Guatemala
La Soledad

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7 travelers at this place

  • Day16

    Estoy sufriendo mucho

    May 8 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Bislang keine Blasen, Wetter in Ordnung, aber ich leide mit jedem Meter. Meine Gruppe ist mega lieb und treibt mich die Höhenmeter hoch. ... Ich wollte schon aufgeben, durfte aber nicht. Für Fotos reicht meine Energie im Moment nicht (Im Übrigen die Zeit auch nicht - unser Guide scheint mit uns eine Wette gewinnen zu wollen.).

    Für Interessierte hier ein paar Fakten. Die Wanderung startet in einem kleinem Dorf auf gut 2400 hm. Das Basecamp auf dem Acatenango liegt auf 3754 hm. Für die Tour werden in der Regel 5 Stunden veranschlagt...
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    Petra Böhnert

    Halte durch! Es lohnt sich bestimmt!

    5/8/21Reply
     
  • Day331

    Volcán Acatenango

    April 12, 2017 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    After reaching our limit at the Tourist Police camp spot we had a choice of either the coast or the top of a volcano, so we chose the difficult option! Volcan Agua had been hovering over the city with a permanent cloud cap so we knew it was was going to be a bit of a change of climate.

    It was only a short drive so we arrived in the afternoon & arranged with our guide Hector to start the next morning, so we had a night to acclimatise to 2300m. Our crazy Estonian friends arrived a bit later but they decided to go up starting at midnight!

    We set off in lovely morning sunshine although carrying many layers of clothes as we were warned to expect extreme cold - in fact 6 people died on this mountain in January from hypothermia and we didn't want to take any chances! We were lucky enough to have as guides not just Hector but his 10 year old son Mina, who was on Easter school holidays and was climbing the volcan for the first time. Of course he & Maya virtually skipped up as we trudged arriba arriba arriba (up up up) first through farmers fields, then into cloud forest & finally through barren volcanic landscape. It was a hard hike & we were relieved to get to our campspot, quickly setting up our tent which Maya immediately crawled into and nestled into our sleeping bags, as sun had been replaced by freezing fog whooshing down from the top of the volcano above us. Hector told us we were facing Volcan Fuego & the fog should clear at night... fingers crossed.

    Héctor made a big campfire & we all chatted with some Guatemalans from nearby Guatemala City who were also doing the hike. We ate our pasta 'n sauce dinner & huddled into our tent with all our layers, plus with Maya in the sleeping bag :), and still felt cold. After managing to get maybe an hours sleep I woke to see that sure enough the fog & clouds had lifted, the wind had died & the smoking peak of Fuego was in front of us surrounded by twinkling stars & lit by the full moon - stunning.

    In the dark at 4:30 we started the brutal final ascent, pretty much straight up some very loose volcanic soil. We were rewarded with a spectacular sunrise at the top of Acatenango & to top it off a big smokey eruption by Fuego only a kilometer or so away.

    As you can imagine going down was much easier, apart from one little tumble! We said goodbye to Hector and his son (who immediately went off to play football with his mates!) & drove to Antigua dreaming of a hot shower. The shower nearly didn't materialise as the hostel we usually have one in was full so turned us away... (even seeing our filthy state & desperation). Luckily the next hostel we tried took pity on us & we had a wonderful hot shower which they wouldn't even accept any payment for.
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    Amazing experience!

    4/22/17Reply
    Tamsin Malone

    Amazing picture!

    4/23/17Reply

    Very cool!

    5/1/17Reply
    Elvis Lives

    About freezing at 4am TBH...

    5/2/17Reply
     
  • Day9

    Aufbruch zum Gipfel

    November 9, 2019 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Morgens um 7:30 Uhr treffen wir uns bei Wicho & Charlies. Nach einer kurzen Einweisung gibt es dort zunächst die notwendige Ausrüstung zum Leihen. Ich beschränke mich auf Handschuhe und die Wasserflaschen. Den Rest habe ich ja dabei. Im Anschluss daran gibt es ein gutes Frühstück mit Pancakes, Früchten und Tee.

    Mit dem Bus geht es dann ca. eine Stunde in das Nachbartal. Hier beginnt unsere Wanderung, die zunächst von der Straße aus den Hang hinaufführt.
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  • Day22

    Volcán de Acatenango: The Trek Pt 1

    February 11 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We left Panajachel for Antigua with plans to hike the infamous Volcán de Acatenango to watch smoke and lava explode from its neighbor Volcán de Fuego!

    Auryn, as per usual, found us a great deal on a guided overnight hiking tour that included our gear, food, and transportation costing us Q375 (quetzales), or about $60 Canadian dollars (including a tip for the tour guide).

