Pictures of Ben and Kim stupidly close to an active lava flow
11/23/09 80 °F
Many tourists come to Guatemala to do things that no one in their right mind would let them do in the US. We are no exception! This weekend, we climbed a volcano that is still spewing lava and crossed a barely crusted over rock pathway to get there (yes, that means there was red hot molten rock possibly only inches beneath our feet!). Like average Americans, we assumed that if people let you do it, it must be safe, while here the modis operandi is if people will pay for it, we'll tell them it is safe.
This was no trip for the faint of heart or the heavy of foot and belly. At one point during our scramble up loose pumis and red lava rock, a huge smoldering rock the size of a sack of bowling balls broke off the mountain and came cascading and tumbling towards our group. Luckily, it passed through a gap in the line without injuring anyone. This was the point we were sure that this was one of the most ridiculously stupid things we had done in our lives, an opinion shared by most of our hiking companions.
Nearer to the top, the temperature rose by 20 degrees or so as we started seeing red hot molten rock between the cracks in the lava flow we were walking on. We could feel the heat through our shoes, which were quite torn up by the end. It was more or less the kind of place you would only go to destroy an evil ring or smelt diamonds.
Finally we reached the top of the lava field where there was a river of molten lava flowing down the hillside, and a constantly smoking volcano cone above us. Only a few tourists have been killed from time to time when the volcano decides to give a hiccup while they were on top.
Here was the view while we climbed. These are the three volcanoes that surround Antigua: Acatanengo, Agua, y Fuego, you can see a plume of smoke coming out of Fuego in the back:
All around our feet were cracks similar to this one with glowing, molten rock inside:
Ben looking scared:
Me looking cool and collected like always, though based on the previous shot of Ben I would say my hands were shaking slightly:
The river of lava cascading down the mountain:
You really can´t get tired of shots of lava:
Oh, also, here are two pictures of another hike that we did up La Nariz which is the mountain right next to our town, San Juan. Not quite as exciting in comparison but still pretty!