Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Costa Rica Tuesday

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Today was our day off, so after breakfast we drove an hour-and-a-half to visit the Irazu Volcano. It is an active volcano east of San Jose and is the second-highest point in Costa Rica. “Irazú has erupted frequently in historical times — at least 23 times since its first well-recorded eruption in 1723. Its most famous recent eruption began in 1963 and continued until 1965. It began on the day US President John F. Kennedy started a state visit to Costa Rica and showered the capital San José and much of the central highlands of Costa Rica with ash. Since the 1963–65 eruption, the volcano has been dormant, although frequentearthquake swarms show that magma is still moving about beneath the volcano. In 1994, a small phreatic eruption occurred, caused by heavy rains destabilising part of the volcano's flank, resulting in rapid decompression of a shallow hydrothermal system. The volcano's summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. It is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. It is easily visited from San José, with a road leading right up to the summit craters and a weekly bus service to the top. It is thus a popular tourist spot. The volcano summit also spots a few television transmitters for television stations in San José. From the top it is claimed to be possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day; however, such clear days are very rare indeed, and it is typical for the volcano's summit to be covered in cloud for much of the time” (Wikipedia). When we arrived we were greeted by a whole bunch of Pizotes that came right up to us. We then enjoyed the magnificent view and walked around for about an hour before loading back into the bus and driving an hour to hot springs. When we arrived I thought we were mistaken because there were three pools. When we asked where the hot springs were, we were told that these were them - that the water was indeed from a volcano vein. However, the water was not hot. Still, we had a great time! All of the kids enjoyed swimming and playing soccer. We have just returned to the camp for a quick shower and then we are heading out for our final dinner together at a restaurant where we will share about our trip. Great times! Can’t wait to be home tomorrow night! See ya soon!

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