We all love to travel and explore new places, soak up their culture, get lost in the city's charm, or simply lay by a beach and enjoy some sunshine. These are all fantastic experiences to have while out exploring the world, I just like to do them with a little more intensity.
I’m Luke Tyburski, an up and coming Adventurer who will be writing Blog entries telling of my experiences, the locations, and the crazy things I plan to get up to, but first, a little about myself, and where I’ve been recently.
I’m an Australian who has lived in the Northern Hemisphere for over 8 years now. I left the country of my birth to follow my dream, playing football. It took me to the U.S.A, Belgium, and the U.K, unfortunately my career was cut short due to injuries, but immediately I knew what I wanted to do with my life after football, adventuring!
While I was recovering from an Injury about 2 years ago, a friend of mine who was living in Quetzaltenango Guatemala, asked me to come out and visit him, and we would go climb some volcanoes, the following week I was on a plane to Guatemala City.
I knew nothing about this beautiful country, or what it would be like, I’d never been to Central America, this was going to be an entire new experience for me, I was as excited as a kid at Christmas!!
After landing In Guatemala City we still had several hours on a bus until we arrived in Quetzaltenango, (which was originally known as Xelajú or Xela for short, before colonial times and was inhabited by the Mam Maya people Xelajú)
The first Volcano I climbed was the large active Volcano, Santa Maria, it has a elevation of 3772m and last erupted in 1902. I was picked up by my guide at 4:30am, apparently it’s so when we reach the summit it will be in the clear morning sky. After a couple of hours hiking through mist and light drizzle, getting lost (even with a guide) through the dense vegetation, then finding our way once more, we reached the summit to the glorious view of fog!
Unfortunately it was a rare overcast day and I was lucky to see 20 foot in front of me let alone the panoramic scenery which I’d seen on postcards the day before. The only view I had on top of this volcano was of the cows a local farmer had placed there so they wouldn’t be stolen. After a bite to eat, and a quick photo, we trekked down through the cloudy fog to find at the bottom of the volcano, back in the city, it was a beautiful sunny day. That’s adventuring for you, sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t get to see beautiful views.
After a few days enjoying the city, and a few smaller hikes up into the hills surrounding Quetzaltenango, we were off to climb another volcano, the very lively Picaya!
This volcano is located just outside of Antigua, and has erupted several times in the last 100 years. Although only 2552m high, it’s the activity once you get near the summit which is amazing. The flows forming rivers of hot steaming lava, eating up anything it its path, we even had time to roast marshmallows in the lava. It was amazing being so close to this intense heat, a truly remarkable experience. The following week to the day, Picaya had a violent eruption, ejection debris and ash columns nearly a mile high, very glad I went the week before!
More recently I took part in a race called The Marathon des Sables, it’s a 155 mile self sufficiency foot race through the Saharan desert in Morocco over 7 days, madness I know!
With temperatures over 50 degrees some days, the biggest sand dunes I’ve ever seen in my life, and needing an IV drip 15 miles into a 50 mile stage on day 4, I finished the race (several kgs lighter of course). I also lost all my toenails, had blisters on every toe, but I managed to hobble through the harsh (but very beautiful) terrain that is the desert. Running up to the edge of a cliff face with a backpack full of all your food for the week, and needs, then peering over the edge down into a vastness of open space of rugged and multicoloured land was a truly remarkable experience, and one I will never forget!
The desert constantly changes around you, from large jagged rocks, and mountainous dunes, to flat dried up lake beds where you can see for literally miles, without any sign of life at all. At one stage in the race we even had to cross a small creek, I never new there were creeks in the desert!
A good friend said to me just the other day, “After doing the Marathon des Sables, and all its insanity, what do you do next?”
That’s a question I have been thinking long and hard about, but I’ve came up with a few different ideas which I’m looking forward to trying to get off the ground. One is a 1250mile triathlon which I’ve made up the route myself, passing through several countries and continents, but more about that in the near future….
And the next possible big adventure could involve some trekking, and even racing through the Himalayas, I’m still in the organising phase of these, but once my plans are confirmed I will have all the information available on my website.
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Author: Luke Tyburski
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