A Travellerspoint blog

Colombia

LASA Tour 2009-10

semi-overcast 19 °C
View LASA Tour 09-10 on Marcos92uk's travel map.

Cartagena & Barranquilla
The flight to Cartagena was at 23:00 on a tiny plane that seats about 30. I don't like flying especially these tiny planes. The flight wasn't too bumpy but was glad when we landed as I could see thunder storms in the distance.

After finding a cheap room I walked down the street into the old town where there were a lot of bars. Had a couple of beers and got embarrased by an old bloke who forced me to dance with some girl. I am not a good dancer, she left soon afterwards. Thanks old man! I am quite capable of embarrasing myself without help.

The next day I took a three hour bus ride to Barranquilla as there was a football match on (Shakira doesn't live here anymore :( unfotunately as I think I would of had a chance). I got to the stadium and there was no game on. I checked with a couple of the locals who confirmed this. I couldn't believe it as my internet source is pretty acurate. I returned to Cartagena and saw on the news that Barranquilla FC had won 5-0. How strange, I then realised I had gone to the major team from that citys ground, Junior - what a muppet.

They have motorbikes which give you a lift like a taxi service. It's a bit scary as they dodge the traffic and the helps don't always have straps!

That night had some live local music on in the main plaza of the historical town, I met a bloke called Alfredo who I hung around with. The next day we visited the fortress Castillo De San Felipe then went to the stadium and watched Real Cartagena v Equidad. The following couple of days I spent walking around the historical town and also along the seafront all the way around the bay with the new tall holiday apartments for the rich.
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I returned to Barranquilla for a day. This time I went to the right ground. I was really gutted as Carlos "Pibe" Valderrama was at the game and I didn't have my camera, patted him on the back but didn't mention the hair.

Medellin
The bus ride took 13 hours, wearing shorts and a T-Shirt was not a good idea as the aircon made it freezing. At first I stayed in the Black Sheep Hostel, this was a large place with about 50 people. I'm not a fan of busy hostels but one day they cooked a great BBQ.

My first weekend I went out with a local lady called Liliana. We went on the cable cars up to Santo Domingo library. This area used to be extremley violent with lots of killings between the police and the drug gangs, now it's a lot safer these past 10 years. Here you can pay a couple of young local lads who tell the whole story of the area and even the dates of the shootings. Afterwards I managed to get Liliana to go to a football match even though it was her teams local rivals Deportivo Medellin, she is a fan of Nacional. At the game I discovered that in Colombia they call coffee tinto, this usually is said for red wine. I thought it was a bit strange some bloke walking round selling little cups of red wine.
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On one day, with her daughter Isabel, we visited the cultural centre that had different scientific activities, an aquarium and a froguarim! (not sure what the name is but there was lots of different kinds of reptiles and frogs from around Colombia).
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I moved into a cheap but clean hotel in the downtown area. It is not recommended to stay here as it's dangerous at night. Fortunately the hotel was next to a Kokoriko, Colombian version of KFC, so I didn't need to walk around at night although by the second week I did but didn't dare go in any of the dodgy looking bars - maybe next time!

Another day I took her son Eduard to a nearby town called Rionegro, where Pablo Escobar was born, to watch a game of football. Lucky he came as the match was being played in another town called La Ceja as the ground was being renovated, anyway got to the game in time.

I spent a couple of days exploring either side of Medellin which is surrounded by mountains. From here you can get great views. It's also possible to do handgliding but I'm too scared of heights.
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I also went to Museo De Antioquia with Liliana and Isabel. Here they display many paintings from Fernando Botero whose style is to make everything fat. The art looks great, I tried to take a few photos but the staff were following me around making sure that I didn't. Outside in the square there are also sculptures of some of his art. I probably can't afford to buy any of his work, not yet any how.
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Medellin is a fantastic city. I am adding it to my list of places I could live (providing I learn Spanish).

