It’s not every day you see a volcano catch on fire!
On several occasions yesterday I couldn’t help but say, “I love this city!” But really, I think this exclamation applies to most things in Guatemala.
I first said this yesterday when we were cut off on the cobblestone road with a rather funny sight. There was a clown, in completely full suit, riding a motorcycle down 3rd Avenida. This included shoes, puffy red hair wig, and face make-up. I stopped, and yelled, “CLOWN!!!!” And continued to laugh for several minutes. I am sad I have no photo of this event.
Yesterday was incredible. I can easily say that it was one of the best days of my life.
It started by leaving Antigua, Guatemala for Volcano Pacaya (Volcan de Pacaya), to watch and cheer on my roommate Spencer, fellow student and friend Eric, and Cesar, one of many super-cool Guatemalans. He lives in Guatemala city, and we are quite thankful for him going way out of his way to pick us up and give us a ride to Pacaya.
They were running the 1/2 marathon, but Valerie and I were just walking up. After running the Desafio de Lava last year I swore to myself that I would not let myself go through that kind of torture.
Valerie and I went, and hiked up to the very top of the volcano. We even got to look in and see a rather terrifying view inside of the crater in Pacaya. I will try and get pictures on here when I can.
Hiking up volcanoes is now one of my favorite pasttimes.
We sat at the top of the volcano and cheered runners passed by. We didn’t really take any pictures of them, but, of course, being white and on the top of an awesome volcano, they took lots of pictures of us.
After the race, we headed back for Antigua, where we went to the SAU Center, aka, Paul’s house, where we made ourselves some delicous pineapple and strawberry licuados (smoothies), and Paul made us custom order omelotes. I don’t know how to spell that word, and, because I am typing on a computer at an internet cafe, literally every word I am typing write now is underlined in red. This doesn’t particularly help the spellcheck.
We then headed back home, where we had dinner plans to go to Luna De Miel (Honeymoon) with our homestay family. They have served us breakfast, lunch, and dinner for about 3 months straight, so we figured we ought to treat them to something.
Both on top of the volcano, and in Antigua, I couldn’t help but look up at Agua, which very much looked like it was smoking.
Once it got dark out, you could see that it wasn’t actually erupting, it was just something on fire. The trees. And the forest. However, turns out these have a name. I had never expected to see a forest fire, let alone on the top ring of a volcano that looked like it was erupting. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone 3 as a camera, which barely takes Instagram photos, let alone cool long distance photos of volcanoes on fire.
Luna de Miel was a beautiful restaurant with cheap prices. And all of the meseros (waiters) carried flashy iPads to take our order. As of last night, this is easily one of my favorite restaurants in town. I got a delicious salad for about $2, plus some mineral water, and a rooftop view of 2 volcanoes. One volcano was erupting with lava, the other was simply on fire.
It’s still burning, but a little harder to see as the fire has shifted to the other side of the volcano.
To top off all these incredible activites, we saw a firework show on the way back home from the restaurant. It was, hands-down, the best firework display I have ever seen. They were extremely low to the ground, which, once we got close, it felt like the world was exploding.
There was also some sort of giant square hat or something, that several people were carrying above them whilst running back and forth in the street. It was a box, and on top there were FIREWORKS going in all directions! I have never, ever seen anything like this.
Upon this, I couldn’t help but laugh and exclaim once more “I love this city!”
We are leaving Guatemala on Friday morning, where we’ll head back to Michigan. I am excited for America, but I will definitely miss this beautiful country, including the landscape, the people, and their awesome traditions.
Thanks for reading.