Friday, January 31, 2014

Masaya Volcano and Grenada City, Nicaragua

Our last stop on this African and South American adventure was at the active volcano of Masaya and the colonial city of Grenada on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.

On the rim of the crater. The steam and gaseous smoke hug the inner walls.

Hiking up to the sister crater to the east

Looking back to Masaya 

This crater has been inactive for many years and we could see its floor. The steam and vapor in the other cone precluded a view inside.

Note the alternating cliffs and thin slopes. The cliffs are formed from lava flows while the slopes are horizons of ash and cinders that are unconsolidated, thus weathering into vegetation-covered slopes.

Every now and then the wind would shift and we could see a bit into Masaya crater

The unvegetated ridge in the background is part of the outer ring of a caldera and the lack of trees is due to the volcanic gases that blow in that direction. It was a fantastic morning.

Masaya last erupted in 2008

Note the lava flow that spilled from over the rim of the crater in 1772

We drove east to visit the colonial city of Grenada 

Fantastic architecture

Colorful street scenes

Archaeological finds from near Grenada

 I love colonial porches

Back in Managua we visited the ruins of the city cathedral, destroyed by the 1972 earthquake

And we got to visit the wonderfully preserved footprints made about 2,120 BP, in soft volcanic soil. The site is called Ancahualinca. A description can be read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_footprints_of_Acahualinca

The trackway is remarkably preserved in stone now

They are protected by a ramada that shed rain

And are found within a neighborhood in Managua. Thanks for reading. I'll be back home with Helen on Saturday.

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