are cactus's growing on the redder lava, next to nothing on the darker "younger" lava

Lava layers

Getting our learn on !!

Tom, overlooking the Lava Flow.
We all rested here for a few minutes in silence. It was very very beautiful <3 <3

Our #1 guide - Pablo



Pete being a rebel :P

Heading back
Left - Vulcan Sierra Negra
Right - the Pacific Ocean (what I thought was a lake before the mist cleared hahahahaha)

Our total hike time was 8 hours for a 16km hike. LOL, we were about 2 hours slower than average. But considering we stopped a LOT to talk photos, we did ok.
The walk back was very cool. Most of it in the mist, which made for some fun photo opportunities!

"Pablo in the Mist"

"Pablo, outta the mist" -lol

Once back in town, we were on our own for dinner.
Tom, Barb, Tanya and I found a fun spot to eat at, and also made Cristian come with us for dinner.
To communicate better with him, I had a couple spanish iPhone apps that we used -as well as Tanya's "large" vocabulary of Spanish-
It ended up being a hilarious evening! And the word "chévere" (cheh-beh-reh) was born into our Spanish vocabulary.
Means "cool" and they use it ALL the time.

Since he was on our walk to the volcano today, we invited him to our  evening "photo critique" since we took many pictures of him. He really enjoyed it :P

The newest "guide-in-training"

The trekker of the day is 71 year old former Canadian Pete Brackett
He is married to Kathy (also on this trip), is a serial entrepreneur, loves his rum, and his friends call him "Mr Encyclopaedia" 
He quit high school in grade 10, but eventually got a PhD. Whoot! Go Pete!

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