OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What I owe to the tarpon

January 24, 2016

The next morning we unloaded our bags and began to gradually ascent the sweeping trails up the dormant Volcan de Acatenango.  I intelligently paid for a porter, as we’d be hiking a total of 25 miles over two days.

P1202575 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202579 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202582 768x1024 What I owe to the tarpon

The smoke from the active Volcan de Fuego was already very apparent.  The thunderous bellows and falling rocks came later.

P1202587 768x1024 What I owe to the tarpon

Up we went…

P1202595 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

Apparently it was not uncommon for stray dogs to follow groups for the entirety of their hike.    This little guy was no exception.

P1202600 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202607 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

After a long day of hiking we began to hear the thunderous roars of the active volcano and were pelted by the occasional spray of falling rocks.  Our guide made it clear to us that this was the most active he had ever seen the volcano.

We arrived at base camp exhausted, but hastily set up our tents for the night.  We’d be returning to them after our next journey, which was down the adjacent valley and back up the the slopes of Fuego as it blew its brains out on us.

P1202625 768x1024 What I owe to the tarpon

The rightmost peak in this picture was our destination:

P1202635 768x1024 What I owe to the tarpon

The ash cloud cast a shadow over the clouds… and I was on could nine!  I couldn’t believe the sight that lay before me.  Our guide was just as excited as we were, he restated that in all his time guiding he had never seen anything quite like this.

It would only get better…

P1202644 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

Down we went into the valley.

P1202651 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

We turned to face the beast before us, and began to be hit by its rocky spatter.

P1202654 768x1024 What I owe to the tarpon

Rain made of rocks:

P1202660 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

They were small at first, but they grew larger as we climbed up Fuego’s slopes.  Our guide stopped us and debated turning around as the rocks were growing in size.  We had come too far to turn around.  We all put on some shades and hats to keep them out of our eyes.

Arriving at our destination, we caught glimpse of sunset and the resulting shadow that the massive volcano cast over the city we had departed from that morning.

P1202671 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202673 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202692 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon P1202694 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

All the while, Fuego roared on.

P1202706 1024x768 What I owe to the tarpon

As darkness fell we were treated to the sight of a lifetime…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>