Day 12: Nous Avons Escaladé un Volcan

Day 12:

Antigua,

I feel as if I am a broken record player at this point. It was an early morning, *sigh*, and we had a long bus ride lying ahead of us. We were served mini pancakes and cut up watermelon and pineapple for breakfast. The bus ride was not the longest of the trip, but it was certainly the most bumpy. When we reached the entrance to the national park I felt nauseous, and I doubt I was alone. After walking past a bunch of horses and a minefield of horse feces we arrived at the starting point for our hike. We had one guide, who thankfully spoke english, to take us up the mountain. The hike was steep, winding and very green. After 30 to 40 ish minutes of walking all the green disappeared, the trail flattened out and we walked onto the charred rocks and dead landscape that is the side of a volcano. At the top we waited for everyone to arrive and ate some banana-bread bought by mike. After a short break we kept walking, but now we were going down. On the side of the volcano there was a valley, it was filled with cooled lava from the eruption a few years ago. As we walked over the tangled mass of sharp rocks there was steam rising from the ground. Our guide then took us to a specific gap in the rocks and handed out marshmallows and sticks. Yeah, that's right, we roasted marshmallows over cooling lava. Immediately afterward we stopped to eat lunch in a little shack. At the shack Jesse & Sylvia found a puppy that was wandering around the area and fed it some food and gave it some water using the cap of a water bottle. After lunch we stopped to get gifts from the “Lava Store” a small shop on the volcano that sold jewelry and other accessories that were made out of molded lava rocks. Following our little shopping spree we walked down the mountain. On the way our guide decided to take us on a few shortcuts. Theses shortcuts were really just the gullies cut down the side of the mountain by extreme rainfall they were narrow, steep, and fun the run down. After a few more minutes of walking down we arrived in a second parking lot, boarded our little bus and drove back to Antigua. The hike tired everyone out. Nobody left the hostel until dinner time when half the kids went to McDonalds.

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