|Looking into the crater at Masaya volcano!|
|I think that white van is the van we rode in|
See that cross in the background? Apparently, those virtuous (ha!) Spanish conquistadors erected a cross (I'm not sure that one is the original) there in the 16th century to exorcize the Devil because they thought he hung out at Masaya volcano (which they called The Mouth Of Hell). More recently, we were told, the Somoza regime (dictators of Nicaragua from the 30s to the 70s, I believe) was purportedly fond of dropping dissenters into the crater. At any rate, the cross made for some awesome atmospheric pictures:
|Ye gods, this picture practically belongs on a religious pamphlet. And what the hell is that blue dot?|
|And look at this! You can practically hear the angel's trumpets!|
In addition, our guide said he had never seen the crater this smoky....I had visions of the headlines:
"tourists killed in volcanic eruption!" Fortunately that didn't happen, but I checked ye old internet and apparently the last eruption of Masaya volcano was in...2003! That's recent history, folks. Nicaragua has an impressive belt of active volcanos going north to south on its eastern flank.
|Inside the crater. I think this picture is the one I took before having a sulfur coughing fit.|
Pretty spectacular and so easily accessible. Apparently there are some awesome night tours you can take at this volcano and see the parakeets who have adapted to the sulfur gas returning to roost in the crater. There is also a tunnel that you can go in and see the lava. We had to content ourselves with a daytime visit, but it was impressive enough.
|The countryside around the volcano|
Think I am done posting Nicaragua pictures? Nope! Got at least two more posts in me :) I will take a break for Thrift Store Therapy next time, though. See you then!