Friday, November 12, 2010

An Island Tour

Almost the whole of yesterday was spent driving around the island.
First, we started to drive up to the observatory on the rim of the
caldera. Then we discovered that we were low on gas. I took a look at
the map and figured out that there were no gas stations on the road we
were on. So we had to turn around and go to another town for gas, then
we were able to head up to the observatory. It was not easy to drive up
there, but Dad managed, and eventually we drove right up into the
clouds. Because of the shape of the island, the eastern side is almost
always cloudy. When we suddenly popped out of the top of the cloud, the
sight was incredible. The whole ocean seemed to be made of clouds. We
were so low to the cloud layer that it seemed to have no end. Then we
saw the observatory. It was not how you would imagine, with one huge
circular building with a domed roof. Instead it was a number of these
domes and two big reflector dishes made of dozens of smaller mirrors all
working as one. Nearby was a trail that we walked along until we found a
vantage point of the entire caldera. In all of my life I have never seen
a landscape as jagged and steep as this. We were on top of a thin ridge
that curved around in a circle with a huge canyon leading outwards to
the sea. We drove around the caldera rim for some time, until we got to
the road leading to Los Llanos, the biggest city on the island. There,
we promptly got lost. We were in a maze of streets, with a map that only
showed the bigger roads. We searched for the correct road for the better
part of an hour, before finally heading up into the caldera. I really
don't think that the long and difficult drive was really worth it. It
was extremely narrow and impossible to see around the curves. We were
lucky and didn't meet any cars an the way up or down, but the view
really wasn't worth the effort. Then we drove down to the southern tip
of the island. We got lost a second time trying to see the new volcano
that erupted only forty years ago in 1971. We found our way back to the
coastal roads after another half hour, and saw the huge new banana
plantation on the lava flows from that recent eruption. We saw the
lighthouse on the southernmost point, then finally went back to the boat
after a truly exhausting but exciting day.
--Orion Date

No comments:

Post a Comment