Breakfast typico was soo good. Aminta's home is a great place to stay - Casa Blanca Tu Casa.
Katherine from Germany and Nicolas from Quebec came with me to Parque Cerro Verde to hike Volcan Santa Ana-
Along the way is Lago de Coatepeque, a volcanic caldera (sinkhole) formed 72,000 years ago. It has an area of 26 km2-
In order to hike Santa Ana Volcano, it's important to be in Cerro Verde Park for a 10:45 briefing by the guides. It cost $1 for parking and $3 entrance fee. Once walking, our first 15 minutes were spent climbing down stairs going down the hill through the forest to the road we had driven up on. If I were taking a chicken bus to do the hike, I would get off at the Tibet Hostel and wait for the group. It is simply a money grab to have to 'meet' in the park and a bunch of extra steps for nothing.
The hike was up and down and on a decent path for the first while. The view along the way is spectacular. This is Volcan Izalco-
The hike was difficult, especially for someone like me who doesn't like hiking! Along the way we had to pay $1 to enter private land, then later $6. So, in total to walk your ass off, it cost $10 US.
Nearer the top, the paths were tricky but well marked with painted yellow rocks-
I could smell the sulphur before I got to the top. It was very windy and quite cold but I was so hot from the climb it was refreshing. Many wore jackets. The trek up took about 1 hour 40 minutes and I'm pokey. Once up there, the crater was amazing-
Standing up there, I was so proud of myself. I finally understood why someone might like hiking! My legs ached, my feet were sore, but I had done it! Maybe I'll do some more.... I said maybe!
Lake Coatepeque again, just a little higher up-
Looking back up while on my way down, the people are just specks (they're right in the middle)-
Not much vegetation grows near the top-
Once at the bottom, I had to have a pupusa. I just love them: frijoles con queso revuelto and cole slaw and piquante salsa on top! These women were dicing yucca. It will be boiled, then mashed like potatoes. They work from 7-4 everyday and ride the chicken bus up and down the switchback road-
Driving from Cerro Verde to Los Naranjos, the countryside is beautiful. Sugar cane is in different stages along the way-
Looking forward to Juayua's Feria Gastronomica tomorrow! That's all I need - more food!