So, in my previous post, Paul vs. The Volcano, I talked about the hike up Pacaya. Once we reached the top, the guides said: Let’s go “down” into the lava fields. What? That means we’d have to climb back up! I’ve already down lots of up-climbing. Can’t we stay here? πŸ˜€ Well, I may have ridden a horse, but I’m no quitter! Away we go. Down. Down. Down. As I found out later, when we came back up, we had descended about 300 feet, or 30 floors. Going down was fairly treacherous. It was all loose lava. A few folks fell on the way down and there were some cuts and bruises, but fortunately, I made it unscathed. At the bottom, we were in the lava fields and, well: Surprise! Surprise! A sign for a tienda, a store! πŸ™‚ My first thought was: Damn! That’s a hell of a way to walk to work every morning, but like the guides said: You get used to it and it’s no problem. I wonder how long it would take me to get used to it … Anyway, on with the story.

We made it down. A few folks took some time to look at the tienda. I didn’t. I wasn’t interested. Thomas and I had brought some ham and cheese sandwiches to munch on. All of that climbing is hard work! As we munched, we caught the eyes of some local dogs who made it very clear what they wanted … our food. They weren’t aggressive, but they weren’t shy, either!

Eventually,Β they followed us to the place where we could roast marshmallows, or angelitos (little angels to Guatemalans). As we roasted them over the heat vent, there were a few experienced dogs who knew the game. A few of the tourists roasted their marshmallows, turned their head for a brief second, and their marshmallows “magically” disappeared. The dogs were extremely deft and fast at removing them from the sticks as soon as they came out! One tried for mine, but I was a bit too fast for him. He moved on to someone else and had a bit of luck there. We all got a good laugh. A couple of dogs got into a fight over a banana leaf that someone had used to heat a tamale! It’s tough out there!

Eventually, the time came, as I knew it would, to go back UP. I didn’t know, at the time how far up it was, I just knew that it was UP. I decided to keep my head down and just do the climb. As I climbed, my old friend, the sweat returned. By the time that I got back up to the top, I was sweating quite a bit, but I’d made it. Quick Fitbit check shows 170 floors climbed, so that was another 30 or so! One of the guides told me: Eres muy fuerte, en serio – You are very strong, seriously. I thanked her, gulped water and wiped away sweat.

As we headed down the path, I slipped and slid but maintained my balance all the way down. Naturally, we got down faster than we got up there, but it was a little trickier. Finally, we reached the bottom and I can’t say that I wasn’t happy about that, because I was! πŸ˜€

Would I do it again … probably not, but I was certainly glad that I had done it. When I got back to the house, I showed Elsa the picture of me on the horse and she said, in Spanish: Poor little horse! You should have carried him! LOL – Not!

Paul vs. The Volcano!
A lot less of Moore

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