Saturday, March 15, 2014
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Up this morning at 8am and went for orientation. We walked around a lot of places which I had already seen the previous day on my own, however it was a good chance to actually find out what some of those places were as well as see some other places I hadn't seen yet.
A couple of others arrived this morning, Phyllis and Stephen, both from London (I think that makes about 5 or 6 from there), they both seem pretty easy going as well. About four of us had breakfast together and then we want off for a little walk.
We went around saw a few markets, most of the selling the same stuff as the next. So you really just had to look at one to see everything that the others had for sale. Next on our tour was the Jade factory, where you got to see how they made items out of Jade and see how it was done in the old days. I ended up getting a Mayan necklace which represents my Mayan birthday, surprise surprise, I'm a Monkey.
Off to a chocolate factory next, wasn't to flash, but the chocolate was good and they did have a kind if tea made from some part of the cacao, it was pretty tasty too.
Pacaya Volcano was then our next trip for today, it was about an hour or so by bus, followed by about an hour and a half of hiking to get there. Dogs followed us up to the top and back, I'm guessing to try and get some food from people that are willing to feed them. The Volcano is still active and last erupted just 2 weeks ago.
On the way we stopped past a shop, the unusual thing about this shop is that it was right next to the volcano. Now you probably think, "right so what, It's next to the volcano, no big deal" right. Well when you see the picture I'll upload, note the rocks behind it, they are still hot from the lava flow. Apparently it's the highest and only shop next to (might as well say 'in') an active volcano.
The shop sells items made from coconut as well as having lava rock embedded into it. I think most off is got something and I believe the money from it goes towards helping the victims of a larger eruption a few years back.
Just about 20 meters away I even got to see some of lava still hot from to most recent eruption. We were even able to roast marshmallows over it.
Now the only problem about walking down into the crater was the fact we had to walk up again to get out. Pretty steep for the first part, but after that it was pretty easy going.
We were about 5 - 10 minutes from the end and guess who took a stumble, roles their ankle and then hurt their knee, yup, me, bloody typical. I kept walking and the foot seems to be fine, however the knee seems to still be giving me issues going up and down stairs, fingers crossed it doesn't cause to many problems over the rest of the trip.
It was another hour and a half trip back to the hotel which most of us caught up on some sleep.
Once we got back to the hotel we had to all rush and shower before heading to dinner as we were just arriving back at the time we were suppose to be heading out.
Once again it was a good chance to bond with the others.
We all had the chance afterwards to head out to a salsa bar and go dancing or alternatively we could head back to our rooms and get some sleep, I decided I'd go dancing. Good times, it had been a few years since I had done any dancing so I had forgotten a few things, but was slowly remembering things as the night went on.