Pacaya

Townsend decided to take a break from the rain in Vancouver and come visit for a few days.

My ribs are healing up nicely and so we went for a guided hike up Volcano Pacaya. Unlike Xicantecatl about 6 weeks ago, Pacaya at 8400 feet is only medium big. It’s been erupting continuously since 1965 with a big one in 1998 which sent ash up 15,000 feet. We weren’t allowed to climb to the edge of the cauldera as 7 years ago a tourist fell in, probably with a kindof fssst sound.

On the way we drove through the town of Amatitlan
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People working on the left side
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And on the right
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Up the mountainside past small villages
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To a meeting spot where the guides waited and kids sold walking sticks. We set off with two horses in tow; the handlers hoping we’d tire and jump on.
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We passed through harvested fields into a layer of clouds
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And into a windswept forest
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At one point we rounded a corner to a grove of these yellow shrubs that from twenty feet look exactly like Mahonia aquifolium I’m sure you agree
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Then the trail got seriously steep and we climbed for another hour or so. Well not ‘we’ because at one point Townsend said Stop! and jumped on a horse. Across the valley another Volcano appeared above the clouds. It’s name escapes me.
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The last push through the last of the trees was a hard slog, through loose volcanic rubble and sand
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It plateaued for a while. The views through the racing clouds were beautiful
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And
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Across lava fields
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And unbelievably there were these dogs running around. This 49th-and-Arbutus looking thing is a Maltese Poodle
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And this one
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And this one
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There were hot vents where ferns grew
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This one was pumping out steam
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Pacaya was still in the clouds. We took the customary photo and descended back to Antigua through the forest
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Comments

5 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Vlad,

    stay off the lava or….fssssst….

  2. You look really special in that last picture Dad, is that the look you’re talking about when you’re pestering Gemma, Harriet and I to do a “mouths slightly open look” in pictures?

  3. Keep up the great pics and commentary…I have to live vicariously through you for now! Leslie

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