Before we get into telling you about our last hiking day I just wanted to give you an update of our current travel plans. We're heading out of Xela this morning (Tuesday) and back to Mexico. We're going to take a different route to a different Mexican border crossing near Comitan and then heading to San Cristobal de las Casas for two nights. We hope to post again when we get there this evening.
Okay, back to day 5. So this actually took place on Saturday, February 23rd. We are going to hike to the highest non-volcanic point in Central America!
We got to sleep in a little bit, and we actually had a well deserved decent night's sleep! We were up at 6:45am, and ready for breakfast by 7:15am. Jeronimo's family made breakfast for us and we were served a delicious plate of rice, vegetables, beans, and tortillas. Oh, and coffee!
By 8:10am we were all packed up and ready to go. Part of Quetzaltrekkers agreement with Jeronimo's family is that one of his sons, Dorotello, would guide us across the mountain behind the family property.
Ready to go at 8:10am. Ruth, with her hat on, on the far left. It's a little chilly in the mornings!
One of our group, circled in red so that you can see them!
Some of these little villages we've been through may not have electricity, but they sure do have cell service! There are cell towers spread all through these hills and while the towers themselves need electricity they typically have a range of about 5 kms. So a lot of Guatemalans, even the traditional Mayans, are carrying cell phones!
Ruth, and one of our guides David, bringing up the rear as we typically do on these steep uphill sections.
Spent some time hiking with the sheep.
As we took a rest break, we could see in the distance the Santa Maria volcano that we had hiked up the weekend before...and a big eruption from Santiaguito!
Kevin, at a nice viewpoint.
Ruth, staying warm at the top. The sun was shining brightly, but it was still a bit chilly if you weren't hiking.
Group photo at the top! We were now at 12,500 feet (3,810 meters), the highest non-volcanic point in Central America.
From there, it was a steep downhill. Very steep in sections, and it was pretty slow going. But really interesting scenery!
But just before the downhill started, we came upon this gorgeous view of the town of Todos Santos where we were going to spend the night...
And even steeper downhill!!
Had to go under this massive tree that had fallen over.
Made it to our lunch spot at around 1:00pm. What a neat place!!!
Tired, but Kevin still has enough energy to have some fun. Too funny!
Heading downhill on a maintained trail.
The rest of the hike down was on a maintained trail and it turned out that we were now in the La Maceta Ecological Park, a protected area. We had come at it from the top though, where most people access it from the road below.
They will build a soccer field anywhere they can!
This man and his son are the gatekeepers at the park. They are not wearing uniforms or costumes of any kind. This is the traditional Mayan clothing that many men in the nearby village of Todos Santos wear on a daily basis!
There is more to the day's activities, but we have to cut this entry short. We'll pick it up again in the next update later today!