Guatebuena

We're not in Guatemala anymore. We're in El Salvador, sorta struggling to keep it together after a serious volcano undertaking and a couple of bad tamales. Our legs are garbage and our insides jumbled. Couple pounds lighter just in time for the beautiful beaches of El Salvador. As we examined the traverler's diarrhea meds this morning Aidan said, "I'm no doctor, but we are traveling and, well..." Some logic you just can't argue with. I almost blacked out at Immigrations and Aidan, for maybe the first time ever, cut a surf session short for fear of tossing his cookies right into the lineup. All good though, we'll keep you posted as we slowwwwly work our way down the coast, XO. 

 Looking down on Volcán Fuego from Volcán Actenango. A bit like Old Faithful, Fuego typically erupts every hour or so sending lava, rocks and plumes of smoke skyward. Apparently the week before our arrival it was particularly active, releasing "house-sized boulders," making international news. For better or worse, our show consisted of only a bit of ominous outgassing.

Looking down on Volcán Fuego from Volcán Actenango. A bit like Old Faithful, Fuego typically erupts every hour or so sending lava, rocks and plumes of smoke skyward. Apparently the week before our arrival it was particularly active, releasing "house-sized boulders," making international news. For better or worse, our show consisted of only a bit of ominous outgassing.

 Mornings are best for summiting volcanoes in Guatemala as the clouds creep in later in the day. Most people backpack in the day before, camp, and make a short summit push to watch the sunrise -- as we had done a few weeks before with Tajumulco. Not having worthy backpacks or the desire to hoof heavy loads up 6,000 feet, we opted to jam the whole thing into a single morning. A 4:30 am start time mixed with a hint of type-a hardheadedness got us to the top by 7:30.

Mornings are best for summiting volcanoes in Guatemala as the clouds creep in later in the day. Most people backpack in the day before, camp, and make a short summit push to watch the sunrise -- as we had done a few weeks before with Tajumulco. Not having worthy backpacks or the desire to hoof heavy loads up 6,000 feet, we opted to jam the whole thing into a single morning. A 4:30 am start time mixed with a hint of type-a hardheadedness got us to the top by 7:30.

 The view due West. The furthest horizon bump is Volcán Tajumulco and the Mexican border. Getting to the top of Acatenango felt like an appropriate bookend to Guatemala's absurd topography. 

The view due West. The furthest horizon bump is Volcán Tajumulco and the Mexican border. Getting to the top of Acatenango felt like an appropriate bookend to Guatemala's absurd topography. 

 Our schedule was just staggered enough to have the place allllll to ourselves. 

Our schedule was just staggered enough to have the place allllll to ourselves. 

 Crater laps. 

Crater laps. 

 Our less-than-worthy polyester backpacks, purchased a mere 8 hours prior to departure at the village's night market. Those logos will peel off in no time.  

Our less-than-worthy polyester backpacks, purchased a mere 8 hours prior to departure at the village's night market. Those logos will peel off in no time.  

 Comprehensive summit picnic.

Comprehensive summit picnic.

 The ten-second self-timer wasn't quite generous enough for the slippery volcanic surface.

The ten-second self-timer wasn't quite generous enough for the slippery volcanic surface.

 A-grade gradients.

A-grade gradients.

 Under the lense flare lies Volcán Aua and Aidan on the crater rim for perspective. 

Under the lense flare lies Volcán Aua and Aidan on the crater rim for perspective. 

 Last volcano photo. That cloud line though, I couldn't get enough. 

Last volcano photo. That cloud line though, I couldn't get enough. 

 We traded manual labor for a bagful of this family's avocados.  

We traded manual labor for a bagful of this family's avocados.  

 Waiting patiently/desperately for second breakfast. 

Waiting patiently/desperately for second breakfast. 

 New research finds that second brekkie is the most important meal of the day. 

New research finds that second brekkie is the most important meal of the day. 

 What do they mean when they ask at the travel immunization office if you plan on doing any spelunking?  

What do they mean when they ask at the travel immunization office if you plan on doing any spelunking?  

 Lake Atitlan. After a brake pad burning descent, we'd finally arrive at the spit of land protruding from the rightmost volcano.

Lake Atitlan. After a brake pad burning descent, we'd finally arrive at the spit of land protruding from the rightmost volcano.

 After hearing from several reliable sources that the super steep road we intended to take saw many robberies, we opted to cut off the corner of the lake by boat instead. 

After hearing from several reliable sources that the super steep road we intended to take saw many robberies, we opted to cut off the corner of the lake by boat instead. 

 Bikes on a boat. 

Bikes on a boat.