Volcano Masaya, Nicaragua

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A paved road leads all the way up to the crater, the one the Spanish baptized “La Boca del Infierno.” The landscape changes from lush and verdant to dry and rocky, only short, little patches of grass and a few stubby bushes managing to survive. When I get out of the van, the sulfur smell makes me recoil just as the volcano draws me in. I reach the crater quickly. When I peer over the rock wall that borders it, I feel awe-struck at the sight. Giddy and woozy and awe-struck. The crater descends quickly, rocky for several hundred feet, and then a huge, gaping hole with gases rising out of it in a thick, constant stream. The massive hole glows red at the bottom, where the lava seems to undulate like waves. My eyes sting, and I start to cough, and I realize I can’t stand inside the cloud of gases much longer.