William, a member of our host family we are staying with in Antigua, offered to bring Ira, myself and another Tecun Uman Spanish student to Pacaya Volcano for a little hiking.
The Pacaya Volcano first erupted approximately 23,000 years ago. The peak is 8373 feet. It took us about an hour to make the hike. While I think of myself in pretty good shape, I have to admit I was huffing and puffing. The steep climb and altitude definitely caused me to need a handful of breaks on the ascent. Thankfully, we were protected from the hot sun for much of the hike by the lush trees.
Our guide, who had to be in his 60s, did not seem in the least bit winded by the hike. So, yeah, pretty impressive.
We Made It
We were all pretty pleased with ourselves when we made it to the top. While you hike up very close to the top of the volcano, you can’t actually hike to THE top of the Pacaya Volcano because it is, after all, an active volcano.
After we arrived at the top, we hiked down a little ways to a rock field where our guide handed us sticks and marshmallows to roast over a hot vent in the rocks.
We were all pretty exhausted from the hike, but it didn’t stop us from making a trip to the Antigua Market on our way home. Our host William wanted to make a big BBQ for us and several friends, so we needed to make a stop for copious amounts of fresh vegetables, meat and fish.
The colorful Antigua Market is unlike any place I have ever been. Imagine stall after stall after stall of vendors selling clothes, artisan goods, shoes, music, movies, toothbrushes, fruits, vegetables, meat, and literally everything else you can think of. Once you duck into the “interior” area of the market, you enter into what feels like a rabbit warren of vendor stalls. Thank goodness William was with us or I certainly would have been lost wandering around aimlessly for hours looking for an exit.
William spoiled us by making the most amazing dinner of chicken, beef, fish, roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables and fresh salad. Sabrina and Erin, a couple of travelers staying with William for a two nights, invited their backpacker friends over for the feast as well.
These millennials were ravenous and seemed excited to be eating an incredible home cooked meal.
I had at least 15-20 years on all the travelers at the table. But it was still fun to hear their stories of traversing Central America for months at a time, hopping from hostel to hostel per friends’ recommendations. Maybe now I won’t be so scared if any of my girls decide to do this one day!
I am a candid, family and event photographer from Chicago, Illinois. Want to see some of my family photojournalism sessions? Click here, here and here.
Interested in checking out my event photography? Click here, here and here.
Want to see other posts in my photo journal of Guatemala? Click here, here and here.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Susan’s Photo Journal.
Next stop, Panajachel, Guatemala!