June 17th Panama

by - June 17, 2018

We woke up around 10 PM.  It was so hard to get out of bed knowing what was ahead of us.  Carlos, our taxi driver arrived around 11:15.  It was about a 20 minute ride to the base of Baru where we would start our hike.

 Volcan Baru is 11,401 ft high.  It is considered an active stratovolcano and is the tallest point in Panama.  On very rare days you can see the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea at the same time.  Acatenango was 13,045 ft high.  Bart was much more enthusiastic about this hike than I was.  After being told we may be rained on and that if it isn't a clear morning we would not see much I was not enthused. So it started.  The trail was sort of an old service road that was never maintained.  It was half washed away with rocks and rivets of all sizes along the entire thing.  You would need an extremely strong truck to make it up or down this.  Hiking in the pitch black night with close to zero sleep is about as not fun as life can get.  Every step hurt.  You had no clue what rock was going to go out from under you as you went up.  Up and up and up.  It seemed like it would never end.  Oh that's right, because it wouldn't.  Bart turned around in the beginning to see eyes in the night.  Thank goodness it was just a stray dog.  

We hiked straight up these steep trails for 5 1/2 hours straight.  We were very lucky not to get rained on.  I can't imagine how cold we would have been if we had.  It got colder and colder as we ascended.  The night was so clear.  It was the closest I have ever felt to the stars in my life.  Then we went around the final corner and the view took our breath away.  We were way above the puffy clouds.  We didn't see anyone on the trail up, but we ran into 6 people when we got to the top.  They were doing jumping jacks and jogging around trying to stay warm waiting for the sunrise.  Oh the wind.  The temperature up there was close to freezing and the wind was almost strong enough to blow you over.  I changed into some warmer clothes and we dropped our bags by the towers.  We headed to the summit just in time for the sunrise.  It was by far the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen in my life!!!  Worth every grueling footstep we took.

 We hiked over and around some very dangerous rocks to get some great pictures/videos.  Then we enjoyed our breakfast of cereal at the top.

 The hike down took us around 3 hours.  Our feet and knees were shot for the day.  It felt like it took forever.
 We hitchhiked back into town and got a taxi back to the hostel.  We made lunch, showered, and headed right into bed.  Spaghetti for dinner and relaxing for the night.  Our legs will not let us do anything.

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  1. Lindsay, your pictures are breathtaking. I don’t think I could wake up at 10:00pm to hike a volcano. You guys are so cool.