Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

Poas Volcano is a stratovolcano in Costa Rica. Very active, he has known at least 39 eruptive episodes since 1828. It is currently experiencing moderate activity. Located 37 km northwest of the capital San José, this volcano culminates at 2,708 m altitude. It is integrated into the Poas Volcano National Park. Its main crater hosts an acidic lake which regularly produces toxic sulphurous steams. It presents several eroded calderas, volcanic cones and three craters aligned, which contain crater lakes. The main crater is about two kilometers in diameter and is 300 metres deep. The green waters of the lake that occupies the bottom (Laguna Caliente) are highly acidic sulfur and hot (up to 85 ° C). You can also see the fumaroles of sulphide in the internal slopes of the crater. On the other hand, the other crater has had its last eruption there are 7,500 years. It is called Botos and its lake has cold water (Laguna Botos) which is connected with the river Angel. Until the volcano became a national park, people went there to fill glass bottles with acidic water from the crater, and they sold it in pharmacies to relieve muscle aches and also to put it in the hole of a cavity to cause the tooth to fall or it was also used to burn the warts, and to treat wounds.

Tips

The Poas is very often covered by clouds so before going there, ask for the weather conditions. And of course, you must be at the gate at the opening (8 h 00) because the clouds come down quickly.
It is almost 1 hour from San José and its access is easy. If you go by car, the parking is near the crater and you must walk a hundreds meters through a paved driveway.
Another option is to take a half-day trip from San José. There is a regular bus to get there. The ticket costs nearly nothing and the entrance to the park is approximately $10.00.
If the weather is good, take a walk to the Botos Lake and its forest of altitude at 2,400 metres, it’s worth it.

The Grignetta, Lombardy, Italy

The Grignetta or Grigna south or Grigna of Champion is a mountain in Lombardy (2177 meters) and is part of the group Grigne, being the highest the Grigna or Grignone. Its form is quite regular and there are two sides: one to the south (with a view of Lecco and the Resinelli valley) and another to the north (which connects it with Grignone). There are also other well-defined ridges such as the Sinigaglia Ridge (it can be reached from the Porta refuge) and the Segantini Ridge which connects the Valsecchi hill to the summit, showing a degree of difficulty III. It is a very important place well-known by local and international climbers. The torrent Grigna, born at Canalone Porta, flows into the Caldone and ends at Lecco. The normal route of ascent is the Cermenati ridge (easy walk). The Cecilia trail connects with the Rosalba hut at the top and there are trails with chains. The highway connects the summit of Grignetta to the summit of Grignone.

Tips

The paths for regular walkers are marked with the letter E, while those for experienced climbers have a double E. These are very difficult and physically demanding tracks, it is necessary to calculate an average of three hours to climb and two hours to go down.

Trails are free and there is no control to record climbers; so be careful if you do not really have experience; taking the trails is just at your own risk.

Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough is a glen (long and deep valley of glacial origin where a river can flow down the valley) and a village in Ireland, located in the Wicklow County Mountains National Park. Its name means Valley of two lakes. The village was established by a hermit priest, Saint Kevin, in the 6th century on the site of a former monastery. Many of his followers wanted to follow him and settled in the valley too. There is a 33-meter round tower, which was used to protect relics, books and chalices, and a Celtic high cross known as Saint Kevin’s Cross. The village was established on the side of Lower Lake and the cliffs north of Upper Lake are recognized as popular climbing places.

Tips

There is no admission fee to enter the park or the site of the old monastery but you should leave your car in the car parks nearby and pay for your place. From here you can visit everything on foot.

You can visit all year round respecting the opening hours of the parking barriers, which are closed at night.

You will find several mountain trails. However, there are no guided or supervised hikes.