chad on the boat ride across the lake
wow... what a day! we woke up bright and early this morning.. or at least that was the plan... no trip is ever complete without oversleeping and almost missing your transport! we had an alarm mishap, and our 6am pickup was there just minutes after we started to wake up.. we asked them to give us an extra 10 minutes, and it was on to speed packing and skipping showers... We made it to the dock just in time to catch our *tiny* boat with like 30 people in it.. The views the whole way across the lake were amazing. It was such a breath-taking experience just to look around, little did we know what laid ahead for us..
once we made it across the lake, we stopped in at a resturant just up from the docks in San Pedro. It's a good thing that we had breakfast because we were in for quite the work out today!
to get to the volcano we had to first hike through town, and if the incline of the streets was to be any indication of the actual hiking of the volcano, i knew we had our work cut out for us. It was actually close to an hour before we reached the entrance to the national park, where the volcano began...
about 20 minutes before we made it to the park, we stopped to take a breather and check out the views... these two little kids were just walking up the hill, perhaps just to keep busy for the day.. they spoke no english, so it was only thanks to our guide that i was able to explain that i wanted their photo... unlike the little girls back in pana, just seeing their faces on the view screen of my camera was an exciting experience for them. sometimes it's easy to forget that technology that we often take for granted is something special for people who live without it..
it was an absolutely beautiful day today, but the heat and altitude really made this a grueling 4.5 hour hike.. there wasn't much in the way of shade, and when we found the shade, it was hot and muggy... but the views all along the way, really made it worthwhile..
finally after the first 2 hours, my asthma was kicking in, and i was ready to quit.. but chad refused to continue without me, and the stuborn photographer in me knew i would regret it if i didn't at least make it to the first vista point... so we tracked on, stopping pretty frequently so i could catch my breath, and even use the inhaller a few times..
but my patient boyfriend just joked around with me, and even carried my stuff so that we could keep on working our way up the mountain until we finally reached the first of 3 platforms..
at this point we were a little more than 1/2 way to the top, exhasted, and ready to call it a day... not to mention the next two sectors were even more steep and a harder climb... from the park entrance to the top of the volcano is about 800 meters... to put it in perspective we had already hiked up approximately 3-4 miles in hot humid conditions at a fairly step incline...
so we took about 30 minutes to relax and enjoy the views before we started back down the mountain.. the hike down took just over 2 hours.. we made it to the dock just in time to catch the last possible boat that would allow us to get our 4:30 shuttle back to antigua...