it is the smell of the devil and giardia, eggs left forgotten in the sun and of a struck match…and rotura smells of it as well. the scent of sulfer is in the air, an inconsistent companion depending on the wind’s direction.

but then, the acrid smell is part of the reason so many people flock to the little hamlet of 70,000 (when you count surrounding farmlands). people come for the geothermal activity. and so i came, ready to look zed’s waiting disaster in its many faces. so this morning i trailed off to see what the earth’s heat can do.

first stop was a boiling mud lake. not just a small patch of gunk…something substantial. and it popped and pulsated and bubbled over onto itself. smooth and soft, it creates little mud hills and terraces, and when the rains come or the weight becomes unbearable it all disinegrates and begins the process again.

from there was the geyser…helped along by 300grams of soap in her top to put it on a schedule…we watched her bubble over and then shoot straight in the air.

but the main event is the park itself…with hissing caves and gurgling cracks and water the color of some cosmic disco. greens and oranges and blues. the champagne pool – when you could see it through the steam – was an amazing contrast of a burnt orange crust and a carribean blue/green middle.

of course there was more mud…and sulpher caves…and as much as my eyes and nose was assaulted my ears got their fare share. standing beside a lake of neon green water and i could hear very faintly the sound of bubbling and hissing…almost inaudibly. so i knelt closer to the ground and sure enough…little tiny holes were releasing air and creating their own music.

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