Monday, February 2, 2015

Thar she blows (volcanoes, not whales)

A few days ago, we hiked another two volcanos to add to our growing list of peaks bagged.  Izalco in El Salvador with my sister, Pacaya in Guatemala with my entire family, (we think there have been one or two more but I've only had one cup of coffee so far this morning, and can't remember) and now Volcan Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico.  It was a 16 km. walk, and while it wasn't THAT long, our legs did feel it by the end.

If I add a picture, it means we did it
Meeting a great group of folks, 3 couples traveling together from Homer, Alaska, we started off on a beautiful calm morning around 8am.  The lack of clouds were what we were aiming for, as the altitude could make for enshrouded vistas, which we didn't want.  Four kilometers later, we were at the rim.

The crater is 10 kilometers across, and holds the title of being the second largest in the world, right behind Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania.

We walked to the spot where the secondary volcano started to form, and then down the other side to Chico.

Very desolate but terribly interesting

Along the way, we got to know our walking companions and all of them were as interesting as the landscape, with one couple spending their winters traveling overland on the African continent in a retrofitted Range Rover Defender, another couple involved in Alaska's newest industry, growing peonies for the cut flower market, and all involved in one way or another in the fishing and marine research industry.  They spoke so highly of Homer that we might just give it a look for the future.

Unfortunately, it didn't sound as though they had had as amazing of a time here in the Galapagos as we have, and it just goes to show that not all traveling experiences are viewed in the same way.  What a lot of people don't have when they travel is time.  Time to research what experiences will be the most satisfying, time to discover what you are hoping to get out of each destination, and often, just the time to allow a destination to wash over you in silence, rather than in experiences.  Traveling sailors are lucky, or at least we know we are.  Aside from weather and visa issues, we have the luxury of being able to decide when and where to stay, and for how long.  We can get out of each destination what we wish to.  Ron and I have decided that given the size of the world, and where we still want to go, each destination we come to needs to be explored as if we are never going to return.  We therefor allow ourselves the time to come to know each stop as intimately as we can be as travelers and not residents. 

And with all this soul searching, we hardly noticed our aching knees when we got back to the bottom of the hill.  Ron, pass me another Advil. 

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