Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saturday 3/10/12

 Waking up at the crack of dawn would have meant sleeping-in today! Indeed, this was the first day none of us were able to catch the sunrise atop our hotel simply because we were already on our way to the Pacaya volcano by 6:00am. A scenic, albeit frighteningly aggressive, drive later, we found ourselves at the base of Pacaya. There we were swarmed by young locals renting out walking sticks and horses for the climb. Accepting the former, we began the hour-and-a-half climb with our guide. The horses we turned down followed closely behind in case we grew weary (the only catch being the gradual increase in price which conveniently matched the difficulty of the hike).

In another life, Dr. P was a volcanic-ash snowboarder

We were struck by the unique beauty of this hike along a path that was made by a volcanic flow in 2010. We roasted marshmallows and hotdogs over a volcanic vent and even burrowed into a cave. We knew we were close to the base when we were again swarmed by kids asking for us to return our hiking sticks.

After mid-day power naps on the drive back to Antigua, we rinsed off, rested, and head to town for some time at the market. There we found countless booths offering similar, beautiful Guatemalan products. We all practiced our bartering skills, but Laynie rose above the ranks by trading a few granola bars for a several friendship bracelets! Dr. P and Dr. Walker then treated the team to a wonderful dinner in town as a capstone to our week.

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