#day344 – cresting Volcán Baru

I wanted to crest at least one volcano in Southamerica. I failed. Too high, too expensive, still active…there was always an excuse. Volcán Baru, the only volcano in Panama, was my final chance. Now or never. And the conditions have been perfect.

With an altitude of 3475 meters Volcán Baru is also the highest peak in Panama. High but still a good altitude for an intermediate hiker as I am. Furthermore the entrance fee for the national park is just five dollars. Nothing for a natural spectacle like that. Last but not least, the volcano is inactive for more than 500 years. No risk of melting.

As actually everyone does it, we started at midnight to see the sunrise on top of the mountain. And we were fast. We needed a bit more than four hours for 13.5 kilometres uphill on a rocky road. I reached the top incredibly exhausted and totally sweated.

Damn, one more hour till sunrise and it’s freezing cold. It was a long hour but it didn’t rain at least. Since it’s raining every day here right now, I was totally sure it will rain at least once, but we were lucky. And even better, we were able to see the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea at the same time. One ocean to the left and the other one to the right. That’s cool.

The highlight was the sunrise nevertheless. Definitely one of the most colorful and interesting sunrises I’ve seen so far. Crazy, how sky can changes in between seconds. Pachamama, mother nature, is a phenomenon. I’m happy, I finally did it. I crested a volcano.

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