New year with a bang...and a lava flow!

Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
Trip End Jun 11, 2009

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Los Encuentros

Flag of Guatemala  , Western Highlands,
Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy new year everyone!  Hoping you all had a lovely Christmas and brought in the new year in style.

We had a very quiet and different Christmas to usual.  Its amazing how much Christmas is about family, friends and the routines and traditions you are used to.  Take that away and it doesn´t feel as much like Christmas.  We had a lovely relaxing time though and took advantage of a less hectic Christmas for a change.  We stayed at Lake Yojoa in Hoduras, which really was in the middle of nowhere!  We had a lovely cabin (with jacuzzi, not requested though and more expense!)at a hotel/home brewery so lots of tasty (and fruity!) home brews!  There was no turkey in sight and so Christmas dinner consisted of quesidillas and buriettos...different indeed!

We headed onward on 26th across the border to Guatemala and made it to Antigua on saturday.  I spent 3 days in spanish school this week and realised how crap my year of spanish classes at home were!  The classes were one to one, very intense but very useful.

Last night we brought in the new year in a well lit up Parque Central.  There were fireworks for hours, both official and dodgy home ones.  You had to take care where you stepped in case there was a firework about to pop!  The town was thronged with partiers so there was a great atmosphere.

This morning we caught a 6am bus to Volcan Pacaya.  Despite a very reluctant start (people were still coming home when we were waiting for the bus!), and quite a ropey 2 hour scramble to the top through the shalely volcanic ash, we had such an amazing day at the volcano.  We managed to get searingly close to a lava flow and saw little crevices of lava through the rocks.  My crappy shoes were feeling worryingly hot!  The view from the top of other surrouding active volcanoes puffing smoke into the sky, made the trek worthwhile in itself.  Definetly one of the best experiences so far.
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