Day 42 – Wednesday, August 7, 2013
We are spending the day in the Turicentro Automariscos RV park near Palin, Guatemala. Today, Victor and I hiked the Pacaya volcano. We took a bus to the road that leads up the mountain to Pacaya. We were waiting on the corner for another bus and Norm flagged down the Palin police truck for more information. We were planning on asking the police to guide us up the trail but they were not from that district and instead agreed to drive us up the mountain to San Vincente. We spoke with the policia in San Vincente and they gave us further information but would not act as a guide. So, after some instructions, Victor and I got onto another bus which took us up the mountain to San Francisco and to the Pacaya Volcano National Park Information Centre. We hired a guide and paid the park admission fee and headed up the mountain. Two locals on horseback followed us hoping these gringos would soon tire and want to hire a horse.
The trail rises 2100m to an elevation of 2500m. It was hard work for this old gringo but well worth the effort. It took us about 2.5 hours to hike up and maybe an hour or so to hike down.
Pacaya is one of three active volcanos in Guatemala and erupts every few years.
Pacaya in the distance.
In the back of a Palin, Guatemala police truck. Luckily the doors did open from the inside. J
The beginning. Victor and I looking pretty energetic at this point.
Looking across the valley at the Agua (Owaa) volcano. The small town of San Francisco in the foreground and San Vincente in the background.
Our destination looking up from the trail.
The trail of volcanic ash.
Gringo above the tree line.
Our guide pulling me out of a vent hole. You could feel the heat from the escaping gasses. It was not a place you would want to spend much time.
Some of the lava formations.
The Guatemalans have built a geo-thermal plant near the base of Picaya that not only provides hot water to all the local communities’ buts also generates electricity. A very sophisticated piece of engineering I did not expect to see. You can just see the roof of the plant in the picture below with corn growing in the foreground.
And then it was the Autobus #1 back to Turicentro Automariscos RV park near Palin, Guatemala. A nice shower and spaghetti dinner provided by the Rambos, the family traveling in our group, and a nice soak in the hot pool to ease the aching leg muscles finished off the day. A really great day. Too bad my sidekick was not here to enjoy this with me but she is where she needs to be.
The Rambos asked me to give away a bunch of inflatable pool toys to the local kids enjoying the pools and waterslides. They asked me to give them away so their 3 year old son would not want to keep them himself. It was like Christmas for the kids. The toys were a big hit.
…over and out from Guatemala, the muleskinner minus his sidekick. Take care all.