Volcan Pacaya

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Guatemala  , Sacatepéquez,
Monday, April 19, 2004

Today I hiked up Volcan Pacaya, an active volcano that last erupted in 2000. Several years ago, some tourists were robbed on the trail up to the top and now everyone is escorted by a guide and the heavily armed tourist police. In fact, come to think of it, everything in Guatemala is guarded by men with machine guns or shotguns ... this includes the more obvious like banks but also hardware stores and even McDonalds.
I met the guide at the travel agency at 6 in the morning and a half hour bus ride later, we were at the base of the volcano. There were about 12 of us in the group and we were first greeted by a pack of dogs that followed us the entire distance to the rim of the crater just to get a few scraps of food. The hike itself was pretty easy considering we peaked at about 8000 feet elevation. The hardest part was the last half hour. The path became nothing but volcanic ash and loose rock.
For every two steps I would take, I would slide down one. It was like being on a stair master with sharp rocks in your shoes. The summit rewarded us with amazing views and a constant 50 mile an hour cold wind. Looking into the crater, I saw nothing but steam and vapor, no actual lava, so that was boring. I paid $6 bucks to see lava dammit! Anyway, it made for a fun day and I'll try to post pictures when I can.
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Comments

Lenny on

No Lava?¿? I can see a lot of lava on this pictures. What do you want?¿? Ahhhh magma!!!

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