Ok. I arrived in Xela (Queztaltenango) at like 6pm, quickly looked what I can do and came across a nice hike: Volcano Santa Maria (had been suggested to me already at Lago Atitlan). As it was only like 19EUR for a tour (again I need the transport to the trail head) I decided to go with a tour to have more conversations… Also, I thought that if the group is too slow I just go ahead and wait on the top 🙂

We started at 4am … brrrrrrr….

The start was ok – not very fast, but it was dark and therefore ok. The group (3 teachers from France who are teaching in New York) was really nice – but after like 1.5 hours I said I’ll go ahead… The guide tried to find some excuses, but as he saw that I’d go anyways he told us the truth (I believe it’s the truth as it wouldn’t make sense to tell that story otherwise, as now we were discussing complaining A LOT at the agency for not telling us about the danger). He told us he got robbed at gun-point on the top of the mountain 5 days ago when he was guiding a swiss guy => the expensive camera was gone… I did read that it might be a bit dangerous at the bottom of the mountain (due to drugs being trafficed to Mexico) – but didn’t expect it on the top! Again I asked him what the difference would be if he is with us (he didn’t have a gun 🙂 ) – but then decided to walk (not hike 🙂 ) with the group (which still was fun!).
Alex was really pissed off as she had a brand new camera  with here… I did understand that.. The guide said there is police behind us, so we asked him to call them and to wait for them. After his mobile apperently didn’t work, I gave him mine (I had a Guatemala SIM) – he called and said the police is 20minutes behind us… After waiting way more than 30 minutes noone came by and we continued anyways (hiding cameras and iPhones in the bushes). We didn’t see police the whole day…
At the end it was a nice day – but Guatemala might not be the first on my list to return if you can’t even hike up mountains securly (again, EVERYONE told me not to hike Volcano Agua in Antigua).

On the top the view was really good. A few clouds, but we did have a good view for some time. The only thing was we didn’t see the REALLY ACTIVE volcano “Santiaguito” – we just “heard” the eruption – which must be 50 times as big as the Fuego one a couple of days ago. Too bad – but at least now I also HEARD a volcano erruption 🙂