Trompe le Monde: A Round the World Tour Diary

An online travel diary so people can keep up to date with what I'm doing and where I'm going.

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Location: Home, United Kingdom

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Volcán Santa Ana

The day after my previous post appeared, I went up a volcano, as I had indeed predicted. The fire mountain in question was Santa Ana, the highest one in El Salvador at a height of some 2250m, or perhaps more, depending on who you believe.

However high it actually ¡s, it was certainly in the clouds. At the peak, visibility was approximately 4m, thick sulphurous (not sure how you spell that) smoke mingling with standard airborne water vapour. Combined with the total lack of life it was very otherwordly. All around we were surrounded by scree made up of cooled lava, resembling brick, and available in red, yellow and black. Slightly further down the volcano there were strange plants that looked like something from Lost in Space, but up at the top nothing lived except strange orange wasps and red beetles that looked like they had also been formed by liquid magma.

It was impossible to see in to the actual crater due to the smoke, but you could look down it's steep sides and think "better not get too close, as this scree's really slippery and I'm wearing sandals". I had in fact stacked in a few moments earlier and grazed my leg. Fortunately I didn't go clean over the side and disappear in to the smoke.

Got down with no harm done, humbled and amazed by the experience. Totally unreal.

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