A couple days in Guatemala city to begin with, to reorientate sleeping patterns, prep equipment and bump into fellow volcanologists, then off to San Francisco de Sales on the flanks of Pacaya volcano with colleagues from Sheffield and Liverpool, and our local guide. A quick 45 mins jaunt up the volcano (without equipment this was a breeze!) to take a look at the lay of the land and fly a drone to take a look at the activity of the volcano. The results, a direct view into one of the three vents and a look at the lava flows coming down the flanks. An easy route back down in plenty of time to prep equipment and get an early night's sleep.
That first night was an experience. In bed at 9 pm, hoping for a cracking amount of sleep, to be awoken at 12:30 am by a rooster (which sounded like it smoked 80 a day), unusual I thought, can't possibly last long. Oh boy was I wrong. It lasted all night. Then, mercifully, it stopped for 30 minutes. Sleep at last. At 5 am; hoooooonnnnkk, the first 'chicken bus' of the day (the affectionate name for the local colourful repainted US style school buses) announced its arrival, at 5 am. OK, there can't possibly be more, can there? Well at 6 am-ish fire crackers, who knows why, but there they were going off at 6 am. The first nights sleep didn't go well and only improved through the week on use of headphones. It's all well that the first days UV camera fieldwork was a practical no go due to clouds and that napping could happen.
I also took the time to do a few video blogs whilst out in the field, here is the first, the remainder should follow on: