Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pacaya attempt #2

My 2nd attempt to climb Pacaya got off good start, the van did show up! All in all we have 7 total, 5 American and may be 2 from middle East, the group did not mingle. Anyway, one has the option of hiring a horse or walk up - of course I chose to hike - it was pretty easy hike where the path is wide and loose volcanic soil.

When we get to the active lava flow area, there were few hundred of people there already. The sun was still bright so it is hard to see the red lava from where we were. So we just followed everyone else and started to hike down toward the lava flow. Once we were there, one can see the red lava and feel the intense heat it generates. Some people brought marshmallow! Some places you walk over the actual lava flow, but where its out surface has cooled and harden. You can feel the burning heat as you walk over. The book mentioned sometime people had their shoes melted because they got too close. At the urge of my guide I manage to get close to one flow and post for a picture - I got out the heat as quickly as I can.

By the time we ready to get down, it was getting dark, but some people were just starting and some stay behind - to watch the night glow or pretty sunset may be.

One thing I found strange is that there were lots family that brought their very young kids. I saw one parent literally drag his son through the lava field!

This is my first time seeing active lava flow, it was very exciting yet at same time a bit scary not knowing if my next step might fall through or melt my shoes.

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