Road Dispatches (Late Edition): Volcan Masaya

No comments

I have a bad habit of letting this blog drop when I finish a trip and get back to real life. It’s even worse this time, as work and school both caught up with me in a hurry: I started a new position today, and I’ve got a mid-term exam this Thursday to study for.

So, here’s a short post.

Thursday evening, J and I hopped in a van bound for the very active volcano that looms over the town of Masaya, about 30 minutes from Granada. Masaya is one of only a dozen or so volcanoes in the world right now with an actual lava lake; basically, a portion of its caldera is filled up with magma, the way you’d picture an active volcano in your head.

It’s a long wait from the bottom of the volcano to the lookout, as the road is choked with cars and tour vans waiting to go up. Further slowing down the procession, vehicles are let up in groups of about 20 or so, to limit the number of people at the top at any given time. The flipside is that each car-load of people is only given 20 minutes at the top to snap their photos, to limit exposure to the sulfurous fumes belched out by the angry volcano.

Our guide showing us the Visitor Centre’s model of Volcan Masaya


As we waited our turn to head up to the rim, our guide walked us through the Visitor Centre’s museum, explaining the history of the volcano, the kind of lava it spits out, the fauna and flora flourishing on its flanks. The dude really knew his stuff.

And then, it was our turn to head up. We piled back into the tour van, and drove upwards for another 5 minutes, our driver taking every opportunity he could to pass slower drivers. We burst forth from our vehicle and made a beeline for the low stone wall separating the lookout from the glowing maw gaping before us.

Sorry for the lousy iPhone. Laptop’s in the shop right now, so this is basically a space-holder until I can edit the shots from my camera.

I set my tripod up and framed up my shot, snapping away as I messed with shutter speed and aperture. A surprising number of people were photographing without turning off the flash on their cellphones, which really tanked my success rate in grabbing a decent shot, but I’m holding out hope I’ve got something good lurking on my memory card.

Me, startled by the iPhone flash as I try (and fail) to take a selfie


Before I knew it, the park guard was blowing his whistle, telling everyone it was time to head back down. I folded up my tripod, stashed my camera back in my backpack, and piled back into the van with J and my fellow volcano-watchers. From there, it was back to Granada for our last night in the city.

Leave a Reply