Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 2 in Guatemala - Pacaya Volcano

This is the objective. Actually just over the hump on the right. This picture is from over half way up from the jump off point which was 5 or more miles of bad bumpy road from the highway.

After about 2 minutes of walking up the path we were out of breath and decided to spring for the extra 100 Q each (about $12) to ride up. I've got to say it was the best $24 we have EVER spent. No way I could have made it walking, although a fair number of people did. Margot claims she would have had no problem after all the Curves workouts.

Here are a couple of photos from on the way up. This is a corn field. I understand there was a drought in Guatemala this year and much of the corn crop failed.

This picture is looking back toward Antigua. The volcano on the right is Agua with Fuego on the left. Antigua is just beyond Agua.

This lake is a former caldera.

This is another view of the other volcanos.

Here is Margot heading toward an old lava flow. Click to enlarge and see if you can locate the little specks below the summit and above the old lava flow. Those are people and horses. We are going to drop the horses there and walk the rest of the way. We'll eat lunch at the same spot on the way down.

Here is Margot and our guide walking up through the lava rocks.

Here is the payoff. Lava flowing out and down the mountain. Difficult to get a sense of scale from the picture. This flow is about 10 feet across where we can see the red lava.  A larger area of flowing lava with a crust on it was observed put it didn't photograph well.

Here is Margot walking down. You can see how loose the rock was a this point. Sort of like walking up hill in pea gravel - very tiring. Not too bad going down. You can sort of ski a little with each step.

This is where we stopped for lunch. Quite the garden spot. At least the rocks are cool enough here to sit on them.

This is a geothermal plant on the side of the volcano. It is producing electricity.
This is a little farm on the side of the mountain. The plant in the foreground is called pacaya. I'm not sure which was named first - the plant or the volcano.

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