Wet

The second hurricane of 2018 will come calling across Georgia today. In the run-up, the trees are loud with wind, and clouds barrel in fast and low. It looks a lot like what started out innocently as a long weekend at pretty little Lake Atitlan in Guatemala a few years back (from ATL, this is a shorter flight than to SFO). By the time it was over we’d fled a tropical storm back to the capital, then had to evacuate to El Salvador after a volcanic eruption.

Tropical Storm Agatha crept up from behind, from the Pacific, while nobody was looking, and walloped Guatemala. This bridge collapsed a few hours after we crossed, trapping people on the wrong side of it for several days.

Streets flooded.

This post describes our evacuation from the lake back to Guatemala City, and here is a post titled Mostly Calamity, As It Turns Out, dated May 29, 2010, with more photos.

Meanwhile, and also unknown to us, it turns out that Volcan de Picaya erupted hours after we arrived on a Thursday closing the Guatemala City airport due to volcanic ash until the following Tuesday. Flights backed up and our first shot at leaving wasn’t for several days, so we arranged transportation to El Salvador and managed to fly home just three days late.

Here is wet volcanic ash and storm damage at a construction site adjacent to the hotel in Guatemala City.

It was supposed to be just a quiet weekend getaway at the lake.

 

Arctic Eclipse, March 2015

Eclipse

The countdown is on. Less than sixty days until we’re headed up to Svalbard for the 20 March total solar eclipse. At the North Pole itself, the sun returns after a polar night that has lasted 6 months and is eclipsed the same day. That’s just incredible, romantic, coincidental and, I’m guessing, utterly rare.

800 miles south of the pole, way down at 78.22 degrees north latitude, totality for those of us at Longyearbyen will last two minutes and twenty seven seconds, similar to the length of totality at Lake Balaton, Hungary, for the 11 August, 1999 eclipse, which is where the photo above comes from.

This is a real adventure trip with the possibility of seeing polar bears, the aurora borealis and later, a day trip to try to get close to the currently erupting volcano in Iceland, weather permitting. Much more to come.