It looks like we were close, but there was still another 20 minute drive or longer.
Here is a video of the first time we saw it exploding. It isn't nearly as exciting as from the other side and up close, but still pretty interesting.
This is a view from our car as we were driving through the ash field. The remainder of the drive to the volcano was on the ash field.
Here is a picture from our window looking back on the other tour jeep with the other 4 people on our tour.
This is just another view of the vast ash field.
Here is the road as we go toward the volcano. The road is ash and the steam was coming off the side of the road the whole way to the parking lot. This was one of the best parts of the entire road, by the way. The rest of the trip was much bumpier.
Here is the entrance and the bathrooms. Yes, I did use it, basically a hole with a piece of wood over it : )
Here is part of the volcano as we were walking up it.
This is a picture of an eruption while it was still daylight.
Here is a video of the volcano erupting in daylight.
Here are a couple more during the day. Sometimes, during the day, it looked more like smoke and you couldn't see the embers, but other times you could.
At night, due to the dropping temperatures, it is really active. And, it looks brilliant because of the contrast of the night sky and embers. It was breathtaking and the closest parallel I can draw is to that of watching fireworks, while on the ledge of a really tall hill with about 50 other strangers. Before it got dark, the 8 of us were the only ones there, then more gathered as the sun went down. Still, it felt a far cry from a traditional tourist environment.
We have hundreds of these pictures, and we may post a few mores, but you get the picture, really amazing.
The next post will focus on our trip to a custom village.