Last month, after being in Guatemala for two days, we hiked a volcano! A real live volcano. Julie, Lauren, and I woke up early and got picked up by a van. We rode for about 2 hours to the base. There are 30 volcanos in Guatemala, and there are currently only 3 that are active. Agua, Fuego, and Pacaya are active. Pacaya’s elevation is 8,373 feet. Seriously, it is very large.
The hike was incredibly difficult for me. It was similar to climbing that horrible stair machine where the stairs continually rotate and never stop. If perhaps, I had been to a volcano before, or I did not care about seeing the volcano, I would have quit. Julie and Lauren were ahead of me and a little boy with a horse was hanging out beside me. This little boy wants someone to pay to ride his horse, and on June 10th, he wanted me to be that someone. I thought this was funny for a time, and then I felt thoroughly annoyed that he had picked me out to be the weak link. “The horse would like to work today,” the young boy told me. Which made me feel like I would like to work that day. Drenched in sweat and breathing hard, I pushed on.
As we rounded a corner the scenery changed. We went from lush green to ashen rock. I could not believe how amazing it looked. I wanted to reach down and scoop up all of the rocks beneath my feet. The trail leveled out and we camped out for lunch. Our guide threw some sticks in a hole and a fire immediately ignited. He got a stick and roasted marshmallows.
I did bring back a couple lava rocks and I am very excited to put them on a shelf in my classroom. Pacaya was one of the most visually unique things I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It felt as though we were stalking through middle earth looking for the ring. I’m very pleased to cross off seeing a volcano from my list!