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Day 44 - Volcan Tajumulco

GUATEMALA | Thursday, 10 July 2014 | Views [514]

To celebrate Lindy's Birthday & to conquer the highest point in Central America we set out before 5am on the journey to trek Guatamala's Volcan Tajumulco.

At a height of 4,220m the Volcano last erupted around 200 years ago & is a steep uphill climb starting out at over 3000m.

We rode at least three different 'chicken buses' for four hours from Xela to get to the village of Tacana - the base point for our trek. If you don't know what a chicken bus is - here's a link to a great description -
http://www.amusingplanet.com/2012/10/chicken-buses-of-guatemala.html?m=1. Basically it's a pimped up old US school bus that crams as many people & good as possible into it & on the roof. It's at least four to a seat & well a little more than cosy. Probably on par with Mutatu's in Kenya but the chicken bus is a Guatamalen special :)

The trek was as you'd expect - all uphill. The steep & quick ascent at altitude made me feel a little woozy but I had Lindy there to help me through - she's a tough & a good egg! The two boys we trekked with from Washington DC were super experienced altitude walkers & just smashed it straight up. We were probably about 15 minutes behind them all in all & the climb was worth it for the rewarding views from the summit.

Mince at the top we sat above the clouds & looked straight out at the peak of Mount Tacana - around 3,500m - which is just above what we started our climb at! Mexico was about 20 miles ahead of us on the horizon- it really was magical!

On the way back down we stopped for a picnic among the green hills & watched the clouds circle above the villages way below. It was nothing short of awesome.

The journey back to Xela also took around 4 hours and involved 3 chicken buses & a collectivo van. It was a pretty long day by the end of it but we still had to celebrate Lindy's birthday properly & head out for the night.

A quick change back at the hostel & we went to well one of Xelas three or so restaurants open past 8, had a few cocktails, tapas, a chocolate pizza & called it a night!

A winning day all round!




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