Wednesday, October 25, 2006

3-Guatemala: Acatenango Volcano Hike

We started hiking Acatenango Volcano in the morning. We had three guides (Matt, Cisco, and Luisa) with us for the hike. Matt told us that there wouldn't be a warm up because the hike started with us going straight up. He wasn't kidding.

Connie and me when we stopped for lunch.

I climbed the watch tower but it was really high and the tree was moving so I only made it half way up.

Connie summiting in the thick sand. It was so steep and such deep sand that if you took 3 steps, you slid down two. It was really frustrating. I laid down about 10 feet from the top for a break. The sand made a really soft bed. It was hard to get up and start moving again.

Me at the top. I wanted to cry for joy since I was done. We hiked straight up for 6 1/2 hours. They kept telling us we would get to switchbacks but I don't think the Guatemala definition for switchback is the same as the American one. We hiked straight up the whole time.

Fuego Volcano at sunrise. At night we could see the red glow of Fuego. I tried to get pictures of it but they didn't turn out.

Connie in front of Fuego. You can see it smoking.

Our camp site in the mouth of the crater. It was really cold that night and we were all excited to get going in the morning. We couldn't build a fire so we just froze. The view of the stars at night and the other volcanoes in the morning made it so worthwhile.

I took a lot more pictures on the way down since we weren't as tired. The rainforest was awesome.

As we got closer to the bottom we kept taking off the layers.

Carol and me almost at the bottom. We hiked about 5000 feet up and the top was about 13,500 feet.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

4-Guatemala: Biking around Lake Atlitlan

Lake Atlitlan after our 13 mile road bike trip with the group. We stopped at an overlook for lunch.
Anne Marie, Ken, and I decided that we wanted to try Guatemala mountain biking. We got a picture with our brave guide Cisco before splitting with the group to do single track mountain biking.
The mountain biking totally kicked our butts. Ken ended up in the corn field twice and then later a barbed wire fence. I fell several times in the dirt and Anne Marie ended up in this ravine but as you can see we are still smiling because it was awesome.
Cisco took action shots of us while we mountain biked.
Sometimes the action was us carrying our bikes over hard sections. We called it Hike Biking.
Cisco and me after we completed our bike ride. Lake Atlitlan is in the background.
After we got back to the vans we had to have a victory shot. We all had battle scars to appreciate our ride even more.