Published: July 6th 2006July 6th 2006
From San Pedro we took a bus to Chimaltenango, where we got another crazy bus to Antigua. In Antigua we found a hotel where we spent the night, and began a search to a way to summit the Pacaya Volcano. We found Sergio Garcia who another traveler mentioned on the internet. We signed up for a tour with them, and they took us to the trail where we walked a total of 3km. After 1km we saw the lake produced by the Pacaya volcano, a clear blue ery pretty sight. We got to the top of the walk where you could look up and see this Huge lightly smoldering volcano. And look down to see Flowing rock, thats right lava, red hot, straight out of DanteÂ´s Peak lava. And i was thinking oh my goodness i am close i can almost feel the heat. Then the guide said, Abajo! and i thought he meant leave, and go down...oh no no no, he meant down to the lava. So we practically slid down this steep dirt trail to the base of this volcano, where my face was Burning with the heat of this flowing rock. And then i began to think, about when exactly close, would become too close. Well again i was surpassed by our guide whp jumped down onto the hardened lava... the heat could have singed my leg hair... as it did one womanÂ´s. Some kids were led to stick sticks into the lava where they would instantly burst into flames by the heat. Holy Goodness... iÂ´m standing feet from real..red hot lava. The breeze would start cool and quickly be hot, my face and legs were burning with heat..but i didnÂ´t get burned by any means i was just SO hot. Of course, i was compelled to spit on the ground i was standing on where my feet in my thick soled shoes were also hot... my spit instantly boiled and quickly evaporated. On the way down it poured as Carl and i talked about the fences and signs that a volcano in America would have, where no kid would dream of throwing garbage or making flaming sticks in the lava. How awesome. I feel as if i am failing to describe how awesome it really was but i guess if you can imagine me standing three feet from flowing lava and spitting on the base of a volcano where it boiled at my feet... man if only i had an egg to throw on there, just like in the movies!
After Pacaya we spent the night at a different hotel that we had found the day before. It was close to everything and half the price. Unimportant. We left Antigua this morning where we too a chicken bus to Guatemala City, or Guate as it is screamed from the doors of passing buses in route. This was a crowded chicken bus for a while of this ride and a man was sitting smushed next to me. While someone behind me kept poking me i had no idea why...why is this guy poking me, iÂ´m half asleep what does he want. Each time i half looked behind me it looked as if his poking was nothing more than accidental as he held onto the seat. My bag was sitting in my lap the whole time, i always keep it there to keep it from being rifeled though by anyone although they wouldnÂ´t find much. So i quickly slide my hand to the front of my bag, jsut because. And guess whoÂ´s hand i also found in my bag...thatÂ´s right the asshole next to me. He had covered the front of my bag with his jacket as he rifeled through the front pouch. I IMMEDIATELY realized what was going on whipped the pocket closed and gave him the stare of Death. He in seconds got up and jumped out of the back of the bus with another guy. The guy behind me must have been looking out for me while this guy rummaged my bag. This all, my hands, his hand closing the pocket...all SECONDS he was gone before i could even look at carl to tell him what had just happened. I then got to look at my bag which has a nice new slit on the front pouch side where that ass cut my bag trying to get into it. He found, nor got anything. But i was glad not to have caught him with the blade...it Could have been my hand on that blade....and i after the fact was glad i didnÂ´t say anything to cause commotion..who knows what he wouldÂ´ve done in response, he clearly had something sharp. IÂ´m sure this is all making my mom feel very happy sheÂ´s let me out of the house to this country this summer where everyone wants to steal from me. But i was also SOOO happy to have Stopped some of it... had i Just realized the slit later and been oblivious the whole time, i wouldÂ´ve been so much more frustrated with myself than i ended up being with the situation alone. He knew in the end that i wasnÂ´t oblivious and that i knew what was up, he jumped off that bus so fast...could you imagine as a pickpocketer that would be your worst fear..but at the same time it bothred me much more than him!The rest of the trip was much less exciting.
In Guate we got a taxi to the Moja Blanca bus station where we got a bus (pullman, a sort of coach bus) to CobÃ¡n. In CobÃ¡n we found somewhere to say and started figuring out what all we want to do here before moving on to Tikal for the ruins. WeÂ´ve decided on seeing the coffee plantations, or Finca, from the information weÂ´ve gathered CobÃ¡n had been exporting like 50 of its prime crop was being sold to Starbucks..that was until they found out that they were calling it a Guatemala Blend and including some small portion of Antigua coffee. They got mad that they were the primary suppliers and not getting any credit and pulled out...so i guess Guatemala blend is no longer from here as of a few months ago! Check that out coffee drinkers. Then we want to see these Semuc Champey pools i guess. TheyÂ´re a real sight i guess, clear and gorgeous to swim in, and its where two rivers cross each other at a natural limestone bridge. I guess i be able to tell you more once iÂ´ve been there in two days...but if you want just look it up. IÂ´m sure youÂ´ll find somethign pretty. So CobÃ¡n seems calm from what iÂ´ve seen of it. Much more so than crazy Antigua, one of the few places in this country with a Nightlife, soley because of the number of travelers. CobÃ¡n if north of everwhere weÂ´ve been, and higher in altitude. This is sort of a stop on the way up to Tikal, which we plan to be at around monday. Anyway... other than all that i donÂ´t know what else i can tell you. I am enjoying both your comments and your private emails...as always i hope all is well at home. DonÂ´t worry too much, weÂ´re doing just fine out here. Much love.