Thursday, March 29, 2012

Volcano Hike San Pedro

A bit unhuman we go up at around 4am last Saturday and met our Mayan hiking guide Pedro at 5am at the school. Together with my German Travel Companions, Tania, Marki & Felix I have climbed volcano of San Pedro last Saturday. 

We climbed up for about 3.5 hours, gaining about 1500 meters of altitude, while the other did not feel the altitude much I could really feel the lack of oxygen and was hiking up steadily but a little slower than the others. Unfortunately as we have reached the top of some 3000 meters over sea level it was already covered in a cloud. We kind of expected that but were hoping not to experience it that Saturday morning. However most of the days before we could see the same wheater phenomena from down when we were looking up. We spent about half an hour on top and for a short while could even see the top of Santa Maria, where Felix and I climbed up to a couple of weeks ago, peaking out of the clouds in the west. 

As we were decending we got...

...fantastic views of the lake...

...and the villages that surround it.

The top third of the way, assuming thanks to the almost daily cloud, was leading us through beautiful, colorful rainforest.

That was also where we found this animal feet alike looking things...

...which we soon discovered to be the center of a really beautiful flower that was hanging high up in trees we had no idea what type they were.

Further down we took a longer pause and enjoyed the few. While we slowly but surely got on the nerves of our guide by descending that slow...

At the next mirador (view point) I explained Pedro that we would not necessarly need him for the rest of the descend and paid him a handsom tip for his work. (Probably still not enough to get his teeth fixed, of which he had only one left in his entire mouth that he showed proudly with every big smile he gave us). And off he went...

...while we were descending at our own speed through the high altitude coffee plantations. Yes, that is what coffee looks like long before Starbucks f.... it up with vanilla, or cinamon or what ever kind of uncoffee tastes. Chewing the red bit that houses the beans leaves a sweet taste, similar to jerries in your mouth.

On the way back to the village we passed one of the two stinking trash pits of San Pedro...

...where some young footballers dreams found a final resting point.
Crossing path with young men carrying firewood up to the street.

San Pedro de Atitlan

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Yesterday I have left the volanco surrounded Lago Atitlan and made my way to Antigua de Guatemala, a beautiful colonial City, once the Capital of the country. 

But now I will get off to explore the City so that you can see and read more about it here on my blog soon. 

Hard to Die...

It is not to oversee what the prefered car is for Guatemaltekas, no fancy German product's, neither the bold looking Americans...'s the hard to die Toyota they want.

Parking in Chicicastenango for the big market, nothing but Toyotas.

Delivering a set of tires for an 18-wheeler.

On the way to the market.

A new Bed?

City pimp in Xela.

Sunday with the family.

Or Sunday with the girls.

Public transport. 

Used cars.

Entire parking lots full of 'em.

Not just the ever lasting Pick-up's. Passenger cars of several generations of the manufacturers model range as well.

And new ones... well as...

...old ones...

...heavy loaded ones...

...and all strong ones.

Public transport

Market carriers.

And just everywhere, nothing but Toyotas!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

El Palmar Viejo - A Spooky Place - Stephen King?

El Palmar Viejo is an interesting place. A village in the State of Quetzaltenango, it has been nearly destroyed by serveral volcanic eruptions of the Santiaugito volcano. The latest in the late 90ies.  

Today there are just a couple of ruins and a lot of smoking, stinking trash left.

Just very view people were still there while we visited but the whole scene appeared more likely to be out of a Stephen King novel than a real world situation. 

Very spooky to say the least.

The blue truck among ruins and trash.

Off we go, even along the side of the access road - burning, stinking trash.

But - according to my Spanish teacher in Xela we have missed the most spooky places of all, which is supposed to be the grave yards of the village, just a little off the actual pueblo. As the village, the grave yard has been abandoned after the last eruptions of Santiaugito and no longer been visited neither used. Except for some banditos, that apparently have done some grave robbery and according to my Xela teacher there are open graves and you might be greated by some Zombies...

...the tombstones are covered with graffities just to add to the experience. I wouldn't say it's worthwhile going to visit El Palmar Viejo but if you do, don't miss the grave yard!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another volcano hike...

...check in soon again to read about the hike to the volcano of San Pedro at Lago Atitlan.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey, fantastic limestone pools that have formed over a natural tunnel where the over 196 kilometer long river Río Cahabón flows through for about 300 meters. The pools are inviting to swimm, dive and jump into the beautifully colored warm water. 

Check out my german blog for more pics, click HERE.

View from the Mirador.

Where the water runs into the tunnel.

And disapears for about 300 Meters.