I forgot to mention that when given the oppotunity, I am a beauteous boot designer!
There’s a nifty little town outside of Antigua called Pastores and it’s a boot-lover’s heaven. After gawking for months at all the original and unique footwear in town I had to find out where and how? Christian and I took a skooter ride 15 mins outside of town to Pastores. There’s no short of leather or boot shops along the main strip of this small town. I spent the last week dreaming up of ideas on how to make my very own boot from scratch. I complied all of my wildest boot doodles together on one dream sheet consisting of color preferences, shape, heel type, calf-height, texture, closuers, and stitching patterns. All for a chance to make my boot-dream come true, and now my only hurdle was communicating this in spanish. I bounced and skipped from one shop to the next trying to decide which shop I wanted to entrust this boot-dream to. I found a pink shop that had boots in the window that I really liked with similiar desireable features, this was the spot. I carefully flipped through piles of different materials and leathers and then in my new spanish and dream list I tried to explain exactly how I wanted the pair of boots made. The shoemaker took down a few notes and said see you in 7 days! By the time I walked away from the shop I was ecstatic and found the expericence so charming. It didn’t really matter how they turned out I just hopped that they would fit.
For a week I would wake up excited wondering how my handmade boots were coming along. For around $50 usd I created from scratch my very own unique boot sewn together by a small local family shop, just for me. Too Cool!!
pizza from scratch- party
Learning Artisianal Bread baking
pizza party with friends
Finding a good pizza that fit our budget in Antigua wasn’t easy, our neighbor Ben showed us how to make an awesome homemade pizza from scratch. He even showed us how to save an extra few dollars by making the mozzerella at home, what?! A few days later we learned how to make an artisianal bread in our dutch over that turned out incredible. “Hey Ben, any homemade butter around for this insane piece of bread?” “Yes,” he said. “Wow, alright! Do you by chance know a guy who would want to buy our scooter and take care of all of the paperwork?” ” Yes,” Ben said “my old boss.” And then the day before we left Antigua, Jose his old boss bought the skooter from us. However, not before we took our last skooter ride to pick up my one-of-a-kind new boots (designed by yours truly, Jennifer Ruth). It was slightly emotional for me, I was on my last skooter ride through a favorite town to pick up my dream boots. I put my boots on, blushing and ready to show them off to my friends for a fiesta during our last night in Antigua.
Volcano Acatenango reaches 13,044 feet Christian and our friends Josh and Jenna (travelamateurs) thought hiking up it would be great fun. I had already decided that I would prefer to skip out on this great adventure, because I tend to have bad timing. Volcano Acatenango is part of a two peak volcano, you hike up the taller one at 13,044 feet (3976m) and you look down at the very active Volcan Fuego. It has a loose schedule of off five days and on fire for five days, the hike was set for an “on” day. My worry was that I would do this insane hike up the volcano in all types of weather and I wouldn’t be able to see the Volcan Fuego erupting. I love hiking but there needs to be some sort of pay off; travelamateurs.com Give me a view, cave, river, waterfall, lake or an erupting volcano next door. The night before Josh called Christian and they had the trip all set with a local guide. “What if I want to go?” I said. It was go time and I got a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). If I didn’t go then the volcano would erupt in perfect plain sight and I would miss out on the awesome opportunity with our friends. The next morning I put my game face and big girl pants on.
Our guide tells us at the head of the trail that the first 45 mins are straight up and tough but the next five hours would be easier. Jaime, our guide carried all of our food and cooked our meals for the trip up on his broken backpack tied to his back with a rope. I was the rock-like caboose during the entire trek. We also brought along our friend’s giant white german shepard and at first everyone was worried how he was going to do. I had a feeling that if I could survive this quest that this fearless pup would run circles around me and he did. Up and up we climb arriving at base camp just an hour before sunset, I would venture to say it was about 30 degrees cooler at basecamp. We were surrounded in clouds and the wind had picked up, Jaime points to where we should see the other volcano. He in a hopeful attitude says “it is going to rain tonight and that’s good news because after the rain the clouds will clear and open up for a great view!” The plan is to go to sleep early and wake up at 3:45am and hike to the summit for the sunrise and an erruption. That night Jaime makes us some hotdog-spaghetti and beans for dinner with hot chocolate. The weather is a wee bit intollerable at base-camp so we all retreat to our tents and inside our sleeping bags. Off in the nearby distance we can hear and feel Volcan Fuego errupting. The clouds open up for a breif moment and we all catch a glimpse of the volcano shooting fire into the sky and the lava river flowing down the side of the mountain. It was too cold to peep out of the tent for longer than a split second so we try to go to sleep while hearing the fire rage out the top of the neighbor volcano and hope for better conditions in the morning. The rain is whipping around our tents and Jaime was climbing up trees and macheting down branches to make tarpaulin from scratch for our tents to keep us all dry throughout the rainstorm.
3:45am on the dot Jaime is at our tents “Guys, Vamos!” It’s pitch black out, cold, windy and time to finish the hike up volcanic gravel for an hour or two. We take our headlamps and try to stay on the thin trail in the dark, two steps up and one slide down. Eventually we make it to the summit and we can barely see ten feet in front of us, let alone the other volcano. It’s so close we can hear and feel the rumbling but our timing just didn’t work out and the weather was a thrashing winterlike storm. We couldn’t stand it for much longer than a few photos and Jaime said it wasn’t going to get any better. Behind the clouds the sun was trying make an apperance, but we never got a clear shot it just lit the way down back to base-camp for us.
13,044 ft on Volcan Acatenango
We made it to the top
Here we are at the chilling summit in a monumental moment together during our last week in Antigua, Guatemala.