Volcano climb today. San Pedro. We had to be up at 5.15am for breakfast. I jolted awake and decided to wait for my alarm – shouldn’t be too long. After about 10 minutes, I decided to check the time. It was 2.40am. I then spent the next 2 hours stirring, which was rubbish.

So the five of us sat having fruit, granola and yoghurt by candlelight at 5.30am, on one of the terraces of the hotel. A boat came to fetch us at 6am for the 15-minute, very cold crossing to San Pedro town. Very glad I was wearing my fleece. So I was up for sunrise. But it wasn’t all that great.

We were hoping for a coffee before we started the hike, but no such luck – the cafes weren’t open yet. We took a pickup to the national park and start of the trail. Santos, who worked at the park, came up with us as a second guide.

The trail starts at an altitude of 1828m. It took us about an hour to get to the lookout point, which in terms of height, was about half way up. But in terms of distance to walk, only about a third of the way. And that was the easy part.

The summit is at an altitude of 3020m, and about 4km from the start of the trail. It took us 3 hours and 25 minutes to get up. We stayed for about half an hour and then started back down. No idea how long that took – we stopped for lunch at the lookout point on the way.

I don’t want to say it was easy, cuz it wasn’t really. But considering after the bike ride I thought the volcano hike might kill me (or certainly thought I’d have to turn back before the summit), I think I did pretty damn well. Coming down was harder than going up cuz my legs felt like jelly and I kept thinking I’d stumble. But I only fell once and managed to grab a tree to catch myself.

A pickup met us at the start at 2pm and took us to the dock. We got a boat to La Casa del Mundo, and he waited for us til 3pm to take us to Panajachel. Which gave me enough time to change and for another liquado. The shuttle bus left Panajachel at 4pm, and took just over two hours to get back to Antigua. I checked into Sin Ventura (the coffee shop/bar/restaurant/cinema/hotel) for the night when we got back and collected the bags I’d left at Outfitters.

I had supper in Monoloco and quickly checked emails. I planned to go the cinema, but changed my mind. Good thing too cuz I fell asleep reading and still listening to my Zen.

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