Day 326 | Guatemala | Volcán Acatenango | AccaTacca Guest Starring Fuego

Our alarm this morning went off at 4.45am so that we could be up, breakfasted and at the OX shop by 6am this morning for our hike up to Volcan Acatenango.

IMG_6835

Volcán Agua – not our destination but putting on a beautiful display this morning

IMG_6836

Early mornings = bad selfies

Once at the shop we finished our packing with sleeping bags, part of the tent and some food and met up with the rest of the group, outside of guides there were 10 of us in total – 3 Germans, 2 French Canadians, 2 Dutch, 1 American and us, of course. Then it was in the van and off to a restaurant for those who did not yet have breakfast. Finally it was time to go and we drove the approximately 1 hour to the trail-head where we got to sit for a minute to consider what we were about to partake in before getting on our way.

IMG_6837

More early morning volcano views from Antigua

This first part of the hike was the worst for many reasons. Firstly, as the hike started at 2,500 metres in altitude, it was already a little taxing on the lungs as we quickly made our ascent I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe, and secondly, the ascent was a killer on gravelly volcanic scree up through farm lands. Thankfully there were many shorts stops along the way so we could take our time and actually enjoy the walk.

IMG_6840

First big rest stop, this tree was incredible

The day pretty much continued as that, climbing, being out of breath and taking the occasional break.

IMG_6843

Lunch spot when we arrived…

IMG_6845

…and then a couple of minutes later!!

IMG_6844

Over half way! Woot woot!!

By the time we arrived it was about 2.30pm, so considering we had started just after 9am, we made it in pretty good time. At the top firstly we admired the view. In the last half hour or so we could hear Volcan Fuego erupting and making lots of groaning and grumbling, it was pretty incredible to hear, so when we eventually got to see it, it was pretty awesome!!

IMG_6846

Puff….

IMG_6852

Our tents with an amazing view

When at the top, well the base camp of Volcan Acatenango, that is, we got to rest for about an hour and a half until we were off again. Well, that is us and the 2 French Canadians – Abby and Oliver, as we were the only 4 crazy enough to follow up our 5+ hour hike with another 4 hours, across to Volcan Fuego! (Or in distance terms another lazy 6kms!!!)

IMG_6854

Anthony super impressed about continuing to hike! LOL! (Actually he wasn’t this sad, I just happened to capture a bad face moment! LOL!)

IMG_6856

You want me to hike up where???

IMG_6857

Are we friggin’ mad???

This next portion, was simple madness!! I still cannot believe I completed it. As we were on Acatenango, we had to climb down and then back up again to get to Fuego. It was intense. In the valley between the two mountains it was pretty amazing though, as the sound from Fuego just reverberated around the valley and we heard the groans and grumbles echoing around. As an FYI – Fuego is still an active volcano (obviously from the eruptions spewing out of it, and Acatenango is dormant…for now…).

IMG_6862

Getting closer to this bad boy!

IMG_6876

Amazing sunset up in the clouds

IMG_6878

Cherishing out moments at the top

We sat right next to Fuego for ages just enjoying the amazing view of not just one, but 3 other volcanoes off in the distance. It was a bit unfortunate as we got to Fuego it was largely clouded in, though it did clear every now and then for us to get some great glimpses of the beast. Before the sun fully set, we decided it was time to set off back to camp as we knew the hike that lay ahead.

IMG_6882

Reluctantly heading home

IMG_6884

Antigua and Guatemala City lights off in the distance

The walk back to camp was both the best and the worst. It was the best as walking along the sun had set which meant a nice black sky to see the incredibleness that was bright red lava erupting and spewing out of the mouth of Fuego – just a simply unforgettable experience. The worst because on tired legs and tired everything, we had to walk back. Seriously I think this day pushed me to my absolute limits. There is a reason why they say doing these 2 volcanoes in the one day is not for the faint hearted.

Eventually we made it back to camp just after 8pm, the struggle was real, I was really using every last ounce of energy I had just to make it back, it hurt….everywhere!!

Back at camp they had a nice warm fire set up and we had a nice hearty pasta to warm our cockles. Funny, I initially thought it was way, way too much food for me, however, with the amount of energy I had exerted today I smashed it all down! There was wine being passed around as well, however, I was really not feeling very well so decided not to partake. Bed, it was all I could think of and all I needed, so before long as I was dead on my feet I stumbled myself off to bed to try and sleep…

4 thoughts on “Day 326 | Guatemala | Volcán Acatenango | AccaTacca Guest Starring Fuego

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s