Just an hour and a half away is Guatape which is a giant rock which you can climb and get a great view of the surrounding lakes. It's an amazing site. When walking up the stairs which have been made into the side of it I saw a sign say deviso but I thought there can't be a diversion on a stairway so continued climbing. Near the top they were still building the steps so I had to go all the way down and use the other stairway.
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Bogotá
The bus ride to Bogota was only 9 hours. So after travelling through the night I got there and took a taxi to a friend called Johana's parents house where I am staying. I met my Colombian mum, mama Cecilia. She is great, spoiling me all the time bringing me regular cups of tea. The first day of arrival and I was taken out by David and his friend Tatta to some local shopping centres and then on to a pub called Bogota Beer Company. That night we went to a football match at the El Campin Stadium. That weekend David, his girlfriend Sandra and their friends took me out drinking. I didn't get too drunk unlike the others which was lucky as the next day Papa Moises drove us to Nemocon which has an old salt mine which you can explore.
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One weekend I lined up 3 games of football in 3 days in 3 different cities. Luckily Papa Moises drove me. We visited Ibague, Pereira and Armenia. They have a second home in Armenia so we could stay there. This area is beautiful with surrounding hills and mountains. The road from Ibague to Armenia is a nightmare, it takes over 3 hours even though it's only 30 miles. The road is always twisting and turning up and down the hills and there are loadsa slow moving lorrys to overtake. I am glad I wasn't driving.

Another time I went to Soacha which is a real dodgy part just south of Bogota. A president was assasinated there in 1989. Lot's of para military groups and supporters there, but well there was a football match on so I thought why not. For the first time in ages I actually didn't have company at a match.

Bogota also has huge hills running along side it. I went with a friend called Angela and her 2 friends Ron and Frank. You take a steep kinda train thingy type up to the top where you get great views of the city. On the way down they crammed far too many people into a cable car. We also went to a club one night which is on the 42nd floor. All this is not good for my fear of heights!
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The Journey
I worked out a good trip where I could get in a few games of football and visit Venezuela then return which would solve my visa problem as my 60 days in Colombia were nearly up. I took a bus through the night to Bucaramanga but instead of dropping me off at the terminal I was left on a main road at 5am! I got a taxi but the driver must of had an IQ of 1. My Spanish aint great but he was drving me all round town and I just wanted a cheap hotel. Later that day I went to the nearby town of Floridablanca but the game was being played in Bucaramanga so I quickly returned. At the ground they wasn't going to let me in saying I needed a ticket but no one was in the ticket office. Luckily a couple of locals were shouting something at the security man telling him to let me in without a ticket and he did, great - I saved about £1.75.

I got the bus to Cucuta, the views were fantastic on the way. Then a taxi near to where the border control is. I got stamped out of Colombia and walked across the bridge into Venezuela. It was really windy which was a clue to what was going to happen. At the control point the man wouldn't stamp my passport, he kept saying something about going into town. I couldn't really understand him and we just kept shouting at each other louder and louder. In the end I gave up and walked into town. There was a strike on so I had to take a shared taxi to San Cristobal. On the main road was a check point and the soldier wouldn't let me pass because my passport wasn't stamped. I kept telling him I tried to get it stamped. I think I was close to tears, this worked as he took me to the side checked all my luggage then let me pass. What a softy! I had to find another taxi though as my one hadn't waited. In San Cristobal I couldn't find a bank cashpoint that would except my card. I had this problem last time I visited so should of remembered. I managed to get some money out eventually, thanks Banco Provincial!

I stayed in a cheap hotel, along with it's cockroaches. I had this gecko lizzard type animal help me during the night in killing them, thanks my little green bud! The next day I spent nearly 2 hours walking round with my luggage trying to find a cheap hotel near the Stadium. They were all pricey even for England! I decided to get a bus back into town. At the bus stop while making conversation a local man told me the game was cancelled due to high winds bringing a floodlight crashing into the roof. Just perfect! The next bus that came along was for the terminal so I decide to cut me losses and head back.

