Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Curious Incident of the Woman on the Volcano

I hiked Picaya yesterday, an active volcano near Antigua. The hike was short, but steep and I left my group behind in order to get a workout racing up the mountain. At the top I took some great photos, then joined my group to watch the lava flowing down the magma field, and to roast marshmellows. It was very hot!! I again decided to leave my group and hike around on my own for a while. As I was getting ready to leave the lava fields and catch back up to my group, who were already making their decent, I passed two young women climbing off the hardend magma on to the ground. As I was passing them the one in the back suddenly lost her footing and took a short fall. Normally you would not expect some one to get her just slipping on a rock, but these rocks were incredibly jagged and she sliced her wrist when she tried to break her fall. I ran over to her and was shocked at the amount of blood oozing from her wrist. She was bleeding like a stuck pig, and her friend was freaking out! When I was packing for the short two hour climb, as an after thought, and basically just because I had so much room I tossed my first aid kit into my pack. Phew! Was that ever the right move! I poured some water on her wrist to figure out where the big cut was (I don't think I can emphasize enough how much blood there was), and then applied some gauze and pressure to stop the bleeding. After a few minutes and a couple of gauze pads (remember, just keep adding pads never remove soaked ones!) I wrapped her up, and we hiked out. She found her group and I rushed to catch up with mine, who by this point were quite a ways ahead of me. I figured I would see her at the bottom, but my group was waiting and we immediately left. Hope things worked out for her, but I never got the beer she promised me at the bottom...damn a good deed for nothing, next time I am demanding a monetary payment before I render my services!

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