Day 20: Hiking Pacaya – Guatemala’s active live volcano

Getting up Pacaya turned out not to be the everyday (or weekend) hike. A strenuous 100 minute uphill challenge, through wind, rain, mud (& horse shit), thick fog (or cloud?) and rough jagged volcanic rock, we reached Pacaya’s active cone. Through the cracks in the volcanic surface we could see red hot lava streaming beneath our feet. It was no wonder they started to feel warm and I worried about our shoes melting – the guidebook did say not to wear shoes with thin soles.
The whole experience was a little frightening (but hot – felt like being toasted!!). We were surrounded in thick cloud and visibility was less than 5m. The winds were strong and every now and then the area would clear up to reveal beautiful clouds in the distance tinted by the setting sun. The jagged surface made it extremely tough to walk around and we had to be careful with every step. Some areas of the volcanic surface appeared thin (ie. recently formed) and if it gives in to your weight, you could be stepping straight into the lava underneath – not a pretty sight! We also heard occasional rumbles which didn’t add any comfort… I remember thinking to myself let’s get the fuck out now!!

Hiking through thick fog and rain
Reaching the volcanic cone
Above in the sky!!
Lava in the cracks beneath our feet
Feeling like toast..

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3 Comments

  1. Rafzana says:

    You guys are very courageous!!!!

  2. Leslie says:

    AmAZING! Loved seeing your faces! :)

  3. ace says:

    WOW! and i second what L said!

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