At the Colombian border they wasn't going to let me re-enter as I didn't have an entry and exit stamp from Venezuela. He explained there was a building in the centre of the Venezuelan town where I get these, why not at the border like all the other countries? Not good organisation Mr Hugo Chavez! Back in Venezuela I found the building but they only wanted to give me an exit stamp, on came the crying spanish accent and again result as I got both stamps.

So I thought that was all the bad luck and just get the bus back to Mama Cecilia and Papa Moises and being spoiled again. The bus ride from Cucuta to Bogota takes 15 hours. The person sitting next to me was some drunk, I mean really drunk, old man. He kept banging into me and spitting on the floor also shouting out for no reason. How did they let him on the bus. Then one time he spat and it went all along my leg. I tried to push him on the floor so I could give him a beating but he was too strong for me and I couldn't budge him that much, remember I can't even beat up a monkey! I went to the front of the coach and told the co-driver I wasn't sitting in my seat anymore. I even managed to do it in a raised voice without sounding like I was gonna cry. At the next stop they moved a few people around and I got to sit at the front. I guess it's all part of the fun of travelling.

Posted by Marcos92uk 18:27 Archived in Colombia Comments (1)

Panama

LASA Tour 2009-10

semi-overcast 27 °C
View LASA Tour 09-10 on Marcos92uk's travel map.

Friday 31 July 2009
Another long day of travel that started at 07:00 in San Gerardo and finished exactly 24 hours later in Panama City. I didn't do too much exciting stuff during my stay in Panama so I will bore you with the details.

After arriving in San Isidro I was told the bus that goes direct to Panama was full but there was one to the border in 4 hours. I got this bus which took you close to the border then got another bus that did actually take you to the border, why do I keep believing people when they tell me "yeah this bus will take you there"? Eventually get into Panama and get a bus to a town called David. It's now 21:00. Here I am told there are no direct buses to Las Tablas, which is where I wanted to go, but the bus to Panama City will drop me off in Santiago (not the one in Chile!) and from there I can get a bus to Las Tablas, yes I belived them what a muppet I am. I arrive in Santiago at midnight and am told there is no buses to Las Tablas but at 5:00 there is a bus that goes to somewhere I have never heard of and from here I might be able to get a bus to Las Tablas, at last someone was honest and said "might". I decide to give up and just head to Panama City.

Saturday 1 August 2009
I decided to just take it easy for a few days after the 40km trek in Costa Rica. A German girl called Edna cooked me dinner in the hostal - I love all these woman doing my cooking in hostels, I might forget about hotels for the rest of the trip. We went to the cinema and some how I managed to walk there and back without looking to much like Forest Gump in braces, I am now glad I came straight here instead of attempting anymore trekking.

Wednesday 5 August 2009
I visited the Panama Canal. It was quite boring at first as you wait for the ships to arrive. On the discovery channel it looks great as they have it in speeded mode and the ships are always the really huge ones. It was still worth the visit and the museum is interesting as well.
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Thursday 6 August 2009
Deportivo Arabe Unido from Colon were playing Olimpia from Honduras. This was a CONCACAF champions league qualifer. I headed to Colon on bus and 5 minutes before arrival I read in the newspaper that the match was being held in Chorrea, this is the other side of Panama City and I had just spent 2 hours on the bus going the wrong way. (Note to self - check venues first thing in the morning of matches!)
I got the bus back and as I didn't have much time until kick off I thought I'd asked a taxi how much it was, I was expecting $50 but he said $15. The driver reckoned he could get me there in time for kick off. We got there 10 minutes too late but the kick off was delayed so all worked out in the end. I wish I had taken my camera because at the end of the match after Deportivo had won all 200 of their fans in the ground seemed to have a red flare to set off. The sight was amazing.

Panama City itself reminds me of Hawaii with all the tall buildings but without the beaches.
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Anyway that's it for Central America, the time has gone qucik and now I need a holiday so am off to South America. I hope you continue to read my blogs.

