My senses were off the scale. My eyes bulged out of their sockets, struggling to stay open as salty sweat washed into them from my perspiring brow. My ears, assuming Alsatian like abilities, stood on end, alert to any sound out of the ordinary. The pads of my feet felt every give and crack as the charcoal slabs that made up the ground beneath me moved and collapsed, sending shivers down my spine. After two hours walking through the depths of the desert night we had arrived.
The dark night swallowed up the entire panorama and only the beam of my headtorch highlighted the route ahead. But my headlight wasn’t needed to mark our destination: The edge beckoned in the distance, described by a hellish red glow. Clouds of smoke bellowed and hissed out of the opening and a faint hint of sulphur tinged the air. The temperature rose steadily as we approached, hotter and hotter, and the soles of my feet heated up with every step despite my thick boots. Our destination, a window into the liquid turmoil of destruction that lies beneath our feet, a cauldron of molten rock, was upon us.