Saturday, June 18, 2016

Day 3 - Volcán Pacaya

How is it only day 3???? 

Anyhow, today I rode with about 14 strangers ages @19 - 60, packed in like a bunch of sardines, for a hike of Volcán Pacaya. The drive was about 2 hours through interesting villages. I saw a small shanty town where the structure were no bigger than my bathroom. Kids were playing outside. The final miles were dirt rides weaving up the side of a mountain. Dogs, kids, locals were out going about their business. The structures were meager at best. I saw someone walking goats. Chickens ran around freely. At the entry to the park, local boys beg you to buy a walking stick from them for a dollar. Men with horses were ready for the visitor not up for the hike. The hike was a bit difficult going up at times just because of the altitude. The locals know this, as they trail behind on horses, waiting for that person to succumb to the offer of a "natural taxi." One girl in our group finally did for 20Q-it amounted to a 5 min ride before we were at the top. 
Our group consisted of people from No Cal, Oregon, St. Louis, Montreal, Toronto, Italy, Germany, and El Salvador. As it turns out, my stay is the shortest. There were several volunteering with an NGO for the summer, mostly college students. One guy had quit his job and is just going ...all over Central and South America. I didn't talk to the Europeans as much, but they seemed to be past college age. They are here from 6-8 weeks. 
At the end of the hike, younger kids met us begging for our walking sticks, presumably so they could sell them to the next round of tourists. I gave mine to the lone girl. These kids were younger than the ones we initially bought the sticks from. 
I'm too tired for more words. The hike was "only" about 5 miles but my tracker also says 111 flights climbed. I've walked about 8 today and am a mile or so from my rental. I think I may buy some fruit to eat later and call it a day. Tomorrow I head to Lake Atitlan st 7 am.

Volcano Fuego, then you can barely see Volcano Acatenango (it has two humps but one is hidden), and then Agua is closest. Antigua sits on the opposite side of it. It's faint, but you can see steam from Fuego if not in this picture,maybe another. 

Zoomed in a bit.

It's blurry but I have the three volcanoes on my left and the one we hiked near is on my far right on the edge of the pic (or left hand edge). 

Looking up at Pacaya. On the peak on the right, you can see steam. 

Me with fisheye lens on iPhone.

This felt like a sauna - it was cool and windy yet nice and toasty in there. It just wasn't big enough to crawl into. 

The holes where we roasted our marshmallows. The lava rock was fascinating. On the walk approaching this, you could feel heat radiating, yet if you touched it, it wasn't hot. Except here-it was hot. 

As evidenced by the browning marshmallows. 

With Volcan Pacaya in the background. 

It's hard to take a selfie while eating a marshmallow and trying to frame a volcano in the background - trust me. I kept looking angry. 

On the way down.

I bet this building could tell some stories if it's walls could talk. 

And then I ate lunch/dinner back in Antigua - this was my view. The tall tree was covered in avocados. 
I realized too late that this particular restaurant seemed to cater to American tastes. I want authentic, not nachos with cheddar cheese. 😁 and flour tortillas. They served everything with flour. I want rustic corn tortillas. Sigh.

And a selection of doors becausethey fascinate me. 

The knocker! 💖 not a door. But still. 

1 comment:

  1. I love doors as well. Sounds like you are having a great time. Hot and humid here. OSU won the first game of the world series. Went to the fly in at our airport today. Interesting. Took a few pictures. Neil's 92 year old mother fell, broke her nose, and cut her up pretty good. Good night.