Shawn here. Having a great trip so far. I almost didn’t make it on this trip but when I saw pictures of the nearby volcanoes, I had to make it happen. The Agua volcano dominates the skyline, and on my second day here I took off with the plan to hike to the top of it. Although it looks like it is right next to town, you actually have to walk miles before you even get to the base. I enjoyed hiking through some little villages and then on to the amazing corn fields grown on a 45 degree incline. After half a day of hiking I was only at about 8000 ft and the top is at 12,400! Two days later I returned with a scooter and thought there was a road up the back side. There is not. After some serious scooter abuse I reached the trailhead above the town of Santa Maria. I was already exhausted form pushing the scooter up trails it just couldn't do. There a guide flagged me down and said going any further was not possible. He offered to take me up the trail. I was not planning on doing a brutal hike! I had water and the right shoes but I was wearing jeans, thin socks, and no sunscreen or my hiking hat. But hey, it was early in the day and I figured I could turn back if I got too uncomfortable. The guides are not really sherpas showing you the best way to go. They’re just there to make sure you don’t get robbed! He hiked with me to about 9000 ft than he motioned that he was going to wait there for my return.
The next 3500 ft just got harder and harder. It took all my mojo but I made it. At the top you can walk a loop around the top of the crater. Epic views! Amazingly it is covered with transmission towers built with helicopters and some crazy people. 5 hours later I met my guide again and continued back down. My foot had some awful blisters and I had a nice sunburn but mission accomplished.
Since then I have been mostly exploring with the scooter. I logged some serious miles with that 150cc chinese piece of junk. But it just could not take me where I wanted to go. I was able to upgrade it to a real dirt bike on Sunday. This country is a maze of trails and an absolute blast on the bike. Baylie likes the freedom of the scooter/bike and we have done some fun exploring together.
One week left for me. I hope to hike the Acatenango Volcano next, then maybe the Pacaya. Also want to ride the bike to an amazing sounding lake called Lago de Atitlan. Cheers!