The best part of going on organised tours, is that you sometimes get to places where you wouldn’t on your own. And you get to jump queues if your travel guide knows their stuff.
One of these instances was definitely visiting the Volcanoes National Park, We made it straight to the site and were given a drive through the magnificent scenery. We only saw other tour busses, evenly spaced and stopping by the same views. Private vehicles were absent. And when we left, we saw the car queue of people hoping to get in.
That said, this was a protected park, meaning that we could only get out at the designated tourist spot, and during the drive, pictures had to be taken through the tinted windows, sometimes making the a little bit greener than they should be. I haven’t learned how to fix that in Lightroom, yet.
At the Islote de Hilario visitors centre we were given a few hands-on demonstrations of the powers of the earth. At the first stop, we were given some sand in our hands. The surface temperature of the ground was cool, but the sand was dug out of a small pit about a metre deep, and it was hot. If you weren’t careful you burnt your hand.
The second stop demonstrated how hot it gets a few metres below ground. A bunch of twigs were lowered down with a metal pole, and about a minute later they had caught fire.
The grand finale was making a geyser. A few holes had been bored into the ground, and a pail of water was poured in. A couple of seconds later water and steam erupted out. Fascinating tourist attraction.
Perhaps the most interesting thing was the barbecue. A large pit about two metres wide, and 5-10 m deep had a grill on top of it. And they were cooking lunch on it. No gas or electric bills here. The pit was so hot, it was actually not possible to look down without being blasted by hot air that cut your breath.
César Manrique was present here as well, but we’ll get to him in the next post.