Immediately after I finished the Acetenango trip, I took the trip up to Xela to start my next trip early the following morning. My next trip was up Mt Tajumulco. Early the next morning we bundled into the back of a pick up truck, on our way towards the bus station to catch a couple more regular buses into the remote highlands where we would start our trip up Tajumulco.
It was a great group, and I was delighted to find some New Zealanders among them. We headed off on a series of local buses. These buses are just great. They are colourful, play music and the buses have a warm community feel to them. They are kinda crowded sure, but they are also 1/5th of the price of the fancy buses! What's not to like?!!
Before long we got to our starting point and started our trek. We were deep in the Mayan heartland. Several mayan languages are spoken. It is also quite close to the Mexican border to the north.
We headed up, and passed through farmland and then up into the woody pine forest towards our campsite. We made good time and got to the campsite early, so we decided to take a sidetrip to another peak. The weather stayed good for us, which was great. Apparently it often rains!
We had a delicious meal and settled down for the night. It was definitely cold, our campsite was at 4000m, so we had only 200 odd metres to go the next morning.
After dinner I quickly retreated to my tent. I piled on every layer and beanie I had and tightened the drawstring on my sleeping bag. After so many weeks in the tropics I was not used to such cool temperatures!
Before long, the first rays of light started to shine through the clouds as the dawn arrived. The wind started to blow the clouds away and reveal amazing views - to Mexico in the north, across to the Pacific ocean in the West and in the distance, other volcanic peaks, including Acetanango and Fuego in the South.
We made it to the top of central America!
This trip was led by an amazing group called Quetzal trekkers. All of the profits from the organisation go to two charities, one provides funding for schooling for former street children and children from low income families. The other charity is an orphanage and school in the Xela area. In total of USD$100,000 has been raised so far for these great charities. Our guides were volunteers. It was great to do such a fantastic trip as well as contribute to these great projects. If you are interested in trekking in Guatemala. I highly recommend Quetzal trekkers!