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Though we’d been hiking for nearly five hours, it was still only lunchtime, so we headed south around the volcano for another typical lunch and a visit to the butterfly conservatory. There, we visited dozens of kinds of butterflies and finally saw a few of the glass winged variety still enough to capture them on camera.

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Ben was thrilled to finally see a tree frog, but due to our daytime arrival, he was sleeping. Our visit concluded with a long sit at the gazebo, checking out the volcano and reading about the local wildlife.

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Ben:  We made our way back around the lake just as the light began to soften on the water and the surrounding mountainscapes. As we approached the dam we noted dozens of cars parks in the right lane, the onlookers spilled out of the cars setting up lawn chairs and hanging out, all but blocking the oncoming traffic.

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We made our way across the dam weaving in and out of the parked cars, attempting to fit the traffic of a two-lane road into a single lane. Eventually we decided the light was too good to pass up, and pulled over to become part of the problem.

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The accumulating clouds diffused the light in the valleys and mountains beyond the lake, though the volcano was still enshrouded in a thick blanket of clouds. No matter – it was still quite beautiful.

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As we sat on the railing and watched the slowly fading light, a police officer came rolling slowly down the way, blaring some message on his loudspeakers. Almost in unison, all of the people in the pulled over cars packed up hurriedly, jumped in their cars, and pulled into the nearly halted flow of traffic – us included. Within a few minutes the road was back to normal with no indication of the whole debacle.

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Back at the hostel we enjoyed an overflowing meal of spaghetti and salad with our newly-acquired provisions from the grocery store.

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