Our second day at Hacienda Gauchipelín in Rincón de la Vieja was rather refreshing as we got to engage in a variety of tourist activities. During our stay here we went on a nature hike through an active volcano site in which
we saw numerous active sites with boiling sulfur water and mud. I was taken aback by how green the site was, even in spite of the volcanic activity. The summer heat was increased due to the steamy hot spots, but I enjoyed the time we spent appreciating the magnificence and magnitude of the volcanic activity. One of the biggest surprises during the hike were the many strangler figs, hollowed out over the years as its host tree died and decomposed. It was humbling to be around so much nature in a volcano site because of how long nature takes to regenerate after an eruption. Afterward some folks took a brief dip in the pool while others stayed in their hotel rooms and enjoyed the air conditioning before our return to the more rustic conditions in Las Juntas. Our overnight vacation was very relaxing but we were ready to get back to Las Juntas and wrap-up our research projects, and to reflect on our experiences.