When my tour group arrived in the city of Leon, one of the girls really wanted to climb an active volcano called Telica. I’m not really sure how it happened but somehow the entire group decided to go. At this point I had had my fill of adventure activities. Canyoneering, ziplining, and some other hikes were enough for me. I didn’t want to go but also didn’t want to stay alone in a new city at night by myself. I probably asked ten times if the hike was an easy one. I was assured it was (it wasn’t!), and that I would be just fine (I also wasn’t)!
In order to get to the base of the volcano we took an hour and a half ride on the bumpiest roads/trails/rocks I have ever experienced. Plus we were squished in to the back of a truck which didn’t help. But the view from the bottom was pretty great.
We got to the base of the volcano, feeling really carsick, and as I looked up all I could think is “no way”. In my mind there was no possibility I could climb that thing. At this point though I had no choice. Up and up and up I went. I’m not gonna lie. I hated every single minute of it. While climbing on these unsteady rocks trying desperately to catch my breath, and keep up (which at some point I just gave up) I vowed to never go hiking volcanos again. I really was miserable.
And then…I fell. I fell hard, scraping both legs like crazy with blood dripping down. I’m pretty sure the scars will be there forever to match one I got while canyoneering. Our hiking guide was way at the front and had no idea I fell. Luckily Esteban, my tour guide was by me and there to help.
And then…I cried. I was hot, tired, car sick, scraped, and overall just unhappy. Esteban asked if I wanted to go back down and said he would come with me, but I had made it this far and I was going to reach the top of this thing, even if it killed me.
I went slowly, especially since both legs were stinging, and gradually made my way up, taking breaks probably every three minutes. But up and up I went and finally I made it!
It took me a few minutes to catch my breath again and realize I was at the top, but once I did and looked around I was able to focus on how absolutely beautiful it was. I mean stunning. Possibly the most spectacular view and surroundings I’ve had on the whole trip.
And that’s when the camera came out. I’m sure lugging my heavy camera and lenses did not help me one bit on my trudge up the volcano, but once I got to the top I was so thankful to have them with me.
I spent a ton of time shooting up there, plus it was sunset which made it even better. From the top you can actually look into the crater of the volcano, with smoke flying everywhere. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much lava, but it was still quite a sight. There was no rail or anything in terms of safety. Yet another thing that would never be allowed in the US, but we were all careful. Just being up there really was quite an experience. The sunset up there was spectacular too.
And then it was time to go down. In the pitch black. On crazy steep rocks. There is no actual trail, just rocks, so getting down was tricky, but I did it. Then another 1.5 hour drive of carsickness, and finally safe and sound and very ready for a shower, back at the hotel.
So this hike was definitely not my thing and I would never do it again, but in the end was it worth it? Yes, I actually think it was.
“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” -U2