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Antigua and Beyond...

Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

Antigua is a beautiful colonial city, surrounded by volcanoes and lush scenery. We finally had a chance to try some more authentic food, and we give it two thumbs up... at a 45 degree angle.

For reasons unknown to both of us, every live volcano seems to have a village at the bottom. We're genuinely at a loss to understand why people choose to live within spit-shot of hot molten lava.

We took a tour of the Pacaya volcano, a live volcano nearby.

It took about two hours to hike 2km uphill to the top of the volcano after our tour bus took us as far as it could. It was a spectacular sight.

We never thought we'd get so close to hot molten lava spilling out of a volcano, literally close enough to toast a marshmallow.

No doubt, gondolas, safety barriers, and planked pathways would be the norm back home, along with recorded reminders that repeat ad nauseum "for your own safety..."

Now as you can imagine, there's nothing quite like taking a long, hot shower after a sweaty uphill climb two hours up and two hours back, all the time covered volcanic ash and dust. Fortunately for us, our hotel room was equipped with only the best shower in all of Guatemala. We don't know how to translate the Spanish name, but we called it "Mighty Drip".

Today we made our way by bus to Panajachel in Lake Atitlan. Corey managed to bargain a good deal for us in a very nice hotel (though now that we think of it, we didn't check to see just how Mighty its drip is). We're going to chill here for a couple of days, darting back and forth across the lake by boat, and coming back into town to settle in the evenings.

permalink written by  Corey Fruitman and Melissa Tapper on February 25, 2009 from Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
from the travel blog: Margarita y Discoteca
tagged Volcano and MightyDrip

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Clouds Over Bromo!

Probolinggo, Indonesia

After Yogyakarta we took an 11-hour ride to a small mountain village near Mount Bromo, a ride we can only confirm as usually South-East Asian! A driver picked us up in the morning and we wondered if there would be any further passengers - anyone to join us - nope! So we endured a journey east across Java with the magical four-handed magician, he could not only smoke, call people on his phone and drive our mini-bus but also sound the horn every 3 minutes. In fact, sometimes when the roads were clear, when there was nobody there, just us, our driver would find a good reason to press the horn repeatedly, again and again! This is how we reached Yoshi's Hostel/Lodge/Guesthouse/Homestay/Tourist Trap/ whatever you want to call it, i forget! We won't talk too much about that but any place where breakfast is either coffee or toast [BUT NOT BOTH!!!] is going to annoy you further.

Apres Yogjakarta, nous avons pris un minibus direction mont Bromo. Le trajet a dure 11 heures et nous etions seuls a bord! Nous avons eu le temps d'observer la conduite incroyable de ce chauffeur (chauffard): a vive allure, portable dans la main gauche, cigarette dans la main droite et avec le doigt constamment sur le klaxon. Litteralement 11h de klaxon! Ici il sert a indiquer qu'un vehicule arrive, va tourner, s'apprete a doubler ou encore juste pour le plaisir, enfin tout quoi!

Instead we are going to tell you about our great day discovering Mount Bromo and a flight of stairs! We started by waking up at 3am, then we took a 4x4 jeep to the top of a Mount Paranbakan which overlooks Bromo. The idea was to see the sunrise but sadly there were quite a lot of clouds about so we didn't get to see much. However it was a refreshing view considering that we had been either in a busy or on buys roads previously. While waiting there we embarked on some light graffiti and as you can see in the photo we managed to write Bromo! There were some confused Indonesians, Japanese and others nearby wondering why we were [repeatedly] waving the torch around and not looking at the landscape!

Nous sommes finalement arrive le soir a notre guest house sain et sauf. Le lendemain matin, depart 3h30 en 4x4 pour le mont Paranbakan duquel on etait sense voir le leve du soleil derriere le mont Bromo. Je dis sense car il y a malheureusement eu trop de nuages... il parait que c'est fantastique. Pour tuer le temps on s'amusait avec l'appareil photo et Brian a decouvert l'option longue exposition. S'en suit plein de photo graffiti, dont voici un exemple "Bromo" [au dessous]. Pendant que les autres touristes scrutaient l'horizon, immobiles, nous nous agitions dans tous les sens avec notre lampe torche!!

After the 'suncloud' part we made our way back down the mountain and on towards Mount Bromo itself. This was great, an open valley type place with some horses ready to take tired legs to the bottom of the stairs that lead to the crater. We walked and by the time we got to the stairs, we realised that breakfast would have been a good idea if only it had been offered! Anyway, just the stairs to go i guess! Those stairs [the ones you can see in the photos] were a killer, tired legs, slowly realising that you have already been awake for 3 hours and that quite a few stairs remain!

Une fois le soleil leve, nous nous sommes rendu au pied du mont Bromo ou il y avait plein de chevaux prets a faire l'ascension jusqu'au cratere avec des touristes sur le dos! Mais braves que nous sommes, nous l'avons fait a pied (le p'tit dej etant servi au retour a l'hotel, j'avoue que l'energie est venue a me manquer a un moment donne! dur dur mais ca valait le coup!).

However, when you do reach the top it is fantastic! The smells, the backdrop [landscape] and the rest you have can really be appreciated as you start chatting to other people and learning about other places where they have been, an important part of the trip as we are travelling without a guidebook. As we talked to other people, we started to realise where we would go next, the only thing that was already sure was that we were bound for Bali!

Arrive au sommet, la vue etait deja extraordinaire mais encore plus epoustouflant, etait la proximite avec la fumee sortant du cratere et le bruit que cela faisait. On imagine tres bien qu'en 2004 ce volcan est entre en eruption! Apres toutes ces emotions, nous sommes rentres a l'hotel (pour prendre le petit dejeuner surtout!! A ce moment la, il devait bien etre 8h30) et avons attendu quelques heures le bus que nous avions reserve en partance pour Bali.

We went back to Yoshi's, rested and found a random place to get on the internet with a really nice and slightly handicapped guy who ran the place and gave a good insight into real local life. His revelation that he started his business one year ago and that he feared being beaten up because of what he had was quite something! A little sad of course but a reflection of a common theme - it seems that in some places doing well for yourself brings the wrong kind of attention. Having said that he seemed happy that he knew people too and overall it was just great to see the odd child coming in and being able to use his facilities! Oh and for Lenaic there was a very very friendly cat with no name, me and the owner decided to name him 'Glen'.

Pendant ce temps nous sommes alle sur internet dans un petit cyber local et avons discute avec le proprietaire qui a releve que son nouveau business n'etait pas du gout de tout le monde et qu'il avait peur de se faire frapper! Ce qu'on a remarque aussi bien en Malaisie qu'en Indonesie, c'est qu'il n'est pas bon d'afficher sa reussite au yeux de tous.

permalink written by  Lenameets50 on January 7, 2010 from Probolinggo, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged Volcano, Indonesia and MountBromo

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