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great day today. we went to visit the active volcan pacaya beside guatemala city. we left at midday when the rain had passed...

on our way we saw the corrupt side of guatemala...we were stopped by an official who wanted to check for the bus driver´s papers that gave him permission to drive tourists around...of course he didnt have them so...the option was a fine of 400euros or a pay off of 40euro and nothing said..of course the bus driver opted for the 2nd one...so that went straight into the official´s pocket and nothing was said. that is the way things work over here. there were about 10 other buses being pulled over at the same time...which was when we were nearly killed. we went to drive out when a chicken bus was pulling in and we just about brushed the side of the bus..it was extremely close...a sec earlier and we were gone...

so we continued or trip to the volcano..took about 30 more mins...when we arrived up the mountain with the 360degree bends..we saw 6 year old kids with maschettis in their hands and the ppl looked extremely dodgy. we were glad to see the other bus of tourists there to share the fear...it turned out the ppl were harmless though...

we started climbing the volcano..there was a man made path most of the way so although there was a slight incline it was relatively easily to get up...

when we reached the top...we firstly saw all the dried lava from the volcano which erupted about 30 years ago...it was like big black rock...we had to walk over that bit to get to the real lava...when we got there the heat was unbelievable..it was so impressive to stand beside real lava...we ventured that bit further and actually walked over stones which had lava underneath it...it had been raining and my white trousers were wet but in 2 mins they were dry from walkin over the lava so that might give u an idea of how hot it was..niamh had a little fall too...lucky the rock that broke didnt have lava directly underneath her.that wouldnt have been good...the burps of the volcano make it all the more scarier...

we felt quite daring and asked the guide to bring us to the crater of the volcano...he said that it was too dangerous cos the volcano was active and it could erupt any minute...we tried to convince him that it wasnt likely to erupt..but cos we were all girls and it was getting dark he wouldnt let us do it....thank god says us 40 mins later when we reached the bottom...and saw that there was a small eruption and u could see the mountain peak spitting out ash and lava...we had been very lucky after all...glad our guide talked us out of it...

we got home and had tacos and chips for dinner...we made them irish coffee too..well sarah did and they were very impressed..especially vicky´s mam. went to bed at midnight...