Posted by Marcos92uk 22:13 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

Costa Rica

LASA Tour 2009-10

sunny 32 °C
View LASA Tour 09-10 on Marcos92uk's travel map.

Wednesday 22 July 2009
I arrived in Santa Elena the day before. I took a guided tour to the Santa Elena cloud forest. It would of been more appropriate to call it a rain forest. We saw some birds, mostly humming birds which are way too fast to get a photo of, and caterpillas and millipedes. Also people kept taking photos of flowers so I thought I had better as well in case they were rare ones, not that I would know. It would of been a lot cheaper to have got an unguided tour but nevermind. I enjoyed the walk back to Santa Elena more as the weather had improved a lot.

Thursday 23 July 2009
I got up at 04:30 am and joined four others who were making a trek up one of the nearby hills to get a good view. Apparently on a good day you can see Volcan Arenal if you get there by 07:00 am. Well we did but once again it was too cloudy, not sure when that good day is! However I really enjoyed the walk as it was quite steep and the group had a laugh while we were at the peak.

Friday 24 July 2009
I done the hanging bridges tour which is also in the cloud forest. On this we actually saw more birds and animals. We even saw a stick insect, see if you can spot it in the photo below. Near the end of the tour we saw a anteater.
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Saturday 25 July 2009
Another early start as I had to get the bus to San Jose. Bus journey times in Costa Rica are long with average speeds of about 10mph.

Sunday 26 July 2009
Early start yet again. Today was great, I went rafting on the Rio Pacuare. It wasn't too difficult with grades 3 & 4 rapids. You get breakfast before you start and after four hours of rafting have lunch. No one from our raft fell overboard unlike the others. It was really good fun and well worth the money. My shoulders are really aching now.
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Monday 27 July 2009
I done a tour which starts off driving you up to see the Volcan Irazu, I thought there would be more trekking involved. At the top was really windy so you couldn't get too close to the edge. There were some animals around, as usual I am not sure what they are called, and people can fed them. I was a bit cautious due to an earlier Monkey incident you might recall. Afterwards we visited some churches and a botanical garden, not more flowers!, which I found a bit boring.
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Tuesday 28 July 2009
Stayed in Mariposa hostel in San Gerardo De Rivas, this is at the start of Chirripo National Park. The hostel was great, it has been built around big bolders which make up some of the walls and even the base of the bed. Absolutely loved the place. I was sharing the room with two women from Quebec that had told me about the place on the bus. They were France, yes that's her first name, and Diane her mother. San Gerardo is up in the hills and has rivers running through it with great views and plenty of humming birds.

Wednesday 29 July 2009
The trek to Cerro Chirripo, the highest point, begins about 50 metres from the hostel. You walk the first 15 kms up hill and stay in a huge cabin near the summit. There is a small cabin on the way up at 7.5 km to get a rest and have something to eat but i don't recommend the toilet! The trek was fairly step but steady until the 8 km to 10 km part. This was really steep, especially after eating lunch. Also you are carrying abou 10 kgs on your back as well because it gets cold at the top so you need a sleeping bag, jumper (or two!) and jeans. Along the trek up you see a lot of wildlife like birds and lizzards. Unfortunately or fortunately I didn't see any Jaguares, which are in the area, or Monkeys (those vicious little buggers!). At a leisurely pace with plenty of breaks it took over 8 hours. The weather was perfect as it did not rain. And best of all France and Diane done the cooking so great day all round.

