Tuesday, February 17, 2009

That's Lava Behind Me. (Look closely.)

Despite the definitively more laid back approach to schedule here, we don't have any holidays from January until April. The rest I felt from my Christmas vacation was quickly used up, and I also had a friend visiting Guatemala for a month. My good friend Katie is a pediatrics resident in Philadelphia and is working and studying Spanish in western Guatemala, so we decided to meet up halfway in Antigua for a long weekend.

We climbed Mt. Pacaya on Saturday morning. I had actually gone up last June when I visited my friend Paul, and it was great. They bus you pretty close to the top and then you hike for an hour and a half to the lava flow. The lava flow this time wasn't quite as visible, though we were able to get much closer. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. However, it's a pretty amazing thing to get so close to flowing lava: one of the guys with us was able to roast some marshmallows on it. The lava is slow, but when it changed direction and the guide looked at us seriously and told us to head down, I didn't hesitate.

We also visited a really interesting monastery that's been restored and turned into a cultural museum with both ancient artifacts and modern art. They found a few crypts below that you could go down and see also. Now, while everybody knows that I'm an excellent photographer, my camera just wasn't taking good pictures those days, so the photos I have are pretty random. Kind of like this blog. And my life.