We wound upwards for three hours from San Jose, Costa Rica. Passing an industrial area near the airport, then strings of furniture stores, villages, fruit sellers, and finally long stretches of twisty mountain roads through lush green forest, we reached the Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. An unexpectedly clear day gave us unparalleled views of the volcano. Surprising local villagers, the volcano woke up in 1968 with a great explosion and was active continuously through 2010. Now quiet, the rainforest has again begun to overtake the slopes of the volcano and the wildlife is numerous.
He was less impressed with the seismograph and small museum when he realized the volcano we could see out the window was not extinct, but merely dormant and had been active within his lifetime.
To calm his anxiety, we tried to remind him of past volcanoes we have visited without incident in Hawaii, New Zealand and Ecuador that were far more active than this, but the efforts were wasted. Recalling our stay on Santorini, where the entire island is a volcano, He is now convinced we have recklessly taken him to multiple places where he was in imminent danger of a volcanic eruption. He quoted stats from our Pompei visit to back up his claims, noting that risks from lava were irrelevant, as the fumes and ash would kill us in minutes, assuming the big rocks didn’t smash us first. Further research led him to realize Yellowstone National Park in the USA is a volcano, with geothermal activity, proving it is not extinct, but merely dormant. He is not happy with us, and says he would prefer to be in Australia, as he has a better chance there of avoiding deadly snakes and spiders than he does an eruption. At least he has been learning something as we travel.
We hope the promise of tree frog spotting, later will lift his mood.