In the debris field, this vent is hot and humid like a sauna,

Volcán de Pacaya

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I’m in Antigua for a few days, enduring the rainy afternoons and enjoying walks on the cobblestone streets. I eat breakfasts in the market from ladies who practically yell at me to eat in their stall. The market in Antigua is also home to the most abundant selection of tropical fruit I’ve seen yet. Star fruit, papayas, mangos, berries, bananas, melons — everything! For dinners, I eat around the corner from the hostel at a cute little taqueria that sells the best beef and chicken tacos — three for ten quetzals. Six tacos and a beer for US$4.50 fills me up.

But the amazing food is only second on my Antigua want-list. Sitting at the top of the list is a hike on the active volcano Pacaya. Today’s the day. The weather looks perfect, and I’m itching for a ride on these beautiful Guatemalan mountain roads.

This beautiful road rides like a dream.

This beautiful road rides like a dream.

Guatemalan buses are works of art.

Guatemalan buses are works of art.

Green is the color of life.

Green is the color of life.

The GPS isn't always correct; this is definitely a wrong turn.

The GPS isn’t always correct; this is definitely a wrong turn.

In the debris field, this vent is hot and humid like a sauna,

In the debris field, this vent is hot and humid like a sauna.

Louisa, my guide for the day.

Louisa, my guide for the day.

The poop house on the hill.

The poop house on the hill.

Shelters on the mountain are made of everything rigid.

Shelters on the mountain are made of everything rigid.

Write your name in basalt.

Write your name in basalt.

The clouds and rain roll in, creating this mystic wonderland of rock and plant life.

The clouds and rain roll in, creating this mystic wonderland of rock and plant life.

The lava shop sells jewelry made of lava rocks, and it sits at the very edge of the lava flow from a March 2014 eruption that still steams.

The lava shop sells jewelry made of lava rocks, and it sits at the very edge of the lava flow from a March 2014 eruption that still steams.

It also makes enough heat to catch fire and roast marshmallows.

It also makes enough heat to catch fire and roast marshmallows.

David works the gift shop.

David works the gift shop.

Standing in front of the latest lava flow from Volcan de Pacaya.

Standing in front of the latest lava flow from Volcan de Pacaya.

The trail up the mountain, doused in fog.

The trail down the mountain, doused in fog.

Brian

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