Thursday 30 July 2009
Earliest start yet at 04:00 am. We start off with the trek to the peak which is 10 km there and back to the cabins. It was a bit cloudy but this time I was pleased as it makes you realise how high you are when you look down on the peaks showing through the clouds. I think Diane done great to complete it as she is 51. This part took just over 5 hours. Back at the cabin I told France & Diane that I would be rushing back to San Gerardo and not stopping to wait for them as I was concearned about my knee. I have had a bit of trouble with the descents so my thinking was get as far down as quickly as I can before it starts playing up. I done the trek down in a super fast time of 3 hours 15 mins, I know this was fast as I overtook everyone else who had left earlier that morning (ok I will stop showing off).
When France and Diane returned to the hostel they and a Dutch lady who was looking after the place made the dinner. The next day I headed to Panama and they headed to the beach, I shall miss them (even though they speak French) as we had a great time together.
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I recommend the Chirripo trek. I had stayed in other places up in the hills and was disappointed that there were no trails for trekking. This had it all. Great scenery, a tough hike and a cabin up near the peak to stay. Perfect.

Posted by Marcos92uk 10:24 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Nicaragua

LASA Tour 2009-10

sunny 27 °C
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Friday 10 July 2009
I wanted to travel to Matagalpa in Nicaragua from Berlín in El Salvador, it’s about 180 miles. To get to the border with Honduras is only about 44 miles yet I had to take four buses. Even after that I had to walk a mile to get to customs and pass into Honduras. There you cross a small stretch of Honduras which is 60 miles long, this takes another 2 hours. At the Nicaraguan border you pay $7 to enter yet the receipt shows $2, this border control man must be making a fortune. His shirt pocket was full of money. At least I was now in Nicaragua. Here I got put on a bus to León which I was told is on the way, which is true for about 20 miles then instead of heading north it heads south. I was also told it takes an hour and it took over three.

The next day I had to take two more buses but finally I arrived in Matagalpa after seven buses and 8 hours - Could it of been any more complicated?

Sunday 12 July 2009
Unfortunately Matagalpa wasn’t worth all the effort it took to get there. The town only had one decent Bar/Restaurant. The surroundings were nice hills but there was no tours offered. I took a bus to Jinotega which turned out to be a great ride with some amazing views so kind of a tour any way. There I took a taxi to the nearby lake. It was mostly fields with a few large puddles at the moment. Apparently the lake shrinks until later in the rainy season, they shouldn’t put it on the map then!

Monday 13 July 2009
I visited Selva Negra which was near by, this is quite a posh resort up in the hills but you are allowed to just visit and do the treks they have laid out. I think the highest point was about 1,600 metres so I made my way up. The ground was really muddy and slippery I nearly fell several times. At one point I was waist high in vegetation and realised I had gone off track – I definitely need a Yellow brick road to help find the way. At the top were a lot of trees so I couldn’t get a good view of the town.
The way back to town was great fun; a truck stopped on the track to the main road and let me hold on to the side for a lift. It was really bumpy but some how I held on.

