Antigua and the Pacaya Volcano
Antigua Travel Blog› entry 3 of 21 › view all entries
Having arrived safely in Antigua, checking in to the Black Cat Hostel and wondering around town for the rest of the afternoon, an early night was needed on day one. We woke to an included breakfast that could keep you going until almost dinner! Breakfast burrito is all I'll say... except for the fact that is what I ate on day two... day one was scrambled eggs, toast, plantain, refried beans, avocado, tomato... very very filling! After breakfast we contemplated what to do as the sky was grey and threatening rain... today was the day for Pacaya - the live volcano... or was it? No... unfortunately we agreed that it was too overcast for a volcano hike.
So instead we started by walking around town and taking photos of some of the old ruined cathedrals, until we stumbled across one that was attached to a building that had been modernised on the inside and was housing a local photography show.
Our next destination was the local market to find Al a new hat, Maree new sun glasses and Jules to fix his watch - none of which we ended up achieving! The market was typically haphazard housing local wares and lots of cheap junk. With the sun beating down on us we decided to find a cool drink, ducking in to this cute little cafe where I got a lemonade with soda - with enough sugar to rot your teeth right there and then.
While we were at the cafe the rain came down, but that didn't stop us (myself and Maree) from a spot of shopping! Just a couple of little things, some magnets of local ladies - handcrafted, a little money purse to hide in my cloths, another travel purse and the coolest wooden puzzle! It's a carved owl and when you take it part it has two secret drawers inside. I love owls and wood!
In the evening we met up with Lindsay - a girl who caught a cab with us from Guatemala City to Antigua. We headed to Loco Mono (Crazy Monkey) for cheap drinks (ladies night - 3 Quetzales) and munchies. Loco Mono was very touristic and the music they were playing could have been in any bar anywhere, so after a short while we left and walked Lindsay back to her hostel.
The day of Pacaya... our first mission was to move hostels! Why? Well Jules got bed bug bites... but hectically so, all down the one side of his back - so Jules was definitely moving and we were all a bit grossed out and not willing to risk them jumping across to our bunks.
The drive to Pacaya took a little over an hour along windy mountain roads, and I'm pleased to say that I suffered from no motion sickness! I didn't even take tablets. Anyway, you get off the bus and are accosted by several little Guatemalan boys with walking sticks that they're trying to sell to you. Based on Maree's passed experiences I decided it was a good idea. Off we set... all up hill! Within minutes I was huffing and puffing my way up the volcano with sweat dripping down my back, red faced and my glasses kept fogging up from the heat.
At the top we took photos and roasted marshmallows on the heat of the molten lava. We watched the lava against the sun setting and then headed back down in the dusk, moving in to the dark. Hiking in the dark is interesting, walking with a head torch strapped to your forehead only being able to see a few short feet in front of you - in some ways it's a bit scary in other ways a relief i.e. when a big moth flew in to my face (I have a major irrational phobia of moths). I never saw it coming, I never saw it's horrible features and I never saw it fly off!
We made it back down and got back in to our transfer who drove like a crazy man all the way back to the Jungle Party Hostel. That night... just a few quiet drinks at the hostel... ladies night again (5 Quetzales) - getting in to the ol Cuba Libre (i.e. rum and coke).