Antigua Travel Blog

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What a nightmare start to the day... my alarm failed to go off!

I was due to be picked up from the hostel at 06.00 to hike Pacaya, however my alarm failed, and out of pure chance I awoke at 06.00 ... and Panicked. I threw my clothes on and ran out of my room, hoping that the mini bus was running on Central American time and I hadn't missed it... I nervously paced the reception waiting for the knock on the hostel gates to tell me they were ready for me ... finally at 06.15 there was the knock and I jumped in to the mini van a very relieved man.

After a slightly crazy journey; overtaking vehicles on blind bends etc, we made it to Pacaya at 07.30 and met with our guide. After a reasonably steep 1.5 hour climb, over what can only be described as Lunar type terrain, we made it as high as we could and got a matter of feet from the Lava stream.
Using sticks our guide gave us we prodded the lava and roasted marshmallows over the heat... and the HEAT ... Wow! Some of the group had climbed in trainers and the soles of these were no melting, I felt like I was melting with sweat pouring off me! (EWWwww). It was an amazing experience and one that I would recommend to anyone, as we hiked we also watched Volcano Fuego belching from it's crater.

It took us about an hour to descend from the Volcano, we sat and cooled down with a drink and then had another manic drive back to Antigua. I got cleaned up at the hostel and then checked out and walked a few blocks to the new hotel where I was going to meet my group.
The new hotel was very nice, I had a double room to myself; just outside the room was a beautiful courtyard with a fountain, palm trees and seating.

I had a 1 hour siesta and went to meet the group. Who intially consisted of 3 Aussies (all from Sydney ... two were cousins), 1 American (from LA), 1 Danish, 1 Former Yugoslavian (Now living in Toronto) and 1 other Brit .... and all were girls!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and of course Martin; our Swiss Tour leader. Martin took us through a 1.5 hour welcome meeting! (He's apparently well known for holding very long meetings) At 20.15 we sat down for our first group dinner together, and afterwards headed home, as we were all quite tired and some where heading up Pacaya earlier the next day.
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photo by: monky