So, Harry, you´ve climbed an active volcano in Chile. How do you feel?
This is my homage to the US space program in this appropriately lunar landscape. The yellow colouring on some of the stones is, of course, sulfur.
The peak is snow free, but back from the crater one of the walls is ice. This scalloped ice looks identical to the ice tunnel at the base of one of the glaciers from Baños Morales. Yes, Pip, I will post photos of that soon.
By walking to the right you can hear the gush of steam being vented. Back at the tour office for a celebratory beer, Rodrigo the guide showed us video he´d taken of lava eruptions he´d filmed in February.
The latest in (a) kevlar defense for paratroopers, (b) anti-chaps to be worn to protest the gay mardi gras. This (and instructions on how to use the ice axe buttspike as a brake) is our preparation for getting down the volcano: Bumslide!
The girl in blue is Melissa from Adelaide. Her camera ran out of batteries on her first photo, so I offered to take photos for her and make copies. I´m sure she´ll be thrilled with this one.
This is the bottom of Bumslide 3 of 4. This one was the longest and fastest. I worked out that by lifting my legs I could go faster, and also to leave a large gap after the person before me. On the previous bumslide I came very close to impailing myself on the buttspike of one of the French guys. Bumslide was totally worth the money on it´s own.
Back at the hostel a thrio of Americans have turned up. They are pretty cool guys. One of them lived in Costa Rica for two years and we discussed volcanos. He climbed one you´re not meant to go near. How dangerous can it be, right?! When he was two thirds of the way up "The whole thing shook and bus sized rocks were blown out. And they were really hot."
Yes, that´s how dangerous.