Chicken bus fun and volcano hiking in Guatemala

Next morning we head off to Panajachel….this journey will involve 4 chicken buses….hence to make life easier we have only packed our day packs……a very smart decision.

Lets just say that public transport in Melbourne, in particular the 96 tram now feels extremely roomy. We are already squashed in, with 3 people per seat and people standing in the very narrow aisle. At one stage, the bus conductor gets on at the back of the bus and pushes his way down making everyone squeeze in just that little bit more.

I was squashed up the very back of the bus, sharing a seat with 3 other people….the guy next to me hardly had his arse on the seat at all, he was just on mine and the seat opposite but mainly hanging in mid air. So this sounds pretty crazy already, but then you add in a very windy road and the toughest game of corners ever, it certain,y was a crazy experience. Our old US school bus was over taking other modern cars as it flew around the corners at break neck speeds…..while we squeezed in so close you would think we could hardly move, but at that speed, we still had to hold on so we didn't squash the person on the window… was a great work out for the arms at least!

First photo was a pretty mundane chicken bus, but you can start to see how many sitting, their is a row down the middle…..check out the guy, if looks could kill, I be dead!

Not a great shot, as it was actually really hard to get my camera out, it got much fuller than this, but by then I could hardly move and was needing both hands to hold on so no more photos could be taken. But the guy in the striped shirt ended up right in front of me, I spent about an hour with his butt in my face!

At some of the stops, people would get on and try sell you things….seriously I could hardly move let alone eat something, but they came in from the back door and just hanged on from the back while the bus took off and then closed it while the bus still moving and then jumped off… that's a hard way to make a living!

We arrive in Panajachel, it's a small lake side town on Lake Atitlan….it beautiful, huge lake surrounded by volcanoes… this pace is gorgeous.

A late lunch before suppose to go off zip lining….however, Mother Nature had another plan, a huge thunder and lightning storm came in.

It pretty much rained the rest of the afternoon, so wondered around the streets then came back and drank beers and played cards. We headed out for some street food for dinner… and pretty tasty, I can't recall what these things called, but they a tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese with sauce and salad on top.

Early night as got to be up at 6 am do hike up a volcano……..aaaahhhhh nooooo I decide to drink up on the balcony with some of the guys from our group until 2am.

Wow, it's early, I drag my arse out of bed and we catch the boat over to San Juan where we then take a ute up to the base of the volcano. But the lake looks amazing at this time of the morning.

Above is the San Pedro volcano we going to hike up…..looks so innocent from the water. The ute ride up was pretty cool, standing in the tray and holding on as we zipped up the hills and through the town.

My fellow hikers, lets call this the before shot….pretty happy and excited about our hike
The terrain is steep and full of tree roots and rocks you need to climb up
Half way…..omg…….hope the view is worth it.

As we climb we pass a few areas used for farming, hard work climbing up here every day to work on your crop

The view from just after half way…..ok this is pretty cool

Just before we reach the top, we have a play on a rope swing…..yep I am still a kid!

Ok enough playing around, lets get to the top……wow what a view, took us over 3.5 hours to hike up, but worth it,

What goes up, must come down, was easier to go down, but still took us almost 2 hours. The after shot below, best coke I have ever had!



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