Monday, March 8, 2010

March 7th: Saw a Volcano Blow!

OMG!! Today was the craziest day of my life. We woke up at 6:30 and went for breakfast at Fernando's at 7:15. Then we took a two hour bus ride to the Pacaya volcano. While we were driving we saw another volcano steam (Guatemala has four active volcanoes). I'll post pictures when I can! But yeah, we went through two very poor towns. At the bottom of the volcano (it's 8,000 meters high) we buy walking sticks made of bamboo for Q5. Right when the bus pulls up, men and younger boys flock to the door so we buy the stick from them. We drove some more through a village at the base of the volcano. We took some pictures with some little boys. There was one Caucasian boy! It was weird.. Like how did he get there? We then started hiking and about ten locals would follow us with horses. They wanted us to pay to ride them up to the top (they finally left when we were half way up). It was so steep! We were ALL dying (especially Riche and I). I looked angry in every picture hah. You could feel the altitude increase considerably. It was about a 6 km hike to the top. There were tons of metamorphic rock! We had to then climb on the metamorphic rock and shale. Once we got pretty close to the top it instantly got so hot! We could see red lava spewing out of openings and every couple minutes the volcano would "burp". Mary had brought marshmallows and our guide roasted them over the lava. Yum :). Right now, locals are putting on a parade for Lent. It's very bright and colourful and there is loud music.

We went for dinner at a Mediterranean dinner last night! Ah it was so good! It was also a hookah bar. They had the most beautiful decorations. One thing I noticed was the pop tastes way different here. I drink Diet Pepsi (called Pepsi Light here) and it is way sweeter than in North America. It tastes like it has been sweetened with cane juice.

We walked back to our hotel and the parade came by again. Everyone was wearing bright purple robes and carrying huge statues! All of us got burnt so we had to pick up aloe vera from the pharmacy! Riche is sooo burnt! Surprisingly, mine is not bad. OG hung out on top of our hotel´s rooftop again which I think will become a regular spot to chill. We brought up an iPod dock and we could see all of the stars so clearly. We found Orian's belt and the Big Dipper etc :). At about 12:30 AM we saw a volcano blow! The red lava went everywhere. It was crazy!

Torry Harris
Developing World Connections Participant

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