Volcanos, Bandits, and My Birthday

Published: May 19th 2011
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 Video Playlist:

1: Bandits 35 secs
2: Bringing the man to safety 28 secs
So for my birthday this past Saturday I decided on the spur of the moment to hike Central America┬┤s 3rd tallest mountain (Volcan Acatenango). Acatenango is one of 3 volcanos that surrounds Antigua and boasts the best view of the neighboring active Volcan Fuego.

I went with a local outdoor adventure agency and left with a group of 11 backpackers, 1 guide, and 2 armed police officers. It is a known fact that these Volcanos arent always safe and sometimes robberies occur, so the agency hires the local police to accompany us.

We began the hike through the local corn fields and about 45 mins into the hike I see our guide run past me down the trail towards our 2 police officers in the back.

It turns out there was a backpacker coming down the mountain saying the group he was with just got robbed and their guide (who was carrying a gun) got shot and needed help.

Watch the videos attached here for a first hand narrative of what happened.

Bottom line is we decided it was not a smart idea to go up the volcano knowing there were 4 bandits with 4 guns that had just shot someone. So while it was still early adn we were packed for a camping trip after all we turned around and went to Volcan Pacaya and camped out there. Now I had already been to Pacaya about 2 weeks ago and had a great time so was a little disappointed it wasnt something new and more challeneging but we got to spend more time there, make a campfire and spend the night.

Probably the highlight of the night was being sung happy birthday in English, Spanish, and Dutch!

So it was an interesting turn of events, a good story, and I still got to sleep on a Volcano for my birthday.


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