    We were picked up by a large tour bus from our hostel around 9:00 am and lumbered our way around the tight cobbled streets of Antigua to retrieve our gear before ascending up to the base of the volcano to begin our hike. I generally take anti-nausea medication before embarking on any bus ride, but being that they make me drowsy, and I was about to embark on a nearly 6 hour strenuous hike, I decided to skip this step. Unfortunately this first leg of our journey was very windy, speedy, and bumpy which caused me to become quite ill and resulted in me having to get the bus to pull over for me to throw up. Once we arrived to the trail head I ran out of the bus to throw up again all while the rest of our hiking crew took pictures of the beautiful rural vista. It was quite an interesting start of our journey. 😂

    We started our hike at around 10:30 am. The beginning of the hike was definitely the most difficult; it was composed of very steep hills of loose gravel that tested both our mental and physical endurance. Thankfully the most challenging part of the hike lasted only about 30 minutes and we took a water break next to a farmers field and a small restaurant. During this break I consumed a little too much water than my stomach could handle and I immediately started throwing up... again. 😩 At this point I was afraid that I may stall everyone too much to be able to make it up to the top, but thankfully our tour guide, Louis, gave me a small cup of alka seltzer that helped ease my stomach and stopped the puking for the rest of our journey.

    The hike was stunning! We were initially surrounded by beautiful farmers fields, which transformed into a lush biodiverse tropical jungle, and then mixed into a more alpine-esque forest as we approached the chilly top.

    We were accompanied by two stray dogs who were loyal to us until we went to sleep, at which point they made off with our bag of marshmallows leaving a trail of them heading away from the camp. One of these dogs we named “Stinky,” and the other we named “Marshmallow,” two very self-explanatory names. They were both very friendly and lovely to have around. Marshmallow eventually made his way back to our camp in the morning to join us for breakfast, but he did not follow us back down. We briefly met up with Stinky about halfway down the volcano, but he must have known that we didn’t have anymore food because he also didn’t accompany us on the way down. 😂

    The trek down took us about 2.5 hours opposed to the 5.5 going up, however, Auryn and I both agreed that going down was much more strenuous than going up due to the steep descent. I decided to take my shoes off near the end of our hike because my toes were very sore from being squished into the front of my shoes. Auryn had to walk backwards to try and alleviate some of the pressure on his knees. When we got back to Antigua we immediately ordered a pizza and took a long nap. 😂

    The strain was well worth it for the beautiful views and friends that we made along the way, and I’d do it again in a heart beat... but maybe after I recover first. 😊
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  • Day34

    Volcán Acetenango, Guatemala

    February 18, 2017 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Where do I even start? What an epic adventure. Mixed with plentiful amounts of faffing about, many a tumble and a few what-the-heck-have-I-signed-up-fors.

    We'd all been wanting to have some sort of challenge for a while, so we jumped at the opportunity when we heard a bit about the tough climb that is Volcán Acetenango and the option to stay up there overnight and see the sunrise. Our original research was looking at about $90US each for the expedition but upon our arrival to Antigua, we quickly found that we could do the exact same expedition for as little as £29/$42NZD. Savings. Although don't get me started on that GBP/NZD exchange rate.

    After about an hours drive from Antigua we arrived at the beginning of the hike. When I say the beginning of the hike, I mean what basically looked like a rogue path off the side of the main road with no signs whatsoever. There were just a couple of huts to pay your park fee (again not signposted) and a family home where they sold some much appreciated sticks to hike with, or gave you a last minute opportunity to buy gloves or beanies had you been silly enough to turn up without some.

    Plentiful faffing occurred as we were given sleeping bags, sleeping mats and tents to divide between us and carry up with our packs. At this point I realised I'd either left our GoPro in the van or misplaced it somewhere between the van and the side of the road or it was stolen. Unfortunately no sign of it since. And yes that's the second one in less than a year - GoPro 2, Char 0. Thank goodness for travel insurance but again have lost some photos from the last week, which is always the part that sucks the most!

    Fees paid and bags packed, our group of 18 and our 2 guides finally got on our way. Straight into the ankle deep volcanic sand and the uphill battle which was quick to become the norm on this strenuous hike. Although we started at 2500m, our base camp for the night was situated at about 3600m so we had quite a bit of height to gain, and this trail wasn't going to be easy on us. For some reason I came down with some severe stomach cramps and almost fainted in the first stretch and seriously considered pulling out. Thankfully Mike and Rich came to the rescue and took my bag for a few minutes and then at our first pitstop, my bod seemed to sort itself out. Pheeeeew. I'd say about 90% of the hike was uphill and not just a steady incline, nor any particularly stable ground. Thankfully the first hour or so of the walk was mostly covered by the jungle canopy, giving us some shelter from the heat and sun.

    We stopped regularly, maybe every 20-30 minutes but the five of us being at front of the group became both a blessing and a curse. More time to rest at the breaks but also more time to get cold, especially as we got higher - one of the problems of having a large group with a range of fitness levels. Bear in mind the altitude was making this brutal climb even more brutal. Even in climbing one flight of stairs in Mexico City at 2200m was enough to make you feel like you hadn't been to the gym in years, so you can only imagine how rough this hike felt!

