Rue du Pourquoi Pas

Parce qu’il y a toujours une route qui, quelque part, m’attend.
Carnets de route, photos de voyages, et pensées vagabondes.

Écrit par : Sébastien ChionFebruary 11th, 2016
82 English

As expected, it was a short night. If I fell asleep without any problems, a neighbor dog (probably a wandering one) spend much of the night barking. We will be many to curse him…

It was around 4 am. Everyone gets up and prepares without protesting. There is always a special atmosphere at times like this. In a group of people half asleep, half motivated to go on an adventure. Shortly after, this same small group is on the road. We have a forty minutes walk on the road and fifteen on a small dirt road that will take us to a magnificent view over the lake.

It’s still dark. Some take out their sleeping bags and mattresses, for a more comfortable wait. Our guides, always taking care of us, start to heat water for breakfast. I move from one point to another, to take photos of the stars first, then of the dawn.

After a while, Ben, Andrew and Jamie tell us that hot water is available. The small group comes back to life slowly. We start to move. Time to grab a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. If I found the chocolate rather medium the first morning in Xela, I found it nice on the second day, and this morning it is even better. It’s one of the things I like about hiking. How, soon enough, everything is better. And besides, the more you can eat without feeling guilty …

Oatmeal, jam, peanut butter and granola accompany breakfast. It’s perfect. All this under the watchful eye of volcanoes, of course. And of course Elle took the opportunity to sing a little! This place, unsurprisingly, inspires her!

The sun finally comes out of hiding; Elle welcomes him with joy. I was missing watching the sun rise. It has been a while, as I missed several opportunities at la Iguana … Fuego spits some plumes in the distance.

As a reminder, from left to right: small, in the back, it’s Agua. Next to it, the double is Acatenango (to do). The fine tip is Fuego (to see from closer). The double headed is Toliman. Another nice cone next to it is Atitlan (to do) and finally, part of the San Pedro (done).


The lake is now in front of us in all its splendor. A new angle of view, that I like.

We attack the descent shortly afterwards. Today is a quieter day. And much shorter. We just have to go down to San Juan. And since it is important to work his intellect as much as his legs, we take the opportunity to check our geography knowledge by listing all the countries in alphabetical order. It took us (7/8 people) a while but we got all of them.

One last stop for a viewpoint overlooking San Juan, with a few more pictures before completing the descent and arrived in town.

In San Juan, we make a small detour to a cooperative producing coffee. I order myself an espresso. Because after all, I like coffee. I just don’t want to drink too much of it. But being in Guatemala, in a cooperative producing coffee and not drinking some sounds a bit stupid to me. And as the coffee is very good, I do not regret!

During the ascent of San Pedro, the guide had quickly explained that to finish preparing the coffee beans, you need ten days of sun and about half an hour in the oven later.

The last step of the adventure can begin. We no longer have to walk. A pickup picked us to take us to San Pedro. Guatemalan’style. First stacking the bags, then stacking the people. Two at the front (with the driver) the other 15 in the back. Easy. Did not want to cram us in the “closed” space, three of us stand on the rear bumper. The challenge: each time there’s a bump, we have to go down and then up. Because, well, we do weight a bit in the back together! Today’s question: in an accident, is that I’m in a transit (covered by insurance) or in extreme sports (not covered)? Still, I can not help but imagine the headlines in the newspapers. “Collision between two pick up, 34 dead.” But no, we will arrive safely at the restaurant.

It’s 11am. Quite a while since we woke up! We sit on the terrace of a restaurant. Order lunch which will be served a little later. One last moment together. Address email exchanges, discussions on everyone plans. Some return to Xela, others stay by the lake.


And finally, everyone say goodbye, and the small group separates. I am going back to join my Iguana for what I thought was my last evening. But ultimately, if I can also make the morning the next day it would be great. Well why not? After 42 km walk in three days, after getting up at 4 am, I go to bed at 23:30. To wake up at 7am the next morning. Easy !

And start for real, this time, my last day at the Iguana.

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