Guatemala map:
Antigua and Volcano Pacaya
Nov 18, 1999

These older journal entries were hastily typed in at local cybercafes where I was paying by the minute.  Please excuse grammar mistakes or typos. 

Antigua is yet another nice quaint little town.  Very european - especially in the fact that it is packed full of foreign tourists.  Apparently the nightlife is great on Friday and Saturday, so I'm going to stay here until Saturday morning. 

I just changed my plane tickets so that I've got two more weeks in Central America.  I'm now leaving Costa Rica on the 24th of December and arriving in Sao Paulo Xmas day at 8:30am. 

The current plan - Another day in Antigua, a few days in Lago de Atitlan (a beautiful lake surrounded by Volcanos - I hear there is good shopping), then down to Santa Ana, El Salvador.  After that I don't know...  although I'm thinking of flying from Managua to Bluefields (little beach party town) and then the Corn Islands before returning to Managua and bussing down to Costa Rica. 

Oh..  and just a little note.  I stopped taking the Malaria pills.  The pills were making me wake up every 3 hours from nightmares.  I've talked to a lot of well traveled people and they concur.  It's better to get Malaria than to take Lariam. 

Volcano Pacaya

Yesterday I climbed up the Volcano Pacaya.  Great fun.  14 major eruptions in the last 10 years.  The last one was just over a year ago.  Unfortunately, there is no lava flowing currently, but it's spewing a good amount of smoke and the ground gets really warm at the top. 

I was traveling briefly with an American.  We picked the right day to climb a Volcano - our group was 20 women and 9 men.  We climbed a total of 2600 meters.  After 1800 meters we reach a crest and finally see the black mound that is the Volcano.  The last 800 meters was an incredible difficult climb - the volcanic gravel slips from under your feet with every step.  Finally we reach the top gasping for breath both because of the exertion and the sulphur. 

The way down was awesome - Volcano Skiing.  The gravel that gave us so much trouble of the way up was great fun doing down.  You could jump down a few feet and slide a few feet - a quick jump turn, another jump and it's just like skiing powder.  The tour left at 11am and returned at 8:30pm.  Dinner and one beer and I went to sleep. 

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