Thursday, March 16, 2017

Visiting Volcan Ipala

This past weekend we took a little outing to visit Volcan Ipala.  Our main purpose in going was to get information for another mission group who recently contacted us about our area.  Their mission is holding a retreat in our area next month and wrote us to find out options of fun things to do here.  There are not a whole lot of tourist options to do around our area but since there will be a lot of kids at the retreat we thought a trip to the volcano would be fun for them.  It had been several years since we were there and we couldn't remember a lot of the details about it.  We thought it would be best to go ourselves and scout it out for them.

We had planned a day trip for Saturday but at the last minute got a call that some missionary friends would be passing through our area and we ended up spending Saturday morning visiting with them instead.   It's hard to pass up fellowship time with other North Americans!  After lunch we loaded up and set out on the hour drive to the volcano.  You have two options to get there.  1)  You can drive a shorter distance, park your car, and hike up the volcano.  2)  You can drive a little farther and actually get all the way to the top with just a short hike.  I will always choose option 2.  We hike enough for ministry.  I don't necessarily want to hike on my free time, ha.

arriving at the volcano
  It's just a short hike up that hill and you are at the lake. 

The draw to this area is the beautiful lake that is in the crater of the volcano.  It is really pretty.  Around the lake there is open space to run and play.  There are picnic pavilions, some rustic grills, a small soccer field, and hiking trails that lead to a lookout.  It was our second time to visit there.  The boys were just 1 and 3 on our last visit so as you can imagine we all enjoyed it a lot more this time.

Here is a photo I found online that shows an aerial view of the volcano and lake.  Pretty cool, huh.

We grabbed this pavilion, set our stuff down, and within minutes were greeted by another missionary family who also happened to be there that day.  They serve in another department of Guatemala than us so we did not know them.  It was just one of those meetings where you know the Lord guided your paths.  They were a precious family and our kids had such a fun time together.  They were getting ready to leave when we arrived but ended up staying longer so we could visit.  It is always a joy to meet other missionary families and especially those who have children the same ages as ours.  We exchanged information and hope to visit again soon.

They had kites and shared them with the boys.  It was very windy there that day.  It was almost too windy for kites, but still fun.

After the other family left we walked down to the water and let the boys play a while. 

the water was cold!

our family at Volcan Ipala

It ended up being a fun outing for our family so we were glad it worked out for us to go.  The day got late so we didn't have time to hike to the lookout but will do that on another visit.  The boys had such a great time I feel like it won't be long until we return again just to hang out and let them play.    

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