Journal Excerpt – 10/10/09 – Climbing Volcano Pacaya

Ian Zimmermann


October 12, 2009

“…After passing through what appeared it must be the last bit of civilization before the volcano, we came across this covered, but open-air shelter filled with over 20 men — as well as a few children holding marshmallows up to the bus window trying to wordlessly convince us to purchase the colorful, gooey treat. We chose — or our driver, I guess — chose a guide for the rest of the journey…After passing this shed which surely must be the last sign of civilization, we drove about 5 km and entered into a whole other town. When we parked, our van was quickly surrounded by men on horseback, hoping we would opt for a taxi, rather than hiking ourselves…”

“…We began climbing — getting quickly exhausted on the first kilometer of steep concrete stairs — completely plastered in horse droppings…”

“…I don’t know if there was another option or not, but our guide took us esquiando down the volcanic sand…”

“…Generally, there’s something really surreal about roasting marshmallows over lava, but I couldn’t even begin to complain because they tasted so incredible…”

Overall, what a day.

Ian Zimmermann