Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Volcano Fun

This week Danielle and I had a opportunity to do a night tour of one of the few active volcanos in Nicargua. The tour is done at night as this is the only time you can see the lava in the volcano and the activity in the bat cave. Well, the tour did not disappoint.

The Nindiri Volcano most recently erupted in 2001, unexpectantly showering the parking lot with rocks. The last major eruption was in 1859, and lava travelled over 13km from the volcano. There is little vegetation around the volcano because of the lack of organic soil and the acid rain caused by the gases in the volcano.

Our tour started at a lookout where historically people were sacrificed to appease the gods. Night came quickly and the rest of the tour was done in the dark. To see the lava, Danielle and I had to stand on either side of a concrete pole, hold on and lean way over the edge of the crater. As the gases swirled, you could see the lava glowing red about 200m below. Perhaps not a technique that will win any safety awards. After this we went to the entrance of a bat cave. There were lots of bats coming in and out and as an added bonus a boa constrictor was hanging over the entrance of the cave trying to catch a bat. It is clear Pam made the right choice when she decided to stay at home this time. After seeing the bats, we walked through a tunnel created by lava flowing down the side of the volcano. The outer shell of the lava hardened and when the lava stopped flowing left a hollow tunnel inside. This area a was also used for many traditional ceremonies and more recently a place to hide during civil wars.

On another volcano note - While in Florida we saw a TV show of great crashes (gotta love cable).
One was a fellow trying to set a land speed record going down the side of a volcano on a mountain bike. He managed to break the world record, and then just about every bone in his body. Turns out the "hill" was the Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua. Last week we had lunch at a local burger joint and they had schrapnel from the bike that crashed. Here is the video if you are brave enough to watch.


  1. What awesome sights! The volcano lava, the bats, the snake... and pieces from that horrific motorbike wipe-out. We so remember seeing that video clip with you, and we still wonder how the guy survived such a spill. Maybe he should've just gone sightseeing like Danielle and John!

  2. I was knitting a sock on the GO train the other day and thought of you, Pam. Your adventure continues, the pictures are amazing.