Friday, April 6, 2012

We've been extremely busy lately, so it's been hard to keep up with the writing. Yesterday we woke up at the hotel in San Lucas at 3:30am. We had to board a bus to Antigua; although it was only a 2 hour drive, we wanted to beat the traffic because lots of people will be visiting Antigua for the Easter celebrations. So we drove through the bumpy, curvy roads to Antigua, very early in the morning. It was really interesting because we saw so many people either already up working or waiting for a bus at 4:00am. We arrived at Hostal Antigua at 6:45am yesterday morning. We couldn't get into our rooms yet, so we dumped our stuff in the hallway and went to a local restaurant for breakfast and walked around the town. We left for our volcano climb at 2:00. We had two tour guides to direct or group of 20. We drove for an hour and a half to get to the base of Volcano Pacaya. We were all extremely impressed with our driver who could drive well above the speed limit and strategicaly maneuver around cars! At the base of the volcano was a very poor town. Before the vans had even parked, children were gathered around begging us to rent a hiking stick from them for 5Q. Most of us bought one :) We were disappointed to find out the hike was only an hour and a half long, but after the first ten minutes of hiking we were happy that it was short! We were jealous of Harrison who got to ride a horse the whole way up. But hiking with our two very attractive tour guides was just as good :) It took us 1 1/2 hours to get to our camping site. It was so beautiful! The peak of the volcano was so close and we were surrounded by clouds. After taking a ton of pictures, we hiked to our camp ground. We set up the tents and explored the area. Jon found the perfect climbing tree, but he was the only one who could climb it :( Then we set off on our tour of the volcano. We did not know what we were in for! The next two hours were filled with trying to keep or footing on the bumpy volcanic rock. For some of the tour we couldn't see more than 10 feet away from us because it was so foggy. We were literally IN a cloud! After about an hour some people turned around for various reasons. The rest of us continued on our adventure. We found a hot spot where we roasted marshmellows in between the rocks. We had to scale a really steep section of the volcano too; some of us had to crawl up because it was so steep! We were almost to the top, but we couldn't get too close otherwise the sulfur would turn to hydrochloride acid in our lungs. After a while we returned back to camp. The handsome tour guides made us stir fry over the fire. We talked for a while, but didn't stay up long since we woke up so early that morning. We woke up today at 5:30 to watch the sunrise, but it was too foggy to see anything. We ate PB&j bagels and hiked back down. It only took 40 minutes that time! Much more happened today, but I'll let someone else share. We're on our way to a place called Rainbow Cafe for dinner!! -Lauren Schoenbauer

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