Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hiking the San Pedro Volcano

View of Lake Atitlan from near the top of San Pedro Volcano
San Pedro Volcano from Panahachel

I went on a hike up the San Pedro Volcano.  The lake is at a pretty high elevation, so hiking can be difficult because of a lake of oxygen.  7 students and 2 guides went.  It took an hour just to get to the bottom of the volcano at the visitor’s center.  Another middle-aged guy, Roger, and I were going really slow.  He was slow because of the altitude; me because I’m out of shape.  We started from the school at 6:30 am and at 8:30 arrived at the “mirador” – a viewpoint 1 km from the visitor’s center.  The entire 2 hours were uphill, but not too steep.  Roger and I decided we had gone far enough, so one guide stayed with us and the other took the rest up to the top.  After ½ hour, Roger and I were ready to continue up.  We came to another pretty good viewpoint and continued, slowly, up the hill.  After we had gone about 2 km from the mirador and 1 km from the top, we thought about it and decided we had really finished our hike.  We were at that point going up at a very steep angle – kind of like going up steps in a house, sometimes more steeply than that.  We were very happy with our progress and within ½ hour the rest of our group came back to our position.  We all walked back together although the pace was a little bit fast for me – I got a blister on the way down.  No knee pain, fortunately!  More pics...

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