About 40 minutes into today's 5am hike up Chicabal volcano I began to regret my decision to climb it. We were at a higher elevation than yesterday and my lungs were not happy, but how could I resist a volcano which has a lake in its crater!
I was overjoyed when 20 minutes later we reached the top, an hour earlier than expected as it's usually a 2 hour hike but my guide seemed to have other plans, which would explain my screaming lungs. Within seconds I'd forgotten all about the ascent as I looked down on this beauty.
Then it was down 600 steps to reach the lake which is a sacred Mayan site so you can't swim in it nor interupt any Mayan ceremonies (I can't help but wonder what must have happened for this to even be advised).
As it turned out preparations were underway for a Mayan ceremony right next to one of the Mayan altars, but apart from the 6 of them there was only the guide and me there. I set off alone for a wonder around the lake and there was something truly magical about it, certainly the calmest most peaceful time I've had since I started travelling.
I found a few altars and countless flowers scattered along the lake (as offerings) and gazed at the tranquil water and enjoyed the near-silence. It was heavenly.