Exactly twenty-four hours after we landed in Guatemala, I was on a repurposed American school bus along with other bleary-eyed travellers. We were all on our way to climb Pacaya, close to Antigua.It was my first time climbing a volcano. I’m not fit and I’m not designed for high altitudes so it was bloody hard work. The Guatemalan tour guides taunted me and said that I didn’t look like I was enjoying myself. They told me to pay up and get on one of the horses. “Taxi! Taxi!” Their jokes got old pretty quick.I ended up being the last person on the trail, but it wasn’t a race and I knew that I’d get there eventually. I’m pretty determined once I decide I want to do something. And actually, I was enjoying myself. Even though I wasn’t smiling much.At every turn there was a spectacular view of the volcano ahead of us or of other nearby ones peeking between clouds. My hiking shoes filled with black dust that clung on stubbornly for weeks. Eventually we reached our destination. Not quite looking into the mouth of Mordor, but we were close.Toasted marshmallows over hot rocks tasted pretty sweet after climbing a volcano. I know, right? A goddamn volcano! I took a bit of volcanic rock as a souvenir before making the journey back down.