November 19, 2012

12,375 Feet in the Air

On any clear, or somewhat clear day the Santa Maria volcano can be seen in the background of Xela:

Santa Maria peaks at 12,375 feet above sea level. Xela is 7,655 feet above sea level, making the trip from Xela to peak 4,720 feet for a bird. Unfortunately, the trail would not be as straight for us: it would take us about 25,000 footsteps total to go up and down the very winding mountain trail. 

Our plan was to hike the volcano during the night so that we could watch the sunrise at the top. While these hopes were not completely fulfilled due to a few interesting events (including getting lost and trudging through the jungle at night to find the right trail), we still made it to the top and were able to enjoy the amazing views as the weather was perfectly clear. This was also another item to cross off of our Guatemala Bucket List.

Check out a few of our pictures...

 Supplies for the long journey.

It was great to look over our shoulder during the trip and see Xela at night.

While we didn't watch the sunrise from the top, it was still breathtaking.

Finally at the top. The sharp peaks in the distance are 5 other volcanoes about 2 hours away.

Santa Maria's shadow cast in the morning.

A beautiful view.

Collin looking over Xela.

Santiaguito: the active volcanoe right below Santa Maria. It constantly errupts and blows smoke.

My favorite view: our volcano neighbors.

Proof we were at the top.

Smiling with glassy was pretty chilly up there...hovering around freezing.

Such a perfectly clear day.

Head back down the mountain. Checking out Xela and the wild terrain nearby.

Santa Maria from the bottom. Hard to believe we were at the top!

Thanking God for beautiful weather, safety, and a working lungs and legs.

Grace and Peace,