Wednesday 15 July 2009
Just the three buses to get to Granada which is 68 miles. Almost too easy! In the afternoon I went kayaking on lake Nicaragua, this lake is over 75 miles long. My guide was called Giaconda. She came dressed in a bright orange traditional dress. Shortly into the trip I was practically told off for not paying attention to trees and surroundings. All the time Giaconda would be talking about the history of Nicaragua, in fact she didn’t stop talking once. Then she wanted to take a short cut through some reeves. They were about 80 metres long and there was only a thin stretch of water. It took for ages to get through and all she kept saying was “this way, this way” I was thinking I know but there’s no water under the kayak so it’s difficult to manoeuvre. I really thought we would be stuck there forever. She later admitted she thought the same. Afterwards at times she would say “go faster please” and also not instruct me which way to go until we were passing the turning. In an extremely strange way I was finding this great entertainment. We got to monkey island and there I fed some monkeys with some fruit I had picked off the trees along the way. Then Giaconda told me to get on the island and take some pictures, she assured me it was safe. I stepped onto the island and one of the monkeys started biting my leg while another which was hanging from the trees was strangling me. I couldn’t believe it. I managed to break free and fell backwards onto the kayak getting wet. After getting away Giaconda then told me that sometimes the monkeys have bitten tourists’ hands – So why did she tell me it was safe to go on the island? We headed to the fortress island and on the way Giaconda recited a famous Nicaraguan poem and sang a traditional song. On the fortress island she sang yet another song. I thought the trip was great fun and even though at times I wanted to kill Giaconda I booked her up for a trip to Masaya Volcano the next day. That night I kept thinking about the monkey attack, it does make me laugh, those cheeky monkeys!
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Thursday 16 July 2009
Today Giaconda wore a yellow traditional dress. On the bus journey to Masaya she continued to explain the history of Nicaragua. The Masaya Volcano is not very tall but has several huge craters which release a lot of volcanic gases that really stink. Giaconda was funny once again as anyone who offered help in taking a photo, of which she wanted many taken, were lectured on what should and shouldn’t be included in the photo. One lady thought we were married and it did feel like a marriage getting bossed around so much, but it was good fun.
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Sunday 19 July 2009
I got a ferry, more like a big boat so not sure why they call it a ferry, to Isla Ometepe which is an Island containing two volcanoes on Lake Nicaragua. It was very tricky getting around even though the island isn’t too big as the roads were in a right state. That night I had a strange visitor. I was woken up by the sound of something moving a plastic carrier bag. I thought it was perhaps a cockroach. I was surprised when I turned around and saw what I think was a shrew eating my biscuits. The cheeky bugger had gone though my stuff and helped itself. It scarpered up the wooden beam into the roof. It kept peeking down to see if I was still looking. In the end I put what was left of my biscuits outside my room for it and hoped it would leave me in peace. I really hope it was a shrew because I dread to think that it was a rat with a long tail.

Monday 20 July 2009
I got an even smaller boat back to mainland. It can probably hold about fifty people. I was a little worried as I hadn’t taken my Sea legs travel sickness pills but as it turns out that was the least of my worries. During the journey back the weather got quite bad and the waves were pretty big considering it’s a lake. The boat was really struggling to get to the other side. Then I think the captain decided to turn it round (to be honest I’m not sure what he was trying to do or why, maybe he had watched The Perfect Storm) and one of the waves tipped us so far that one side almost touched the sea while the other was high up in the air. It was so scary; I remember thinking this can’t be happening and then thinking this is going to happen. I really thought we were going to be capsized and so did everyone else on board. Seeing the water coming that close and feeling the boat tipping was horrible. After that wave quite a few people put on their life jackets and were waiting on deck so they wouldn’t get trapped. The boat wasn't really built for largish waves. Strangely enough apart from thinking I was going to die I was also thinking bloody hell my laptop is gonna get wet, like that would of mattered! In the end I only got wet feet and perhaps my pants were a little bit wet as well. I guess at least I saved £1 as it was half the price of the “ferry”. Being scared to death is also a good cure for sea sickness but not recommended.

Posted by Marcos92uk 19:49 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (1)

Guatemala (Antigua)

LASA Tour 2009-10

semi-overcast 24 °C
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Sunday 14 June 2009
I returned to Guatemala going to Antigua. Within an hour of arriving I had signed up to take Spanish classes. I also got to stay with one of the tutors and his family. I got breakfast, lunch & dinner cooked for me on weekdays plus the classes are in the house so I don’t have to travel to a school.

I was staying with Jose his wife Karla and their children Karla Isabel, Jose Carlos & Tiffany. Plus they had three dogs, well almost three – two of them were Chihuahuas so were the same size as a rat. Jose was already teaching a German girl called Rebecca so I had a different tutor, his name was Freddy. After three weeks of lessons I think I finally understand the difference between the past tenses, although I am not sure why you need three of them! I can also use them a bit in conversation so that’s a big improvement on just speaking in the present tense.
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Antigua itself is a great place to learn Spanish. All the locals correct you if you mispronounce something or use the wrong tense. It’s like they are all your private tutors, from the lady in the laundrette to the bloke on the street who sells newspapers. You might think that it would be annoying but it’s really helpful. The town has some very strange rules. For example there are no street name signs and the shops aren't allowed big colourful signs – that includes MacDonald’s. I thought this would be a great idea but it makes finding places very difficult (and I am not talking about MacDonald's!).

