#Popo2016: down the rabbit hole | Volcanology

The storm is over. All that is left are some patches of snow on Paso de Cortes, which are being exploited to the very last snowflake by hundreds of people from Mexico City and Puebla – their children have probably talked them into coming here to witness the rare, exciting snow and build small, dirty snowmen on top of their car’s windshields (!). When we pass by Paso de Cortes at nine in the morning, the scenery already resembles a small fun fair, with improvised food stalls, barbecues, policemen with machine guns (they are there to protect the people from bandidos), and snow-capped Popo as a side attraction:

And this is only the beginning of the day. Many more will arrive in the next few hours, but we won’t be around to witness the chaos. We need to dig a hole…

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#Popo2016: the mule diaries | Volcanology

We have only spent a few days in Mexico, but so much has happened already: we have driven 600 km around the flanks of El Popo whilst getting a comprehensive crash course in Mexican music by Hugo; we have casually named previously unmapped lava flows; scared away scorpions with our merciless hammering on rocks; digested 3-cows-worth of Mexican food; and, above all, marveled at snow-covered Popo, which was silent witness and patron of all our endeavours.

Photo showing the snow covered, smouldering volcano
A snow-covered Popocatépetl (aka El Popo) as seen from Paso de Cortes on 5 March

But let’s wind back a bit and take it up at the beginning of our trip, Mexico City…

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