Ctenosaurs and the Volcano
Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
295Trip End Ongoing
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Giant hot boulders came hurtling down the face of the volcano leaving trails of smoke in their wake. At two kilometres away you can hear, seem to feel each thump. We were about as close you are allowed to get to it, at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Twice we heard the scream of what sounded like a jet engine, as the pilot leaves the docking gate and gives it that ear-piercing engine rev to clear the cobwebs before taking off - Arenal saying "welcome" or maybe "bugger off".
On July 29, 1968, seemingly dormant Arenal volcano erupted wiping out two villages, killing 80 people and 45,000 cattle
Every so often a fool or two tries to climb towards the edge of Arenal's molten rock crown for a closer look. And every so often, a fool or two are killed or badly hurt for their efforts.
As we were about to leave, two abrupt booms came. Then a massive pyroclastic flow spewed down the side of Arenal (see before and after photos). Had any villages, people or cattle been in its path, they would surely have been lost.
Back at Marc's place at Playa Hermosa:
The now five creatures that live in the tree off our balcony aren't iguanas at all, but ctenosaurs. Last week, Pete survived a vicious bite from a hungry ctenosaur. The attack most likely wouldn't have occurred though, had he not placed his finger along with a slice of bread into the creature's mouth at the same time. They appear to be looking down at us differently now, bloodlust in their eyes perhaps. These prehistoric-looking creatures whose names end with "saur".