Sunday 21 June 2009
Antigua has three volcanoes nearby, Acatenango & Fuego which are joined and Fuego is still active but the nearest one is Agua and it towers over the town at 3,766 meters. I arranged for a guide and a lift to Santa Maria De Jesus so that I could trek to the top. I also got Rebecca to come with me. I must have a secret rule that I have to have a German girl as company every time I trek up a volcano.
Unfortunately I picked the worst day possible weather wise to do the trek. I later found out that it was a tropical storm that came in from the Pacific, but knowing that now is too late!
I got picked up at 4:00 am and there was light rain. It usually rains in the afternoon but not in the mornings while I take my Spanish lessons so I wasn’t that worried and expected it to clear up pretty soon. We arrived at Santa Maria De Jesus at 04:45 and started the trek, the rain had got worse. Not a good idea to only wear a T-shirt and thin jacket. The trek up usually takes between 3-4 hours, I guess that’s in good weather. Within 30 minutes it was really pouring down and after an hour I was ready to turn back. The guide asked if we wanted to turn around but Rebecca convinced me to carry on. The volcano was so steep and it was really difficult in the pouring rain, my jeans now weighed a ton and I was freezing. After 3 hours we were told there was still an hour to go, once again I was ready to give up – yeah I know I’m a wimp – and once again Rebecca convinced me to carry on. The trek now was getting really dangerous with mudslides around. We got to one that seemed impossible to pass and the guide and Rebecca both slipped and fell during their ascent. I thought no way, definitely not. Then the guide said we were 5 minutes from the top, he had also said there was an hour to go 2 hours ago! I was just thinking that if I slipped it’s so cold and wet there is no way I am taking my hands out of my pockets to stop me falling face first into the mud. I gave a roar and ran up as fast as I could and I made it through without one slip. Fortunately it really was only five more minutes. At the top the crater was pretty disappointingly shallow although strangely enough someone had built a hut in it. Not sure why there were bits of an airplane scattered around – actually of course I’m sure! So five hours to the top and now the easy part, yeah I wished! Not long into the descent my right knee went and I was unable to extend it fully. I was reduced to tiny steps at a time, it was going to take ages and the rain was still pouring down. The trek down was extremely slippery but I didn’t mind as falling on your backside wasn’t so bad because you could keep your hands in your pockets. I also needed to pee but it was so cold I couldn't put my little fellow through that pain (well it was cold!). Then I got to thinking that if I peed myself how warm it would be. It was very tempting. After 4.5 hours we reached the bottom. I was now walking like Forest Gump when he had those leg braces on. Also the rain started to cease. After 10 hours, typical! or tropical whatever.

It's a shame about the weather as the view would of been fantastic and I could of got some great photos. At least I can say I climbed it in weather that probably no-one else will, even if I had to be talked out of giving up on mumerous occasions. Also I was concearned about me knee as there a quite a few more volcanoes I've got planned to trek and the ones in South America are a lot taller.

Sunday 5 July 2009
I took a chance on the knee even though I had only rested it for two weeks, I decided to do Pacaya Volcano. It's only 2,552 meters tall and still active. A lot of the time people still get to see lava streams on it. Not me of course that would be too nice. The trek was easy but the knee had a few twinges on the way down, I hope it get's better soon.

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As it rained most days for a few hours (something to do with the rainy season I think) and the knee wasn't up to a difficult trek I decided to leave Guatemala earlier than planned so missing out on Quetzaltenango and Lake Atitlan and yes of course there's a football match on at the end of July in Costa Rica so I need to hurry along but it was definately because of the rain and me knee honest. Also now I have a good excuse to return here.

Posted by Marcos92uk 17:51 Archived in Guatemala Comments (1)

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