Monday, 27 August 2012

Day 11 – “I Guaneguane summit this mountain!” by Russell Townsend

Day 11 started with day 2 of the “eggstra breakfasts”. For those of us who ordered extra food we had muchos bread and muchos eggs (very very fried!) and those that didn’t had bread and what was apparently cheese... After breakfast, the group set off to summit a nearby mountain called Guaneguane (“Wanny-Wanny”): a respectable peak of 5050m high. It soon became apparent that some people were walking faster than others (I was in the slow group). We split into two groups – ours, the slower group was terms, ‘Team Sensible’. Team Sensible was led by Mark, who took us to the opposite side of the mountain as the other team. We enjoyed zig-zagging up for a little while, as well as debating what zig-zagging meant. Does zig mean turning right? Does zag mean going left? Or is zig the first way you turn? Answers on a postcard please. We stopped for lunch after zig sagging. A lot more salami was consumed as well as chugging down a carton of juice. We said goodbye to small group who summitted smaller peak as we plodded up Guaneguane. ‘Team Sensible’ eventually reached the summit (having been beaten by the OTHER team by only about 20 minutes!) and we looked around at what we achieved. We were standing in Chile & could see the valley, Peru and Bolivia – not a bad view! Unfortunately, nature called atop the peak and I joined the 5000m club (i.e. a very high number 2!) - a very exclusive club... We took some photos with Parinacota + Pomerape in the background and renamed our group ‘Team Condor’. The condors assembled and we started our descent. The descent included an INCREDIBLE downhill jog on some scree (loose rock). A cross between jogging and skiing, we dubbed it screeing. It was more fun that we had had in a long time (if not a little dusty). The rest of the journey was relatively non-eventful (apart from losing Anna in a bog up to her thighs). Unfortunately she got helped out before we could get some photos – we’ll never forget the smell though and neither will her boots... We all helped each other home as we were all completely shattered (thanks folks!). We got back tot he hostel and showered, drank litres and litres of water before settling in for dinner & bed. A great day out!

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