What a weekend!
Volcano Tajumulco. Aka, the highest point in Central America. Close to the Mexico border. Close enough we could see it. High enough to make anyone’s lungs burn if they hadn’t been in altitude for awhile.
Got into Quetzaltenango Friday, signed up to do the two-day hike with Quetzaltrekkers immediately. Quetzaltrekkers is a non-profit volunteer organization that leads hikes all over Nicaragua and Guatemala, all money made goes to education programs for the local kids. Not a bad thing ehh!
Excited, didn’t know what was to come yet! Ha. Xela (Quetzaltenango) sits around 2333 mtrs above sea level. After a few buses and breakfast we started our hike around 3000mtrs. The summit sits at 4220mtrs (13,845 ft).
After a few meters of walking, I already needed a break. 3.5 miles up, 4.1 down. I looked up to see this staring down at me.
Wondering, ‘WHAT AM I DOING?’ Talk about intimidation. Not to mention a challenge with 50lbs on your back. Supplies for myself and the group (which entails heavy duty sleeping back, tent, down jacket, snowboard pants, gloves, hat, scarf, extra layers, 4.5 liters of water, tub o peanut butter, jam and headlamp.) We’d be camping. Base camp sits around 4000mtrs.
During one of our breaks, which we all loved dearly, we see the locals walking down from presumably the summit. With nothing but babies on their backs, not joking, babies. No sleeping bags, no coats, just babies. Ohh Guatemala!
We set up base camp, some of us pass out from exhaustion/slight altitude sickness for a bit. Then we hike Cerro Conception for sunset. What a sight.
After a dinner of noodles, people I ate noodles, I had no other choice. Those that don’t know me well, I’m scared of noodles. Long story. We snuggled into our tent, no worries 7 of us in one! Wake up call for 4 a.m. It was early. We were a bit lethargic to say the least.
And the hour hike up about burst my lungs, my heart was pumping triple time. But the color of the horizon, the excitement of the highest point in C.A., the views, who am I kidding here everything was motivating me to keep my legs moving up.
This is something I’ll never soon forget. We saw the sunset, moon rise then moon set and sunrise! Volcanoes erupting in the background. Volcanoes near Antigua and Atitlan. A shadow that is too gigantic to explain, a shadow that says something. Feeling the altitude. Feeling the burn. Sharing the excitement. And seeing forever.
Talk about a trip. Please do yourself a favor and look into Quetzaltrekkers. Great people doing great things!