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Johni22’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 21 Feb 2007

Location: pacaya and antigua, Guatemala

Map Today, I woke up at 5:30 in the morning along with my family. The tour guide picked us up at 6. We drove for an hour and a half. On the ride, we saw a sunrise. The sunrise was different from home because it had to go over the mountains and through the mist. When we still were driving, the tour guide said we were going to the largest active volcano around, Pacaya. We drove up about a quarter of the way up the mountain, took pictures, went to about halfway, and got of. We got a mountain guide, and rented to horses to take us up a little bit. Riley wanted to name his sprinkles, but it was already named Princessa. Me and Ri both got our own horse for a bit, then my mom was getting tired so the guide said we could get me and Ri onto one horse and she could have one. At first I was in the front and riley was in the back, but riley kept falling off, so we switched. When we rode on horses, a father and his son led them. The father and his son kept talking about how much the son needs to learn English and the son kept saying no. When we got to a rest point we dismounted, and looked off the mountain. We saw Guatemala City in the distance, a geothermal power plant(one that uses heat from underground to steam water and turn turbines) used for the volcanic energy under ground, and lake Adadlon. We then kept going and eventually made it to where the horses couldn’t go any more. As we were walking over the grassland, out of nowhere popped this huge pile of volcanic rock in a line shape leading up to the summit, which was hundreds of meters away. The Guide says that pile of rock was flowing lava eight months ago, And that the huge lava field we were about to go onto was also only from eight months ago. My brother came to like a dog that had no collar and followed us up the mountain, but it didn’t go farther than the beginning of the lava field. The field was basically a giant plateau of black rock called basalt, some had iron in it. As we went across it, there were holes with heat coming out of them, the guide says that the holes lead to lava deep underground, and said not to touch them. He then took his stick and put it into a hole, and it instantly burst into flames. He also said to not touch the rock with your hands because they will cut them and you will bleed. None of us did. We kept going on, and my brother said he couldn’t do it, so she said he could have a whole pack of candy if he made it to the top. When we did, it was up to 5 packs. As we got to the top, the lava was amazing. My dad would describe it as “Your garage in lava flowing down at .00001 miles per hour”. We stayed at the top for a good 15 minutes and watched it move ten feet. The tour guide said it was like 900 degrees because we were so close to the lava, feet away. We didn’t go to the top of the mountain because the terrain there is so unstable; one wrong step can trigger a tremor. And then we got the perfect example, an avalanche suddenly busted out of the top of the volcano but didn’t hit us. We then went back down the mountain, and when we reached the village we started in, it was up to 7 pieces of candy. We then left, drove back, watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After that, Mrs. Vennible, our gym teacher’s daughter, Kristina, took us out to dinner. We went to a steakhouse. Both she and I had a philly steak cheese sub, riley had a plain steak, and Dad had a shrimp kebab with Mom. For drinks I had lemonade, which was way richer here that home, so did my mom, Ri had diet coke, Dad also had diet coke, and Kristina had a cool shake thing called a licuada con fresas which is blended up strawberry with milk and varios other ingredients. For dessert we had lots of cakes. But I had a licuada con fruta, which is milk mixed with strawberry, pinaple, papaya, melon, and various other ingredients. After, we walked around, went to the beautiful central park, and to the coolest mcdonalds on earth, because it had a outdoor park with a fountain and benches, a place called mcinternet which was an internet café corner, and a cool fountain indoors, along with a beautiful playplace area. We then got a cab and went to bed. I had to type this tommarrow.