On Sunday we visited Granada, Catarina, and a cool viewing point of Volcano Mombacho which is situated on an old landslide. The scarp on the side of the volcano is quite obvious, although I don't think my picture quite manages to capture this (gallery below). Granada is an historic and colourful town, with the picture on the right taken from the top of the cathedral, showing the pleasant central square area. Although one of the stranger aspects was the setting off of pyrotechnics every 30 seconds, and I have no idea why!
Sunday was our last day of waiting around, as we were reunited with our equipment on Monday morning. I must say it was a great relief, not knowing when you will get your equipment is very nerve-wracking and there was a voice in the back of my head saying 'but what if you don't get it back'. Thankfully not the case, and the Nicaraguan officials and our man on the ground in the local organisation INETER have all been fantastic. Getting into the park itself is easy with permission and the Nicaraguans rightly take security inside and around the park seriously.
As soon as we got our equipment, the first thing we did was to head up to the summit area and the position where it is possible to make measurements of the lava lake. I do feel sorry for the tourists as it appears they don't get to come to the side that we can see! Today, we tested our thermal camera, and after an initial hiccough with our image capture software we managed to get some fantastic data of the turbulent lava lake. The camera has really worked better than I expected. We also attempted measurement of the gases from a spot nearby, but our position and the conditions were not great for this. We have some ideas about possible locations for UV camera measurements over the next few days. With all field campaigns it's great to get that initial day under your belt, to make sure the equipment is running after the journey and test out a few initial ideas to see what might work.
This blog post also has an accompanying YouTube video, see below, if the video isn't available it is probably still uploading, as I need to get some sleep before Day 2 of fieldwork.