Magma Falls is a stunningly beautiful place if you visit it for up to five minutes, but after staying very much longer, people tend to develop gradual to sudden cases of deadness. Half-corporeal glowing creatures crawl around remnants of some buildings of people who lived down here, even though their builders have all long decided it wasn't worth the effort and have moved downhill to the nice beaches instead.
We knew that we were in for a long trek when we reached the entrance to these caves, even though Pierre had provided us with heat-resistant clothing, sturdy yet lightweight boots, and those little fan things from the all-night garage that you can use to squirt water into your face. Daylight doesn't reach anywhere near the magma's surface, with the sky a constant dull red thanks to the clouds of ash over the rows and rows of active volcanoes, produced when the superheated balls of rock cool quickly on contact with water.
As we couldn't take any supplies down here, with our boil-in-the-bag instant meals cooking before we'd even got them out of their backpacks, we were forced to sample some of the local wildlife during the evening we spent in the caves. I recorded my impressions here, should anyone else find themselves in this unenviable situation:
Magmytes - These creatures are very dangerous when moving, meaning that we had to sneak up on them when they weren't expecting it. Even though they appear hard, igneous and granite-like on the surface, Pierre attempted to prepare chunks of rock from this odd creature, and eventually presented something to us that was much like eating steel wool instead.
Lava Skippers - Absolutely dreadful, with the aroma of burning tyres and the texture of boiled shoes. And we worked for it, too - if anything these are even more tricky than the Magmytes. Ideally, two or more people are needed to catch a solitary one, but you might be able to do so yourself if you're good at faking your movements.
Lightningfly - Uniquely among this place's wildlife, this wasn't completely objectionable as long as it was swallowed quickly. There was, however, a distressing moment in the middle of the night when one of the apparently cooked ones turned out to still have some life left in it, producing a disturbing happy glow from Paul's tummy and waking me up while he snored infuriatingly.
I am beginning to wonder if Pierre actually has the survival experience he says he does, or if he's just going off expectations of his nationality and is just heating things up at random to see what happens.