A Stoddart in South America

A spectacular start to a Sunday morning...!

I was woken this morning at the crack of dawn by a loud, rumbling sound. At first I thought it was fireworks, but 4am seemed a little early for that. My next thought was thunder, but it wasn't raining and there were no flashes of lightening. Then it struck me what the sound was. And yeah sure enough when I went out on to my balcony, there in the darkness was a red strip of glowing lava! Volcano Fuego was erupting! Unfortunately due to pitch blackness and the distance I wasn't able to get a good photo, but take my word for it, it was spectacular...! It's moments like these that I remember why I wanted to be a volcanologist and its moments like this that make me a little sad that it didn't work out...

Anyway, the reason why I was up so early this morning (my alarm was due to go off at 4.30am anyway) is because I was going to Lake Atitlan. It's about a 2 hour drive from Antigua and is an ancient volcano who's crater collapsed during a massive eruption 84,000 uears ago, leaving behind the present day Lake Atitlan. It's rather large (12 x 5km) and is meant to be quite spectacular... I have to say, after this mornings events I feel pretty underwhelmed here...  Sure it's pretty. The water is clear (clear enough to see the bits and pieces of rubbish floating around) and the shorelines are formed by massive mountains and 4 volcanoes rising out of the water, dotted with small villages. But that's it. Our boat stopped at 3 villages and it was the same story every time. Hoards of Tuck Tucks waiting at the jetty to offer a ride, followed by various guides insistently offering to show I'm not sure what (and very quickly dropping his price from Q100 to Q35) and then finally the streets are lined with souvenir shops wanting to sell you anything from key rings to tablecloths. None of which fit in my backpack anyway! Maybe I'm missing something, maybe I should have taken the guide up on his offer...

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Marie

Great experience the volcano eruption! Must be indeed impressive! Lucky you! ;-)

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