Christmas 2011 travel blog

Antigua... After a multiple hour sleep---I think around 9 hours I woke up to the sounds of motorcycles roaring by...I lay there thinking how is this possible when I am at the back of the Posada Los Bucaros??? Then I remembered that there are 2 open courtyards and one small one-I am by the small one with the fountain-so thus the noise, but hey who can complain when I walk out to the 2nd courtyard and get fresh coffee and a great start to a wonderful morning. I made my way to Old Town Outfitters for my Volcano hike...they weren't open, yet(my mother taught me well to be on time) so off to Cafe Condessa(three countesses). This is a cafe with wonderful cakes and pastries and full lunches, however at this early hour the "express" portion was open. The cafe is the former house of a count(as in royalty something)however one of the counts came home to find his wife in a compromising position with the butler-the count then put the butler in a rather compromising position-Buried alive within the walls!!~all of course folklore~until a 1976 renovation uncovered the skeleton of a man standing up~needless to say according to the owners the ghost was exorcised in the 90's. Now on to Volcan Pacaya---6 travellers converged at OTO(Old TOWN) for our 8am departure. 1 hour to get to the volcano 2 1/2 hours to hike up, start down, eat lunch, then another hour down the mountain! We couldn't go all the way to the top of the crater as last year there was an eruption and collapse of the cone...luckily only 1 person died-a tourist wanting to film the lava, when the lava got too close, it was too late for him! According to Fernando our guide the mountain was buried in lave and 1-2M of ash, destroying everything in it's path, however a lot of the trees have started to come back, yet the animals have remained away. The views from the top were amazing even with the wind blowing a gale force wind! Lunch was served al fresco-fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, re-fried beans tortillas...all that much tastier after a hard workout! Awaiting our 6pm meeting tonight to meet my fellow Intrepid travellers! More tomorrow....

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