    One thing we were prepared for was that we'd known to bring extra food, as the food we were given was pretty minimal - two sandwiches, instant noodles and a pastry to last us for lunch, dinner and breakfast/lunch the following day. We also had to carry all the water we needed for the two days, which was advised to be 4 litres each. Poor Scotty took a large portion of this so he was really lugging a heavy bag that first day!

    The last portion of our walk to our camp for the night was relatively flat compared to the rest of the day's hike and had us walking through the clouds. We didn't see an awful lot of the views that first day to be honest. Even when we reached our camp at 3600m, we didn't know there was another volcano (Volcàn Fuego) right next to us until we heard it erupting. We weren't expecting that! This also showed our lack of research into this expedition, as we realised photos of this volcano are on all the advertisements of this hike when we got back to Antigua. Classic. Our two little guides ran off to cut down a tree or two with machetes and proceeded to bring them back to cut up for our fire for the night. The boys and I all gave it a try too, harder than it looks though!

    As we set up our tents for the night, the clouds began to clear and eventually we could see the top of Volcàn Fuego as the sun was setting. When darkness fell, the true beauty of Volcàn Fuego's eruptions became apparent. I'd say it was erupting every 5-10 minutes and with darkness we could see the spurts of lava and then watch it travel down the sides of the volcano at great speed. Truly mesmerising and we never got sick of watching it! Unfortunately at night it was too difficult to take photos of but I'm sure the images will be vividly ingrained in our memories instead.

    We huddled round the fire while the guides proceeded to boil some water in a tiny wee kettle on the fire for our noodles and then later roasted some marshmallows and cracked the beers we'd carried up (cheers Mike). Who needs a fridge when you've got cold temperatures at altitude! The amount of stars up here was insane. Every time we looked up I swear there were more. Absolutely stunning and so hard to even put into words, watching an active volcano so close up and thousands of stars too. This world we live in always continues to amaze me with such natural beauty if you make the effort to find it.

    4am rolled around and we forced ourselves out of the our sleeping bags and tents. Not a lot of sleep was had that night due to a combination of things. It was absolutely freezing and we were all wearing basically all the clothes we had, sleeping on essentially volcanic sand and old mate Volcàn Fuego erupting every few minutes sounded like an intense thunderstorm. There were definitely a few times it was so loud I thought the lava was going to make it over to us and we'd be toast! When we got up though, we realised how little we had seen the previous day. It was almost completely clear outside and we could see a second volcano right in front of us as well as Volcàn Fuego, plus the lights from the villages in the valley bellow. Muy bonito.

    After much faffing from the group, (seriously what can one possibly need to do at 4:30 in the morning apart from get dressed?!) we rustled up some energy to get hiking again, the last 300m to the summit - this time in pitch black aside from a few head-torches scattered through the group. As we hiked higher, the sun got closer to rising and we could make out that on one side of our track was the volcano and the other was almost a sheer drop - not sure if it was better to be seeing this or not! Sorry Mum. The last ridge at the top was semi-sketchy, especially as we were a lot more exposed to the wind and cold but it was definitely an achievement to reach the top!

    Unfortunately as we climbed, the cloud had come back but not so high this time - so we could still see the other two volcanoes peeping out. The sunrise was just as stunning and we tucked into some banana bread whilst losing the feeling in our fingers. A few snaps later and we were happy to be heading down again and out of the cold. It was definitely a morning to remember though, hanging out on top of a volcano that we'd worked hard to get to, above the clouds, watching a sunrise.

    Getting down was a bit of a free-for-all, running down the side of the volcano as if it was a sand dune. We got back to base camp within 20minutes or so, compared to the hour plus that it took us to get up!

    Back at camp we finally found some warmth in the sunshine and the hot chocolates made for us by the guides using boiling water and Guatemalan chocolate which is basically just cacao. Then began more faffing from the group as we packed up our tents and then finally embarked on our descent. It was much clearer than the previous day for our descent, which was awesome to see from a height. Our two guides went down at completely different paces, one running off like a wee ninja that Scott and Mike battled to keep up with, the other taking it slow. It was definitely much easier to get down by a sort of gallop/jog/run due to the sandy ground, however occasionally it wasn't so deep, therefore slippery so it was easy to have a few tumbles. Cat's count got to 10 I believe, mine about 7! Thankfully the ground was soft to fall on so no real injuries. What we did have was lungs, mouths and nostrils filled with the dust clouds that running in this sand created, shoes saturated in volcanic sand that I think we'll be stuck with for weeks, and some extremely grubby faces - Scott in particular!

    Our bus back to Antigua couldn't even get going so we had to wait around for another bus to come, beersies in hand. By some miracle the original bus had been to a mechanic to be fixed by the time the new bus turned up an hour or later. Impressive turnaround considering we were in the middle of nowhere really, but we were all super hangry by the time we got back to Antigua as we'd eaten all our food early in the morning. Definitely no contingency plans there!

    I feel like this post and what I've written (even can't do this experience justice but hopefully the photos will fill the gaps a wee bit. Definitely one for the memory bank and a big highlight of all our travels to date.
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La Soledad