It's always a tiring journey travelling west but I tend not to struggle with jet-lag coming this direction, it's just a matter of keeping your eyes open - a job of increased importance when you have to drive from the airport after only 3 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours! It was a relatively smooth journey on the whole, and equipment seems to have arrived intact, but unfortunately we were not allowed to retain possession of it and take it into the country. It appears that a mix up in the customs department means that a letter giving us permission had yet to arrive, we therefore left the airport without our UV cameras, thermal camera, spectrometer and a couple computers. Somewhat vital equipment for our trip, but we will be reunited with our equipment today or early tomorrow.
We made our first ascent to the summit today (which you can just drive up the side to!), in preparation for when we do get our kit, and wow what a sight. I have wanted to visit and study a lava lake for a while and the awe inspiring view didn't disappoint. There is something slightly primeval about staring into a vigorously bubbling pit of lava. I have seen multiple videos of the lava lake but they really don't compare with the real thing. The picture on the left shows the large, rather condensed, plume of Masaya volcano. We will be measuring this using our UV camera equipment.
Meanwhile, my first impressions of Nicaragua are fantastic, a friendly people, and so far good food. The hotel/hostel we are staying in is basic but does the job and has a lovely interior courtyard for evening work and relaxation. Nicaragua is hot and humid, but the cold shower in the hotel makes up for this! Wondering round the streets of Masaya you are constantly greeted by the honking horns of taxis which seems to be their way of touting for custom. You also stumble across the odd shop with large amplifiers outside projecting Nicaraguan/Central American pop ditties into the street. Anyhow, a fantastic experience, and more from me soon.