Tajumulco. Flowers on top of the world
14.04.2018 San Antonio 42km///3569,42km
Saturday. Early morning. It’s best moment to leave huge metropolis which still sleep in alcoholic dream. Proof, that night was active I met after few seconds on street. Some Gringo with huge hangover asked me, If I know where he can find hostel “Viajero” or other on same original name. Good luck! I left him searching it in second largest city in Guatemala and I left to meet mountains.
I bite them in really good style, but couldn’t be different after so many resting days. Like in trans I walked step by step. Drivers of cars still send greetings, truck and bus drivers try to not smash me, and police just look at me like on crazy guy. I ran across few villages and make noise like during Donald Trump visit. I climbed higher and with my baby car I do tunnels in bigger and bigger fog. Finally I can see only for few meters. So I crossed my fingers that drivers will not take my head lamp turned back and flashing with red lamp, as a guidance point. I was really scared, but like everything also that deadly fog finally ended.
One old man in Xela I knew, told me, that in Palestina de los Altos I can meet few nuns. I counted for hot tea, dry floor under roof and few words in Polish. But I found there… nothing. Church was completely closed! But on streets were a lot of strange guys. Stay there for night was something completely crazy. It’s really tough feeling when You count Your strength only to reach some place, and when suddenly You need to find from air some extra energy…. And time because I had last hour of sun. In photography it’s golden hour, but You can know value of it only, when You need to pass another mountain in 60 minutes. I needed to look like mad man, because drivers looked at me like on crazy guy. I came to another city, San Antonio, so fast, that I almost destroy door in church 😀 That could be shame, because this church is one from first constructed in Central America! Priest could offer only place in hostel near church. That was only 2$ but still… We started to talk about Popes and, of course, John Paul II. So when I wanted to pay priest just said that “later, later we gonna find some solution” 😀
Which I should choose?
15-16.04.2018 Serchil 63,9km///3633,32km
I ran fulfilled with some magic energy. It’s strange that I don’t destroy asphalt. I’m on last straight to Tajumulco, highest peak of Central America. I thought where I gonna put my trolley, when suddenly some drivers gave me through window in his car, whole bag of water! My personal support car 😀
I’m on 3000m. Rain start to sip, strong wind touch my bones and fog cover eyes. And I don’t have energy and mobilization to climb. Lack of energy. I do short pit stop under roof of some house, and I met there Marcelo. After short talk I promised that I gonna meet him when I will walk back. I didn’t knew that I will meet him much faster…
I reached place where trail start. Four houses, huge fog, strong wind which pull out hats from heads of some taxi drivers who are waiting for nothing, few dogs barking on my trolley. And closed hotel which I had plan to change on my base. I walked around that four houses and ask, if somebody can rent me piece of floor for few hours. There faces said me that no. And sun, which goes down, said me, that I’m in deep shit… I came back to Marcelo house. “Helps me, I’m an idiot and I didn’t check if that hotel is opened!”. Thankfully he and heart of Marcelo were open. Last hours before attack on peak, I spend with dinner in stomach prepared by wife of Marcelo, and hugged to warm oven.
I hit trail. From peak I had something like 10km and 1000m up, but road was really difficult. First on road through village, than highlands like in Scotland, green wood and few hundreds meters on rocks to top. I was a little bit shamed by old guy who climbed in same speed as I. Finally I reached peak. And all difficulties on roads were worth it. View from top is amazing! From 4200m above sea level I can see even part of Mexico and El Salvador. But also top of hill is really mystery. Everywhere I find flowers which people brought here. And small bottles of alcohol (yeah, I tried one but only to check if its real one 😀 ). And finally stones packed in paper with names of those who brought them here. On next hill, little lover than Tajumulco, was kind of chapel. I found there my old guy. Ardently and a little bit in strange way he pried to, I think, Holy Mother from Guatelupe. He spill around on rock alcohol which he brought there, burn fire and candles and do some other strange for me things. I realize that for local communities this peak is saint! Its point where they pray and ask for things for families. Obvious, if You are closer to sky saints can better hear Your priers 🙂 Its so important point for them, that old guy shouted on my when I took picture of it!
Chapel and old guy started to disappear in clouds. And it looks like that sky is taking them up. I had fear that I will disappear also, so I left him with candles which even strong wind didn’t want to go off. I took also stone from peak and start walk down. That come down in sun was fully of memories. Because also trails looked like one from polish mountains. Same Trees, views and smells. I remember a lot of moments when with friends we hike. And probably first time during my trip, I had thought to come back to Poland only for one peak, only for one night in mountain hostel. That’s interesting that I miss a lot of people and things from Poland, but real feeling that I want to go back to Poland make me mountains. Maybe that’s why I liked to hike here, in South and Central America. Because in that way I could move in some way to Poland.
I reached city and… no, I still had same energy! Still I was completely free, calm and happy. I say last time goodbye to Marcelo and his wife. And once again walk back on same road wasn’t boring. Because that who didn’t saw me first time, knew from neighbors that some strange guy walked here with trolley. So when I passed them once again, almost from every homes some people send me greetings. That was really cute! And when in shop I wanted to buy something for dinner, Alberto gave me some things from his larder. For whole bag, which should cost me something like 30 quekzales I paid only 11 😀 Dinner of victory I ate in my tent in front of main school’s door.
17-18.04.2018 Qetzaltenango 62,6km///3695,92km
I moved with first signs of sun. Local guys, freezing during waiting for bus, had a lot of fun when I cooked my breakfast on patrol station, only in t-shirt and shorts. That was cold but not so much. For them, that was winter of century 😀 On that patrol station I met Luis, which after short talk gave me mango and cup with homemade honey! Guy didn’t knew already that with this things, he will safe my life. Because I needed to pass once again some mountains to reach Xela. I stop after every few steps because lack of power, but I meet in that way few local people. Finally I reach last peak before Xela. I found there only place to camp next to dusty road and only 6 houses. In one from them I met beautiful family, which during whole evening gave me food. Plate by plate! I didn’t had time to eat it 😀
At morning I looks like compilation of mummy and baker. On glasses I have so much dust, that I feel that I’m in the middle of sand storm. That’s happening when You sleep in tent with broken zip… But definitely they can finally put asphalt here!
I roll fast down and left cloud of dust behind me. Boys from factory where they produce bricks, thought that I work with them 😀 Thankfully I rolled through border of Xela and I see some guy who wait for me with some bottle in hand. He’s name was David, and said: “It’s normal thing! You walk a lot so You need to drink a lot. If not, You will look like me 😀 “. First time after my road in Panama I paid for hostel and first time since 7 days I dive under shower 😀
18-19.04.2018 Quetzaltenango 0km///3695,92km
During next two night I open door only to buy some stuff to eat. That was regeneration time. Now roof over my head is like something special. Especially when I pay for it! People under that roof also was really cool, so time passed really fast. Even to fast! Because when I finally closed behind me hostel’s door I had only five days to left CA4 region. 5 days to walk 170km on road, which should me lead into Mayans civilization. I need to hurry…