It really was an early morning; we woke at 5:15 and were on the tour bus by 6 on our way to the Volcano. We had purchased some cinnamon buns the evening before along with Orange drink for breakfast. An ungodly hour to be awake, but we watched the sun come up on route to Pacaya. Our guide spoke great English and had also hired a local guide to take us up the volcano; this is something that is now mandated since the eruption in 2010. We took 2 horses and off we set. It was an hour and ½ hike up the mountain side, with great views of the other volcanoes around as well as the villages and farming fields along the way. For the first while we followed the tracks to the cell phone towers and then we were on our own, taking the narrow paths which had been made by the guides and others before us. Unlike the last time I was up Pacaya, there were no open lava flows and the soles of your shoes did not get so hot they were melting off, but we were able to roast marshmallows in the rock ovens formed from
the volcano. The black rock was jagged and raw, and very sharp to touch; some pieces were even warm when you picked them up. Our guide took us to a cave in the side of the mountain which had been quite hot at one time but now was cooler, with a lot of salt from the ocean rains clinging to the volcanic rock. We wondered about on looking at the cap which had been a peak the last time we were here but is now a crater where the volcano has the top off, it certainly is something to look at. We headed back down to the horses and the small shop at the edge of the lava field, stopping to look at the wares and then back down the mountain we went.
Back in Antigua we were tired from the early morning so had a bit of a nap at 2, then to Fernando’s for lunch, which is the small restaurant, coffee shop and chocolate factory next door to the Merced. After this, Jim headed back to the nap position (still kind of drained from being ill) while George, Lisa, Dana and I decided to check
out the market in Antigua. We spent a fun afternoon bargaining for the pieces we were interested in and then back to the hotel, and then out for dinner at Pena Sol Latino for our last meal together. Liz and Mathew arrived in time to go to dinner along with us. As usual the music was entertaining and the food was delicious, everyone had a good time and then it was back to the hotel and bed as we were being picked up at 4:30AM to head back home.
Another successful trip to Guatemala and great exposure for the new travelers, now home to tell others of our adventures and how the Guatemala Stove Project is so needed by the Mayan villagers in the highlands of Guatemala.
Thank you for taking the time to follow my adventure and I hope that you will consider donating to the Guatemala Stove Project, which does great work in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. www.guatemalastoveproject.org
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