Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Volcano Fuego

Antigua is surrounded by several volcanoes and there are volcanoes throughout Central America, including Guatemala. The one that is most active around Antigua is Fuego. Some days you can look up and see what appear to be clouds but it is really small levels of activity. Yesterday, I saw this. 

But generally, there's no noticing the activity. Until a couple of weekends ago. Below is a picture I took from the balcony/patio at the house where I'm staying. It is a typical beautiful day here. 

That Saturday, I walked to the nearby town, Jocotenango, to explore and have lunch. I actually came back early (around 2) because my tummy was a little upset about my lunch choice. Then I planned to head back into Antigua for the afternoon. Until I went upstairs and caught a glimpse of this. 

I thought maybe it was haze from smoke. The farmers here still use a slash and burn technique to clear their fields. In Singapore it was similar and you can get really hazy days from this smoke. But then someone in the house said no, it's the volcano. All the wet clothes that were drying outside were brought in, all windows and doors shut and I decided I'd be staying indoors. 

After a bit, I went back upstairs. It was similar to a storm passing through. I found a fine layer of ash over everything. Everything. 

Not sure if you can see my footprints well.

The cars need to go for a wash because it can harm the paint.

The lady next door cleaned up her patio area and ended up with a huge bucket full of ash to dispose of. For a couple days, you could feel the dirt in the air. It was like little bits of sand still in the air, blowing at you when a breeze came. It looked clear, but you could feel it. I went to McDonald's (I think it was Monday) and between eating and reading some of my book, there was some dirt from the air collected on anything laying out. Here's the lid of my cup and my iPhone. Hard to see, but enough that my phone felt gritty when I picked it up and I was glad to have a lid on my drink. 

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