Antigua Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
I'd woke up sunday morning (ish) feeling pretty rested. My friday and saturday were spent partying and checking out the sights and sounds of Guatemala City. Now its time to see the rest of the country has to offer.
First stop is Antigua. My host told me shuttles to Antigua were available at the airport. I called the taxi driver from friday to give me a ride. When offered (for a small nominal fee) to drive me to Antigua. I accepted. About 40 minutes later we were in Antigua. First stop on my list of hotels is(was) meson panza verde. It was really nice. Kinda expensive for my taste but I got it anyway. They lured me in by giving me free upgrade to a suite. The suites are really nice.
Once I get situated I asked the desk clerk if she could set up an afternoon tour. She made a few calls and got a spot for me going to pacaya volcano. I had a couple hours to spare so I walked around town. cobblestones everywhere. For sure not the place to wear high heels (for the ladies). After awhile my feet even felt a little un easy in sandals. Tennis shoes worked best for me.
Made it back to the hotel to make catch my ride to the volcano. First was 20-30 minutes (ish) to an old gravel road. The curvy, gravel orad took us up into the mountains. We passed lots of very obviously low income "homes". Most looked like they didnt have electricity. Just a really poor area.
When I got my first look at the lava. I was thinking, oh cool. Our group tried to make over to the lava vent. We had to climb/walk over the barely hardened stuff. Thats when the heat kicked in. Then I was thinking, "heck am i doing on this active volcano?" lol It'd started to drizzle some. You could hear the water cooking off as it hit the ground. Was like being in a frying pan. I recommend you wear proper hiking shoes. sandals wont do. I saw more than one shoe soles just laying around. Not sure how they made it with no shoes. The lava hardens with lots of jagged edges/points. Passed a group that was on its way back.
Near the lava vents we all took pictures and videos. It seemed like we were on another planet. I may have moaned (to myself) about the long azz hike up but it turned out to be well worth it. We hung out about 20 mintues or so and headed back. Darkness came really quick. A few of us bought flash lights at the staging area. We spread out in the group so every 2nd or 3rd person had one. Buy a light. Without it, its "PITCH" black.
Back at the staging area and van two police officers were waiting for us. My earlier concerns about the safety of the area proved correct. They said it can be dangerous at nighttime. They rode in the van with us to the bottom of the mountain at the paved road. Guess its a standard thing.
Back in my room, I ran the bath as hot as I could stand it. Lit the candles, played some music and poured a drink. AHHHHH!!! so relaxing. Didnt wanna drown so I went ahead to bed. Think I may have been sleep before my head hit the pillow.