First hiking day.
I should start by saying that I’m not very outdoorsy, I don’t go hiking, I like to shower. I do enjoy camping, but mostly the romantic snuggle in a tent and make s’mores aspect of it. So I think I surprised even myself by signing up for this trip. I’ll say it again: it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically. I should also start by saying that I’m in decent shape and this hike seemed to be wearing on everyone in my group except the super-family from Canada.
The first day we left at 7:30 to start the hike. We dropped off our duffle bags with the porters and picked up our rental equipment. Our guide Javier had called this day “training day” so I sort of expected it to be easy but I was seriously wrong. It was just the easiest of the hard days. In total we hiked seven miles up and down through the Andes, eventually arriving at camp around 4:00. At camp we met all our porters, hands down the hardest working people I’ve ever encountered. They carry 40+ pounds on the trail and they literally run from site to site, setting up all our tents and cooking and making food. Absolutely no way could I have done the hike without them. After a celebratory beer and dinner we settled into our tents around 8. Real party animals.
I thought I would sleep so hard after the long tiring day, but I tossed and turned and finally decided to finish reading Mockingjay, which was a mistake because then I had to pee so bad but was half terrified to leave my tent. Shortly later one of my fellow hikers got sick and was up the entire night along with the rest of us. I don’t think I slept at all.
You see that pass wayyyy in the distance in the photo above? That’s where we were headed the next day.