On our last full day in the islands, we took an 11-mile hike to the most barren and fascinating place I’ve ever seen: the Sierra Negra volcanic fields. The 2005 flow was still black in the volcano basin, and the older flows made tunnels and bridges as if stopped forever in one moment in time.
Some sections were full of loose volcanic rock that tinkled when we walked through it, like piles of beach glass. Different chemicals released during the explosion gave the rocks different colors, so that it had an otherworldly beauty. Once again, it was hard to find words. We talk casually about something being “wonderful,” but when we’re really filled with wonder, no words seem adequate. We sat at the top of the world, perched on tough volcanic rock, and tried to put the image in our minds forever.