Left at 9am Boat from FINCA to Rio Dulce - 45 minutes
Coach from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City - 6 hours (coach driver not the safest, texting and using mobile phone whilst taking corner) seat belts fastened at all times.
Last collectivo caught just in time 1 hour 15 minutes to Antigua arrived in the main Plaza at 830pm.
After asking a few people directions to the hotel including a weird 14 year old boy in a corner shop and his older amigo in the corner holding a pump action shotgun (hopefully to protect them from a robbery nothing else) we arrived at our lush hotel with ensuite bathroom. That evening we went to the closest pizza place and shared a small veggie pizza. We were both tired so hit the hay.
The next day we paroused the cobbled streets and colourful buildings intertwined with ruins from an earthquake years ago. The view from our road was outstanding a huge volcano overlooking the town and a bright blue sky. We then walked up a hill nearby to a view point with a cross and the view was even more breath taking. Then Mel came across a necklace that she really liked being sold by a European entrepreneur, she was about to buy it when I had to say, "SORRY TO RUIN THE SURPRISE BUT I GOT YOU THE NECKLACE YOU SAW IN FINCA TATIN FOR VALENTINES DAY." MEL quickly put down the necklace and made her excuses and we left down the hill. DAM Oh well nearly!!!!
There were so many companies offering volcano hikes, bike trips, local village tours we managed to completely overload our brains and we ended up losing our minds a bit. We ate at an amazing vegan restaurant called Samsara. This gave us brain power and we booked a trip for £7.50 each up Pacaya Volcano the next day for the sunset trek.
The next day, we sorted out some chores including looking for mobile phone repair shops for Mels ropey HTC. Which made a remarkable recovery later that day. At 2-pm we were picked up from the hotel and drove 1.5 hours to the Volcano start point. OUR guide met us there and we began the 3km track to the highest view point. I did not realise the volcano was still active. It was a quite a fast pace trek up some fairly challenging steep paths certainly made me sweat a lot and my heart pump nice and fast. When we got to the view point close to the summit we were very surprised to see the volcano starting to spit out lava from the top. Wow totally amazing. We then swooped down into a tiny valley where a previous eruption in 2014 had left lava rock. it looked like the surface of the moon. Here we toasted marshmallows in a hidden hot spot in amongst the rocks. Pretty cool !!!
Then we walked around to another view point where we could see the lava spitting out from Pacaya on the left, in front of us the sun setting into a layer of cloud and hills and to the right another volcano with the summit disappearing into the clouds. Really stunning can't really describe how amazing it was to see. As it got darker you could see the dark orange/red lava spewing from the volcano top in all its glory.
Best £7.50 I have ever spent.
The last two days we have spent lounging around cafes, smoothie bars and eateries in Antigua town and building up our food supplies for the volunteering on Sunday. I won't be able to update until next weekend as no wifi at Animal aware. See you in a week