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Mingling with the Mayans in Guatemala


View MAP OF THE JOURNEY on AnnaMickus's travel map.

After Atitlan we decided to pop by Antigua, a really colonial town a couple of hours from Atitlan. When you enter this city it is like entering another country, maybe somewhere in Europe. This must be the furthest away from ”normal” Guatemala as you can get here. The streets are all clean and there are a lot of nice restaurants and shops everywhere. It makes for a nice stop, but the nights are bloody cold, so we didn’t waste much time doing what we came here to do: climb Volcán Pacaya, the only active volcano near Antigua (2552m).

And it was all we expected and more. This is the kind of experience that makes you remember why you are travelling. We started our journey with an hours’ bus ride from Antigua and continued on foot. It was quite a hike (at least for us as we’re in such crappy shape) because it was mainly just uphill, uphill, uphill, and at that altitude it was even more demanding. But when we got up to a point where we could already see the top of the volcano we realized that it had all been worth it. Up there far away we could see the tip of the volcano and lava was pouring out from it. Every once in a while we saw big chunks of burning lava roll down the hill. Wau! That was amazing! And that was where we were going to climb!

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It took us quite a while to climb up there and balance over the tricky shaped volcanic stones, but we finally made it. And it was just absolutely crazy! You could feel that the rock you were standing on was warm and when you knocked on it with the walking stick it felt a little bit hollow. At some places there were splits in the rock and you could see lava flowing underneath. You were really hoping that that hollow rock wouldn’t break! At three places the lava was just pouring out in big thick waves and we stood right next to it! Every once in a while pieces got loose and they started rolling down the hill. It was just madness! We took out our egg and put it next to the lava in order to boil it, but it was soon covered with a huge wave of lava that poured out from a crack in the rock. Some people were grilling marshmallows, and they got grilled pretty quickly, I tell you.

When the sun set, the lava seemed to turn even more orange and hot, and the view and the whole experience was just amazing. The view up there was otherwise also spectacular; we were actually above the clouds, so you could see them hanging down there with lots of other mountains and green hills surrounding us. We really felt alive!

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We also made a trip to a village a few hours away from Antigua. We wanted to see some weird statues that are scattered around the area. The place wasn't at all touristy and there were really no options but to walk to the different areas where the statues were located (unless you wanted to pay a fortune on a taxi), so we started walking. After a while some guards patrolling the area stopped us and asked where we were going, cause the area was known to be dangerous. When they heard that we wanted to see the statues they took us in their car and took us to several places to see these cool statues beacuse they didn't think it was safe for us to wander around alone. So we got a private tour by local guards! And afterwards they dropped us off at the bus station. What service!

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Posted by AnnaMickus 07:36 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

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